Frank Weaver

FRANK WEAVER

Birthplace: Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay

Current City: Orlando, Florida.

How did you first learn about these Inscriptions? 

My father and my grandmother started one of the first environment protections NGO in Paraguay, back in the late 80′s. Since I was a little kid I would accompany them on expedition to the indian reservations. We would take seeds of natives trees to help the indians reforest the reservations. The Pai Tavytera would then allow us to visit their sacred inscriptions, and since we had a deep respect for inscriptions, they allowed us to bring visitors from outside, such as the first scientific expeditions from North American and Europe.

What inspires you to conserve the inscriptions?

The inscriptions are absolutely beautiful and mysterious. Who ever made them, really cared about them. The inscriptions are an important part of history that I feel we need to learn more about it, since we know so little about our pre-columbine history. We need to act now, as the inscriptions are being lost forever, even before we start to really unveil their beautiful enigma. 

What has been your favorite experience in the field? 

The best experiences have been to work closely with the spiritual leaders of the Pai Tavytera indians. To document the stories that has been passed by many generations, such as the origin of the world, the stories of their ancestors, and what they know about the inscriptions.

What kind of projects have you been involved with the Pai Tavytera Indians?

I have organized a couple fundraisers here in Orlando, to travel to the reservation of the Panambi’y Indians. To then build the first latrines in the village, and with a local health worker we introduced a project of “10 Steps for a Healthier home.” I did a lot of audio visual documentation of their culture, and the issues they were facing, and then shared this information with people all over the world that were interested in Indigenous People’s right.  Lately I have taken many solar lights to the reservation, to try to eliminate the use of harmful kerosene lamps that they were using as light source.

You were then initiated into their tribe? 

Yes! That was a really cool ceremony. Don Galeano Suarez, the shaman of the Panambi’y performed the labret piercing with a wood stick. It hurt like hell, but it was worth it, since now I am part of the tribe. The piercing ceremony is a traditional rite of passage for the Pai Tavytera as its the way that young boys become men.

How did you get involved with photo and video?

When I was around 8 years old  a camera was donated to my family NGO. I started playing with it, and learned to use pretty fast. From that moment on I became in charge of visually documenting the environment conservation projects of the NGO. That lead me to  use video to spread awareness of different causes, such as poverty, indigenous people’s rights, environment conservation. It was a big honor for me when one of the videos I did on water conservation won an National Geographic Award for inspiring people to care about the planet.

Why Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is an amazing platform, it helps you start your projects, and to get people that are interested in your project, the backers,  involved with the creative process.  I  I feel that using Kickstarter will be the best way to raise the funds necessary to unearth the story of the inscriptions, while maintaining the creative vision of that project that would otherwise been compromised by an outside investor.  

Why Creative Commons?

I have taken many archeologist, anthropologist,  to visit the inscriptions, and one thing I notice was, how they do not like to share their findings with others. I have been approached by some private individuals to do this project for them, but then they would retain the rights to the images. I truly believe that the people who made this inscriptions would have liked to have this information freely accessible to anyone around the world, and not copyrighted by a few individuals.

If you could have people do one thing to help save this inscriptions what would it be?

Would be to help us in our efforts to bring this story to the world, and to raise awareness about the plight of the indians in the Amambay Hills, since the Indians are their guardians of the inscriptions, and some of them are living in extreme poverty.

 

 

Our mission is to tell the story of the rock art in Paraguay's Amambay hills and the Pai tavytera Indians who are its guardians. Our goal is to create an informative, entertaining, and compelling film that will explore the culture of a people and examine the potential threats facing this rock art. This project is creative commons, you can freely share this information. All we’re asking is for a simple credit to our crew whenever you pass it along. Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0