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Gerardo Petsain

In his own words… 

“My name is Gerardo Petsain Sharup. I was born April 12, 1963. I am from the Wampis people of the Amazon region, Peru. I studied higher education and I have been a bilingual teacher in the Condorcanqui_Amazonas area for 20 years. At the same time, I have another specialty, which is art. I started drawing when I was 12 years old and I realized that my grades in elementary school were good. I never studied fine arts, I am just an Amazonian self-taught draftsman and I am known nationally. My works are in different countries around the world.

I keep working on my art because I like to paint about my culture. Within our traditional custom we are indigenous, we are called Awajun Wampis and we live in the countryside. We have another way of living, for example, in our community we all have a minga together and we all have lunch together. We celebrate parties all together, we approve everything together. We share our free resources to make our homes, we farm, make baskets, canoes, spears, etc. all in a healthy environment where there are no robberies or killings. Free without worry we walk anywhere. On the other hand, in the city all alert, worried, to rob us they kill us, fights in politics, permanent movement, with constant fright, etc.

I appreciate and love my culture and I feel that my drawings allow me to directly teach my culture and much more. Although little by little the new generations are leaving our traditions behind. Now, as the national education system dominates, we are managing two cultures, mestizo and indigenous, but we choose good things from both, in the best of cases it goes well and we walk well. Like in the world at large, social welfare is sought and it is assumed that we are all equal in rights. Our ancestors came from there practicing, we also continue to practice this because it is necessary, although mostly we are determined by the modern and current times. This is how life goes through the evolution of time. The ancestors will not return to the present, they will only complement it through our stories and memories. For better or for worse, everything is a lesson to be learned.”

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