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The Kamëntsá are an Indigenous community of southwest Colombia whose ancestral homeland is the Sibundoy Valley, a mountain basin straddling the Andean highlands to the west and overlooking the vast Amazonian lowlands to the east. It is fitting that such a unique geographical position, situated between two vastly different ecological and cultural worlds, should be home to a people as unique as the Kamëntsá, who fuse Andean and Amazonian cultural elements, speak a language unrelated to any other, and whose forms of artistic and philosophical expression are singular in the world.
Marta Lu Clifford is an enrolled member and tribal elder of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. In addition, Clifford is a highly respected tribal elder within the Kalapuya and UO Indigenous communities. Over the past couple of years, Marta has joined together with Lane Community College Longhouse Director Lori Tapenhanso of Navajo Nation and UO Department of Theatre Arts Professor Theresa May to establish the Illioo Native theater group. The Illioo Native theater group tells traditional Indigenous stories through the art of theater.