Capuchin Culture


Luca Antonio Marino


12 min 22 secs


United Kingdom


An intimate portrait of a family of capuchin monkeys living in the semi-arid forest of north-eastern Brazil. This film tells the story of mothers and babies, showing how they learn to survive in this harsh environment. Sandstone ridges and pinnacles shape the habitat which is characterised by a dry season with temperatures higher than forty degrees and almost no rain. It is not easy to find water and fresh fruit and these monkeys must rely on all their ingenuity and remarkable skills to survive here. If they want to become independent, youngsters must learn the strategies of their group: hunting, finding water, digging the ground to extract roots and eventually using stone tools to crack open the palm nuts, their favourite food. Capuchins' success is the result of their intelligence, high adaptability and their effective survival strategies. These techniques and behaviours are transmitted to the offspring and represent their own culture, traditions passed across the generations to face the challenges of the Brazilian wilderness.