Documentary Puyanáwa

Puyanáwa Documentary Project Report


The project for the making and production of the documentary Tierra Sagrada Peyabakebu Puyanawa, aims to make viable the production, filming and editing of a documentary which tells the story of this indigenous people; the Puyanawa ethnic group from the state of Acre, Brazil and their will to recover their original and sacred lands.

In the documentary, through the protagonists themselves and their descendants, we review the historical events of the last 120 years of the tribe. We have made two trips to film the interviews and the rest of the filming. The first trip took place in the second half of October 2016 and the second trip took place on 20 February 2019. We are currently raising the financial resources to be able to start the editions and finish the project. The forecast for the completion of the documentary is October 2021.

Teaser of the Sacred Land of Puyanawa Aya Conference



Before the first decade of the 20th century, the Amazonian tribe “Peyavakebu” lived freely and in balance with nature. Adapted to the rigours of the jungle, the Indians get everything they need from it, they are true inhabitants of paradise on earth. Unfortunately, the cruelty, the lack of scruples and the destructive idea of progress of the new arrivals would change the destiny of the tribe forever.

The documentary aims to explain the history of this tribe from the moment they were captured and enslaved, to the present time of cultural and spiritual revitalisation of the people now called PUYANAWA.  

Through interviews conducted in October 2016 and in March 2019 and giving voice to the protagonists themselves, we will be able to explain in 5 short chapters, the magical history of this people.

Different events have taken place in the last 20 years since they managed to demarcate their land, many of them shrouded in indigenous mysticism; shamans, possessions of ancestral spirits, witchcraft, spiritual connections, incredible discoveries…

Recently, the Puyanawa have managed to find the exact place where their ancestors were captured. It would seem impossible to make such a discovery in an area of more than 200,000 hectares. They achieved this milestone only from the memories of the children who were captured at that time (currently only Mrs. Railda is alive) and the use of Ayahuasca for this purpose. In 2015, they located and managed to document the place with images.

The main objective of the documentary is to give visibility to their history and to be able to recover the lands that were left outside the demarcation and that the grandson of the Colonel who enslaved their people is trying to sell them. By law and by right, these lands should already be part of their reserve. With the current situation in Brazil, the only solution is to buy them.

It has been partly thanks to other indigenous people of the region; Ashaninkas, Yawanawas, etc. and the return of the use of Ayahuasca, that the Puyanawas are largely recovering their ancestral culture and spirituality. They are an exemplary community.

With a deep respect for the protagonists and their ancestral traditions, we recognise the importance of these cultures and their cosmovisions, and at the same time we see in them essential allies in order to change the relationship between humanity and nature and the planet.

The importance of Puyanawa women is reflected in the interviews with relevant women from the community. In this way, we incorporate the perspective of the feminine vision and gender equality. The narration will be done by a woman.

In the year of the beginning of the documentary we also managed to finalise the production of a double CD that includes traditional ceremonial songs recorded in the village with a good group of Puyanawa men and women and also songs inspired and composed by Puwê and Vari Puyanawa, two of the main protagonists of the cultural and spiritual rescue, accompanied by professional musicians. (Soundtrack).

We have 12 interviews (10 hours) and about 20 hours of resources.

We also want to illustrate parts of the story with animations.

In the Puyanawa indigenous community as well as in the documentary, all the Sustainable Development Goals that the UN Agenda 2230 established in 2015 are directly or indirectly fulfilled.

Adolf Sanz Monfort