Indigenous art - Interior decoration with cultural artifacts

If art is a powerful language capable of transforming our view of the world, adding new perspectives from different periods and cultures, the great challenge posed by the cultural production of Brazilian Indians when inserted in interior decoration is to make us understand that although there is a plastic language and aesthetic appeal with unique beauty, its essence reveals the values ​​present in the tradition and in the soul of each craftsman.

The ancestry connected to Brazilian indigenous arts invites us to open the doors of the house to all the stories, myths and rituals that are part of their artistic expressions and transcend the style of the environment with everyday and ritualistic utilitarian objects from different Amazonian indigenous peoples such as Baniwa , Tikuna and Tukano .

Indigenous ethnic arts add cultural value to interior decoration.

The ethnic diversity of indigenous culture is easily recognized by the plurality of artifacts with very peculiar plastic languages ​​that explore their own symbologies and cosmologies, although most are interconnected to nature in an elemental way through natural raw materials such as plant fibers, seeds, feathers, clay and wood; or conceptual, creatively representing figures of animals or supernatural beings from the forest.

The experimentation with shapes, colors, natural elements and handicraft techniques of braiding, carving, sculpture and painting together with spiritual purposes give indigenous art an exclusive and ethnically differentiating character. Basketwork , masks , textiles, ceramics and furniture outside of tribal contexts show that the cultural heritage of the indigenous people resists in Brazil, re-signified as decorative art with historical value.

indigenous-wood-decoration-wall-ethnic masks
Masks express the value of indigenous culture in wall decor.

The artistic production of each indigenous ethnic group , as well as other daily activities, is generally defined by gender. Baniwa art , for example, is made exclusively by the men of the tribe , who produce a multitude of furniture and baskets with arumã fibers. braided exhibiting sophisticated geometric patterns - from large vases in pot-bellied shapes like pitchers ( kaxadádali ) to the famous baskets ( walaya ) topped with uambé vine.

The process of creating ethnic arts is another point of convergence between the tribes, usually carried out in seclusion in initiation rituals for young Indians . The perfection of the weaving of Baniwa baskets highlights the “death of the child” and “becoming an adult”, whose arumã pieces are offered to ritual friends ( kamarara ).

Baniwa basketry is produced in initiation rituals, showing the importance of art.

In the initiation ritual of the Ticuna Indians , popularly known as Festa da Moça Nova ( worecütchiga ), it is the little Indian women who remain reclusive ( mogangol ) in the turi after the first menstruation (menarche) - index of the transition from adolescence to adulthood - where they are oriented towards married life and go through a series of trials. In the cosmological context, the entire house accesses the ancestors in the ritual, symbolized by costumes and masks woven with tururi fiber or carved in molongó wood .

The Ticuna belief in the connection between the Indians and nature, that is, the “plant nature” of the ethnic group, is present in the artistic paintings with natural dyes from dye plants in the decorative masks representing animals and supernatural beings from the forest, gracefully reproduced in miniatures as voodoo dolls so that the whole world can access the Ticuna cultural richness through the artistic sensitivity of the tribe's artisans.

Tikuna dolls show the importance of initiation rituals in indigenous traditions.

The spiritual and cosmological connection with nature does not escape the culture of the Amazonian indigenous tribes . And even though each one establishes a particular bias on the origin of the universe and humanity, the ancestral mythology remains in everyday life and in handcrafted material productions . The traditional Tukano bench ( kumurõ ) reproduced on a small scale - according to the amount of wood provided by each sorva tree - is a great example of this essence.

The stool is one of the powers and instruments of work integrated into the body of Umuko Ñeku (grandfather of the universe); and depending on the size, it is determined for use by healers ( Kumua ) or heads of ceremonies ( Bayá ). The wooden bench is carved in one piece with a concave platform seat adorned with ethnic patterns with special symbols stamped with a “brush” of grass and diluted clay under an intense red base of annatto.

Indigenous arts are distinctive in the decor and make the environment stylistically rich.

In addition to beauty, the most enriching of indigenous arts is the concept used in each artifact , being the basis for diversified productions in a symbolic and stylistic way that give the decoration much more than the desired originality. Cave paintings represented in vases , dishes with unique ethnic graphics or natural fiber basketwork that gain new features in light fixtures bring a universe of possibilities to value indigenous culture in the environment that is also valued by it.

Indigenous decoration displays, above all, respect for nature as intangible and material heritage through sustainable artisanal production . Acquiring decorative art made by Indians is, therefore, a way of keeping the country's cultural memory alive and bringing a little more of our history to the interiors. Be inspired by the best of Brazilian indigenous art !


Milene Sousa - Art & Tune

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