Video Premiere: Mawiza – Mapuche Ül Metal Documentary

Mawiza band photo

Today Decibel magazine shares a short documentary focused on Mawiza, a metal band belonging to the Mapuche nation. The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants in Chile and Argentina, including parts of Patagonia. After forming in 2014 as Nunca Seremos Dichosos—which translates to We Will Never Be Happy—they released two albums under that name. In 2019 they became the first band to release a metal song entirely sung in Mapuzungun, their tribe’s native tongue. That album (Kollong) ended up winning them the Best Metal Artist honor at the 2020 Pulsar Awards.

Soon after, they changed their name to Mawiza and decided to honor their ancestry by singing entirely in Mapuzungun. That’s the impetus for the short documentary profile directed by Andrés Hetzler. Along with additional cinematography from Soledad Gatica, Hetzler strikingly focuses on Mawiza’s connection to their past and the natural world around them. After ancestors carried the tribe’s torch through the oppression of colonization, the band uses their music to channel strength and keep history alive. As they say in the film, “We have to be more deafening than the noise of the city.”

“We launch this reflection to make known the thinking that our ancestors left us,” Mawiza shares in a statement. “We currently live in a place where different ways of thinking converge. But like the trees, our roots are well established in the earth, wherever we go singing.”

Press play and watch the inspiring documentary below. It’s only 4 minutes long, and beautifully made.

The band is currently mixing their next album with producer Pancho Arenas. The expected release date will be in late 2023. The band is also re-recording drums and vocals for Kollong, which will be re-released and entirely sung in Mapuzungun in April or May 2023.