Making manioc beer: A Máíhɨ̃ki movie
September 9, 2013
One of the major goals of the Máíhɨ̃ki Project (see here and here for other posts related to the MP) is to develop materials for use by community members in revalorizing and revitalizing the Máíhɨ̃ki language. Realizing many years ago that most youngsters in Amazonian communities are more engaged by video than print (as in much of the world), we decided to work with speakers and community members to create short movies about aspects of local life that community members saw as especially important to document.
Below is our first effort in this regard. Shot and edited from beginning to end by Christine Beier while in the field in 2012, this movie documents how manioc beer, a beverage consumed by most Amazonian indigenous peoples, is made. The movie begins with a trip to the gardens, shows the harvesting of the manioc tubers and the preparation of the mash, which is left to ferment, and goes on to the end, when neighbors and family are invited over to drink the resulting mildly alcoholic beverage. We were quite happy with the results — we are not professional videographers — and folks in the communities in which Máíhɨ̃ki is spoken also enjoyed it.