Chaman Yanomami, Amazonas, Venezuela

Chaman Yanomami, Amazonas, Venezuela – photo: Barbara Crane Navarro

Comme le dit le porte-parole des Yanomami Davi Kopenawa dans le chapitre ” La fumée du métal”  de son livre ” La chute du ciel” : “C’est ce que disent nos aînés qui sont de grands chamans. Ce sont les mots des xapiri, qu’ils nous transmettent. Ce sont ceux que je veux que les blancs entendent. … Une fois que les orpailleurs sont arrivés chez nous… Ils ont souillé les rivières de boue jaunâtre et les ont remplies de fumées d’épidémie de xawara de leurs machines. Je les ai vues ravager les sources de la rivière avec l’avidité de chiens affamées. Tout cela pour trouver de l’or, afin que les blancs puissent l’utiliser pour se faire des dents et des ornements ou le garder enfermé dans leurs maisons.… La pensée de ces blancs est obscurcie par leur avidité pour l’or. Ce sont des êtres pervers.”

About Barbara Crane Navarro - Rainforest Art Project

I'm a French artist living near Paris. From 1968 to 1973 I studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, then at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, for my BFA. My work for many decades has been informed and inspired by time spent with indigenous communities. Various study trips devoted to the exploration of techniques and natural pigments took me originally to the Dogon of Mali, West Africa, and subsequently to Yanomami communities in Venezuela and Brazil. Over many years, during the winters, I studied the techniques of traditional Bogolan painting. Hand woven fabric is dyed with boiled bark from the Wolo tree or crushed leaves from other trees, then painted with mud from the Niger river which oxidizes in contact with the dye. Through the Dogon and the Yanomami, my interest in the multiplicity of techniques and supports for aesthetic expression influenced my artistic practice. The voyages to the Amazon Rainforest have informed several series of paintings created while living among the Yanomami. The support used is roughly woven canvas prepared with acrylic medium then textured with a mixture of sand from the river bank and lava. This supple canvas is then rolled and transported on expeditions into the forest. They are then painted using a mixture of acrylic colors and Achiote and Genipap, the vegetal pigments used by the Yanomami for their ritual body paintings and on practical and shamanic implements. My concern for the ongoing devastation of the Amazon Rainforest has inspired my films and installation projects. Since 2005, I've created a perfomance and film project - Fire Sculpture - to bring urgent attention to Rainforest issues. To protest against the continuing destruction, I've publicly set fire to my totemic sculptures. These burning sculptures symbolize the degradation of nature and the annihilation of indigenous cultures that depend on the forest for their survival.
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2 Responses to Chaman Yanomami, Amazonas, Venezuela

  1. nedhamson says:

    Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News and commented:
    As Yanomami spokesperson Davi Kopenawa says in the chapter “Metal Smoke” of his book “The Falling Sky”: “This is what our elders say who are great shamans. These are the words of the xapiri, which they convey to us. These are the ones I want white people to hear. … Once the artisanal miners got to our house … They soiled the rivers with yellowish mud and filled them with xawara epidemic fumes from their machines. I saw them ravage the sources of the river with the greed of hungry dogs. All this to find gold, so that the whites can use it to make teeth and adornments or keep it locked in their homes.… The thinking of these whites is clouded by their greed for gold. They are evil beings. ”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Chaman Yanomami, Amazonas, Venezuela — Barbara Crane Navarro – Tiny Life

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