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Case Study for 'Hakani - A survivors story'

Hakani is an indigenous girl born at the Amazon jungle.

At the age of two she was buried alive by her tribe because she could't walk or talk. 

According to the belief of some indigenous tribes, children with disabilities are considered cursed therefore need to be buried alive in order to expel the bad spirits.

She was under the dirt for three days but was rescued alive by her younger brother.

After that she was then abandoned by the tribe in the jungle for three years.

Her story  was told in a Docudrama to bring awareness about the practice of Infanticide by some Indigenous tribes.

The docudrama brought light to the subject and became a beacon of hope for families of children with disabilities who did not wanted to sacrifice their kids.

She is now 22 years old and lives with her adoptive parents.

I had the privilege to be invited  to design the Poster in 2013.

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CLIENT - David L. Cunningham (Honua Studios)

The idea was to depict Hakani's essence in the most authentic way.

Based on her life story I wanted to reflect joy and hope that rose again. 

The colors were chosen based on the real story.

Black for the darkness she have been through, red is the color based on the tribe she came from: the Suruwahás.

The photo represents her smile because Hakani in the Suruwahá language means "Smile".

I was very honored to be a part of this project and more than that, to have met Hakani,

one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever met.

Photography: Nadia Otake

Design: Nadia Otake



Photo 1 - Hakani at the age of 5 (after being left in the jungle alone for three years, she had the size of an 8 month old baby).

Photo 2 - Hakani with her adoptive parents at her High School Graduation in 2016.

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