I’m sure you are curious how this all started well here we go:
Mayra Perdomo who is the filmmaker and a natural healer wanted to learn healing directly from the elder healers vs students of the healer. She believes indigenous people and people who practice the old ways have methods that are ancient and can heal you from the inside out. Both indigenous and native people who have been on their land for generations and continue to practice the old ways are by definition indigenous. So she decided to travel the world and film her conversations with these people. She saw this as an opportunity to ask them questions on healing but as a knowledge seeker she wanted to know more so categories of dance, music, climate change, history, and other categories were added to make a docu-series.
Mayra Perdomo used what was suppose to be the down payment for her house to fund this project because she felt a calling to do this. She knew she would need more funding to bring this project to fruition and she wanted to do more than just the film, she wanted to give back to these communities so she started a 501(c)3 non profit under the basis of education and charity. She trademarked the name of the film and applied for non profit status. Below is the letter she sends out to request interviews which outlines the questions being asked and the future goals!
My name is Mayra Perdomo and I am filming a documentary called The Indigenous Documentary and I will be traveling to 13+ countries beginning with Peru (which I have completed), Mexico, Guatemala, Various countries in Africa, Croatia, Norway, Sweden, Philippines, Samoa, Tonga, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and including various parts of America, to interview indigenous communities to learn the old ways. I am self-funded so far, I used what was supposed to be the down payment for my house to fund this journey because I feel like this is my calling and this is what I’ve been led to do. I am a healer and I would like to meet and learn from other healers, however as a knowledge seeker, I have a few other questions.
I will be in your area and was wondering if there would be anybody available on the (enter dates) that I could interview to ask a few questions. The interview usually takes about an hour or to an hour and a half. If there are any music or dance ceremonies/presentations at that time that I can view I will gladly pay for the viewing and would love to record that if allowed.
The questions are more of a conversation between myself and the other person. I use three video cameras and one DSLR for photographs, that way in case one falters I have a backup.
The interviewee has every right to decline answering any of the questions or any part of the question. We only want them to be comfortable and to speak about the subjects that they’re willing to talk about. If you do not prefer the question-answer dynamic you can just freely touch upon the categories below as you wish. If you prefer a more guided experience the questions are below:
How do you view healing in the physical aspect and the mental aspect as many people don’t regularly speak of mental healing?
I recently went through a miscarriage and there is no information on how to heal mentally after that so I would like to ask each of these cumminities who practice the old ways which must also incur the same issue how they heal after the miscarriage.
I believe that we are vibrational beings on different frequencies so music can heal us in different ways. How do you use music? Is it more for healing, ceremony, leisure? Is there anyone that can play some music for us? I would like to record some music to use his background for the documentary.
In the future with your permission (that would be a separate agreement), we would like to possibly stream our recordings of the music so people can experience the documentary again and then gladly donate a portion back to your community. We would deduct the streaming fee from the price and then whatever is left, we would donate 50% of that to your community or you if you presented the music and then the other 50% would go back to the documentary which is a nonprofit I started to share the education acquired, fund programs for indigenous people and help fund future film projects. If permission is not granted for streaming then it would only be used for background music in the documentary.
How is dance viewed in your culture? In America, it’s more of a leisure activity versus a healing form. How is it viewed through your communities eyes? Is it to please the gods? Is it for the ceremony, or as a form of release? (There will be a separate series of the documentary that’s just focused solely on dance, frankly because dancers love to dance and they love to learn different dances.) If you would like to teach me a dance I would record you teaching it to me because people find that entertaining and I would love to learn as well.
Has climate change affected your geographical area and the ways of your community? Many people I’ve spoken to have told me that this has been predicted in their culture? Has this been the same for you? Is there anything we can do to prepare for what is coming?
Have corporations or the local government affected your way or your community’s way of life in any way?
What is your history of the world? The creation aspect all the way through current times? I believe if we can learn different versions we can find the similarities and in turn, find the truth.
How do you view good and evil? How can we protect ourselves from evil?
What do you want the world to know?
What is your message to humanity?
Is there anything that you would like to talk about or mention?
The documentary will be broken up into three different facets, one will be a three-hour documentary with bits and pieces from all the cultures.
The second facet is a docu-series broken up into categories which you have seen above, healing, music, dance…
The third facet is a way that we’re going to create revenue; if anybody wants to see the uninterrupted full interview they can pay to view that specific interview and that will help The Indigenous Documentary Inc. generate revenue to cover all of the expenses that were incurred plus future excursions. Our goal is to get enough funding to also be able to visit Nepal, Tibet, India, Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring islands, Hawaii, Alaska, Brazil, Guayana, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Trinidad, Tanzania, Egypt, Namibia, and a few countries in Africa.
Long-term goals include using any excess donations received for three projects.
One is to create funding for climate refugees, which are indigenous people that are being moved out of their homes due to water levels rising, flooding, drought etc. Purchasing land for preservation and then giving that land to climate refugees if needed.
The second project would be to start a scholarship fund for indigenous people that are met along the way including those who are part of the particular communities/people interviewed seeking funding for school. We may even build schools in certain areas if they welcome the idea.
And the third project would be a cartoon for children that would basically encompass everything that has been covered in the documentary in a jovial cartoon version.
I am designing the website myself and I still have to update it but www.theindigenousdocumentary.com is where the basic information is. I still have a lot of work to do so please don’t judge the project based on the website just yet.
In some countries, I will be hiring a film crew to follow me for a day or two and then do the editing because in a few of those countries it is more cost-effective to do so. I prefer to use indigenous film crews to fit with the theme, so if you know of any that are in any of the countries I mentioned in the first paragraph, an introduction would be greatly appreciated. The final editing will be done in New York by a colleague who will compose all of the edited pieces with music.
That’s about it. I’ve pretty much covered at all. So if there is anyone that I could talk to please let me know.
Thank you so much for your time, I know this was a long email.
PS. If you are interested another way that we would like to generate revenue is by selling indigenous handmade goods online. We would create a store on our website that would then send the community the order. We would hold the funds and when the items are ready to be shipped we would release the funds. The participating producer should package and ship it out. The indigenous community would receive their agreed-upon asking price plus shipping so they can ship the item out. We would add our percentage on top of the agreed-upon price to cover web cost, payment processing, and allow us to use excess funds for future projects. That would all be explained on the website when the store is developed.
There is no contract for that yet but there will be, so I just wanted to let you know in advance in case that is something you would be interested in. This allows people viewing the documentary to acquire some of the items they might see on film and momentarily feel like they are part of the documentary. Also, it allows your community to generate more revenue for any projects you may have in mind, and the non-profit can use the revenue for funding the above-mentioned projects.
This is us being brutally open and honest about what we are doing and look forward to doing, as this project continues to grow.
If you or anyone you know is indigenous or is descended of indigenous or native communities and still practice the old ways and would like to be part of the interview please contact us on the contact page.