Yupumá: Huni Kuin experience and epistemology as part of creative film practice

  • Veronica Castro

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis introduces yupumá, a term in Hantxa Kuin language which emerged from and became central to my fieldwork with the indigenous Huni Kuin of Acre in Brazil’s lowland Amazon Basin. This indigenous word does not have a direct translation into Portuguese or English and also presents a problem of definition at the semantic and pragmatic level for my Huni Kuin interlocutors. With their help, I propose the working definition of yupumá as a notion that refers to those processes through which knowledge emerges within and through different forms of action. I explore how knowledge emerges from and through the range of situated practices covered by the term yupumá, and how these shape and mediate experience and how they can be directly applied and incorporated into the practice of ethnographic and creative filmmaking. The film Yupumá, the counterpart to this dissertation, shows daily life in a Huni Kuin village where ritual and myth are intertwined and seen through the lens of the notion of yupumá (https://vimeo.com/461126717 Password: Agistri). Please watch the film after reading the introduction and chapter one.
Date of Award1 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJohannes Sjoberg (Supervisor) & Andrew Irving (Supervisor)


  • yupuma
  • practice-based research
  • Huni Kuin
  • indigenous experience
  • Lowland Amazon
  • indigenous epistemologies
  • ethnographic film

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