The Moça Nova Ritual and Tikuna indigenous art in decoration

Indigenous art represents something greater than itself and establishes a powerful connection with the history, beliefs, traditions and cultural elements that form particularities of a given ethnic group. Tikuna , in particular, imprints on handmade crafts such as molongó wall masks , natural arumã fiber basketry and the famous tururi voodus the richness of the indigenous tribe and everything that makes up its culture.

The Worecütchiga or Festa da Moça Nova is one of the most expressive initiation rituals of the ethnic group and is constantly referenced in the artistic production of the tribe, being a way of ensuring the tradition and disseminating it throughout the world. This is the case of the dolls with masks representing the curacas (healers and heads of the Tikuna clans ) during one of the stages of the festival.

Decorations with animal masks in tururi representing Curacas.

The Ritual of the New Girl begins when a Ticuna Indian woman reaches menarche , that is, she has her first menstruation, demonstrating the transition to adult life, the ability to have children and form a family. At this time, an environment with walls made of buriti stalks ( turi ) is built for the "Mozangol novitiate " - confinement ( aure ) of the young girl ( worecü ) to receive mystical teachings and guidance from her mother and aunts, in order to keep her away from from evil spirits ( ngo'o ) - while the family begins preparations for the feast.

The father of the initiated Indian woman prepares pajuaru , an alcoholic beverage made from fermented cassava, in addition to hunting and fishing, roasting (drying or smoking) the food for the ceremony. Meanwhile, family members are responsible for inviting other clans to the indigenous ritual that encompasses the cosmogony of the Tikuna , or rather, the beliefs about the origin of the ethnic group and the “plant nature”.

The masks symbolize the beings of nature and the separation of man and animal.

When all the preparations are ready, the guests arrive and a pajuaru toast starts the celebrations. All are painted with genipap, sing, play indigenous instruments and dance adorned with buriti fibers as a symbol of fertility . The curacas appear masked , symbolizing supernatural beings and animals , when the young girl leaves the turi and receives body paint and adornments to remind her of the existence of dangers and evil spirits. In this context, the entire tribe accesses the ancestors during the ritual.

The worecü Indian 's hair is pulled out in small locks representing renewal, since for the indigenous tribe suffering is necessary to promote transformation and entry into adult life, in addition to honoring the supernatural beings incorporated by the curacas . After the indigenous ritual , which takes place over three days, the turi is destroyed and the young woman enters a creek to purify herself and receive protection, concluding the party.

The Tikuna curacas Indians appear masked for the second stage of the ritual.

The dancing sticks , the bowls for the pajuaru and the masks of the curacas are represented in zoomorphic figurines for interior decoration with a wealth of detail and demonstrate both the excellence of indigenous Brazilian artistic production and the power they have as ethnic differentiators and as an affirmation of the Ticuna cultural identity . The ritualistic masks , in particular, show mastery of weaving with natural tururi fibers , painted with a rich collection of dye plants and mineral pigments.

For the Tikuna , the images of animals depicted on the masks date back to the time when there was no distinction between them and humans, so they exemplify this separation. Other details of indigenous mythology are taken into the ritual, such as the belief in immortality provided by the porre ( ngaün ) of pajuaru that makes them enter the heaven of the immortals ( uünne ).

Through puppets, the Ticunas keep the tradition alive and spread their culture around the world.

By reproducing the image of curacas in puppets, Ticuna art reveals itself to be an important vehicle for the dissemination and form of resistance of Amazonian indigenous culture . The handmade voodoos using the same technique, raw material and pigments as the Ritual da Menina Moça masks add a special value to each ethnic sculpture , incorporating a new concept of luxury in the decoration that considers history, beliefs and craftsmanship indigenous .

The doll's decorative mask is removable and brings out the human role in traditions. Dressing it up while maintaining the spirit of the animal or undressing it revealing the face of the Tikuna curaca indian makes us, in a way, participate in the ritual and transform the environment by decorating it with indigenous handicrafts full of purpose. In our virtual store you can find the most extraordinary Ticuna art , from lamps to ornaments . Allow yourself to be surprised by the beauty of each one of them.


Milene Sousa - Art & Tune

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