They want to find GOLD – Their avidity was what made most of our elders die long ago!

Yanomami shabono – communal house, Alto Orinoco, Amazonas, Venezuela 
photo – Barbara Crane Navarro

As the Yanomami spokesman Davi Kopenawa says in his book “The Falling Sky”:  “In the past,  we were not forced to talk about the forest with anger because we did not know all these white people land and tree eaters. Our thoughts were calm. We only listened to our own words and the xapiri spirit’s songs. This is what we want to be able to do again.

If your minds were not so closed, you would chase the earth eaters out of our forest! … You do not know how to do anything with the forest. You only know how to cut down and burn its trees, to dig holes in its floor and soil its watercourses. Yet it does not belong to you and none of you created it!

All these words have accumulated in me since I have known the white people. … Maybe they will finally tell themselves: ‘It is true! Our great men have no wisdom! Let’s not allow them to destroy the forest!’ I know that their elders will not easily listen to my talk because there thought has been set on minerals and merchandise for too long. “

Please help the Yanomami and other indigenous people suffering from the ravages of gold and diamond mining! Please do NOT buy Gold for Holiday gifts!

Say NO to Dirty Gold – NO to Blood Gold!

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 They want to find GOLD – Their avidity was what made most of our elders die long ago!

  1. Pingback: They want to find GOLD – Their avidity was what made most of our elders die long ago! — Barbara Crane Navarro | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  2. Pingback: They want to find GOLD – Their avidity was what made most of our elders die long ago! — Barbara Crane Navarro – Tiny Life

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