Brazilian Constitution will gain version in Amazon indigenous language Nheengatu

Brazilian Constitution around an indigenous headdress 'cocar' (API/Reproduction)
Mencius Melo – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – Brazil will receive, for the first time ever, the new version of the Federal Constitution in Nheengatu, the ‘General Language’ of the Amazon indigenous people, on June 19. The language spoken from the Upper Rio Negro, in Amazonas, to the Middle Tapajós, in Pará, is being translated by 12 representatives of the Amazon peoples, with the advice of members of the Law, under the supervision of Judge Andrea Medeiros.

According to Medeiros, in an interview with CENARIUM MAGAZINE, the project arose from the observations of the minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Rosa Weber, when she came to the Amazon. “During this trip, she had contact with the people and the realities of regions like Vale do Javari, and thus had the idea of creating this version of our Magna Carta”, explained the magistrate.

Translation and coordination team in a virtual meeting (Andrea Medeiros/Reproduction)

The initiative of the National Council of Justice (CNJ) has a partnership with the Court of Justice of Amazonas (TJAM), through the Superior School of Magistracy of Amazonas (Esmam), under the direction of Judge Flávio Pascarelli, at the request of Minister Weber, who is also president of the entity.


Andrea Medeiros, a magistrate with experience in indigenous populations in Amazonas, was in charge of coordinating and helping to build the project. “We invited 12 translators to be part of the project, which is well on its way to being concluded as soon as possible, because we already have 70% of the Constitution translated”, she revealed.


The team’s work has a short deadline to be concluded, since on June 19th the Minister Rosa Weber will return to Alto Rio Negro to, once again, visit the native people and traditional communities. On that occasion, Weber will deliver the translated Magna Carta. “The Constitution in Nheengatu will be delivered in a ceremony in the municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira to the organizations and leaders present,” said Andrea.

Minister Rosa Weber during a visit to the State of Amazonas (Reproduction/Divulgation)

Participating in the project are Marco Lucchesi, from the National Library, invited by the CNJ, and linguist José Ribamar Bessa Freire. Legal counseling is the responsibility of Luana Marley de Oliveira e Silva, Andrea Medeiros, and Inory Kanamary. Luís Geraldo Sant’Ana Lanfredi, Andrea Medeiros, and Luanna Marley de Oliveira e Silva were in charge of coordination.

The five leaders of the team of 12 translators are: Dadá Baniwa, Edison Cordeiro Gomes, George Borari, Melvino Fontes, and Edilson Martins. “Everyone involved, as well as TJAM, Esmam and CNJ, in addition to the National Library, are committed to this milestone in legal literature in Brazil”, celebrated Andrea.


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