Twenty words

Communities have been constructed throughout this world from words. With them they have marveled, resisted in their memories and spread their stories. From the most futile everyday experience like the cyclic murmuring of a river, a constellation of people have been captivated by them, giving them meaning.

Each language collects the history of its people by weaving experiences, that are inherited by successive generations in their oral and written traditions. Thus, the word is the link of a chain, from which all human production serves itslef and participates to complete its creations. Each language is the evidence of a community spirit, a reflection of a particular way of living in the world.

Mysteriously, language generates community. Even though it is a field undermined by equivocal ambiguities and interpretations that we see confronted in situations such as the encounter between culturally different languages. That is where unique words emerge that express what for us would be almost a saying (refrain), dissolving any possibility of reference in the world of our spoken experience. Even so, the inability to find an accurate meaning, in our language, does not underestimate the wisdom we find in them. What Walter Benjamin called "the epic side of truth," and which we find in the eloquence of his narrative expressiveness.

That is the question to which these images confront us. From the encounter of a Mtsiguenga - Castellano dictionary and from interviews with speakers of both languages, these 6 words are presented without admitting parity in ours. Here, the word it is disputed between the trap of solving an equivalence and the narrative breadth of the symbolic world that originated them in their conceptions about death, nature and its people.

Porokagantsi. Embossed paper.

Puonkaenkatagantsi. Embossed paper and ink.

kenkisureaenkatagantsi. Embossed paper and ink.

Tsagatagantsi. Embossed paper and ink.
Pamuatakotagantsi. Embossed paper and ink.

Katsatagantsi. Embossed paper and ink.
Apipakotene. Embossed paper and ink.

Iragatsanoenkatagantsi. Embossed paper.

Tseraatagantsi. Embossed paper.

Tiaviosetakotagantsi. Embossed paper and ink.