UMass Boston News

Iwariwë: Fire Comes to UMass Boston

The shaman's house from the Iwariwë exhibit.
The shaman's house from the Iwariwë exhibit.

Whether in the lands of the Yanomami, or the indigenous peoples of what is now Boston, the arrival of fire is an epic and mythic event, linked to the origins of human innovation and creativity. Iwariwë: The Origin of Fire Amongst Men recounts this seminal event through community art, producing a book designed to both preserve and educate others about customary Yanomami life ways. The Yanomami are a group of indigenous people who live in the Amazon rainforest along the border between Venezuela and Brazil.

This exhibit represents far more than just a display of ethnographic items produced by indigenous peoples from another hemisphere. It is a combination of traditional knowledge and modern methodologies for education, as well as a collaboration between the first peoples of a place and contemporary scholars from IDEA University who appreciate a deep connection to their shared home. As such, it is fitting that the Institute for New England Native American Studies and the Native American and Indigenous Studies program provide a warm welcome for Iwariwë to UMass Boston, where we also seek to connect indigenous peoples with university research, innovation, and education.

Opening roundtable and reception Sept. 12: roundtable (4 PM) in the Center for Library Instruction (Healey 4-015) - reception (5 PM) on the 5th floor of Healey.

For more information, please contact Dr. Cedric Woods, Director for INENAS, or Dr. Josh Reid, Director for NAIS.


  • CITGO Petroleum Corporation, a subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.
  • Instituto de Estudios Avanzados (IDEA)
  • Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela through its Consulate General in Boston
  • UMass Boston: Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, Institute for New England Native American Studies, Native American & Indigenous Studies Program, and Office of International and Transnational Affairs
  • Venezuelan Sounds Foundation

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit two weeks prior to the event.