Event Detail


The Last Guardians of the Amazon Rainforest: An evening with the Huni Kuin People

Bane Saleh and Yube Huni Kuin
Monday, 16 Oct 2023
Complimentary Free-Flow Drinks from 6:45 pm; Talk at 7:30 pm
Hill Dickinson, 33B United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty

In this special event, we are delighted to welcome, from Amazonia, Yube Huni Kuin, an indigenous leader and shaman, and other Huni Kuin tribal elders.  The evening consists of a talk by Yube and the elders, followed by a showing of a 20-minute film, "The People of the Blue Bird” about their tribe.  The evening concludes with a round-table Q&A with the tribal elders.

The Huni Kuin, or “True People”, are often referred to as some of the last guardians of the Amazon rainforest.  They have lived in ecological harmony with nature for thousands of years. Their culture, history and entire existence depend on the Amazon rainforest.
The tribe plays a key role in the protection of Uncontacted Tribes as they defend and/or occupy the territories that some of the last Uncontacted Communities call home.  The Huni Kuin act as a buffer between the Uncontacted Communities and modern civilisation.
The Huni Kuin People live in Brazil and Peru with the majority of its population living in the Brazilian state of Acre.  The Huni Kuin had relatively late contact with the outside world, from 1890 onwards, when a wave of invasions by rubber extractors began.  During this period of violent contact, invaders systematically attacked the local Indigenous groups and the Huni Kuin were enslaved, forbidden from speaking their language and practicing their ways.
Despite years of persecution, the Huni Kuin’s beautiful ancestral traditions were kept alive by a few of the elders and were revived by their youth.  Today after years of cultural renaissance, the Huni Kuin ancestral traditions are practiced joyfully throughout their villages.

Yube Huni Kuin is an indigenous leader and shaman, who in his interactions with the outside world radiates his joy, gratitude, forgiveness, harmony and his love for the Amazonian forest and nature. Yube Huni Kuin is often referred to as the Buddha of the rainforest.  He is an agro-forestry specialist and serves as the Vice President of the Huni Kuin Federation which oversees 108 Huni Kuin villages.  He was Secretary of the Indigenous Agroforestry Agents and was the advisor for Indigenous Affairs with the Government of the State of Acre for 10 years.  He is one of the few Huni Kuin People to have travelled to almost all of the 108 Huni Kuin villages, to document and help preserve the art of Kene, the sacred Huni Kuin patterns.  Yube is one of the main carriers of the traditional Huni Kuin sacred songs and ancestral stories his elders have passed on to him.

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$200 for RGS Members and HK$250 for guests and others, including free-flow drinks.

The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to
Hill Dickinson as the Venue Sponsor of this talk.

The opinions expressed in this talk are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.

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