“We are the few inhabitants of the forest who survived your fathers’ and grandfathers’ epidemic fumes. This is why I want to speak to you. Do not be deaf to my words! Stop your people from ravaging our land and making us die too!”- Yanomami spokesman and shaman Davi Kopenawa
-The Falling Sky

Barbara Crane Navarro

Yanomami observing gold mining site in their territory – photo montage – Barbara Crane Navarro

Watch video:

(This video contains flashing images – viewer discretion is advised)

“Hey – Look at me

We see you

We tried to show you

You never bothered to learn our language

You were always looking down

We’ve been warning you since the beginning

The land is alive

This land can’t be owned

This land is us

All of us

You wanted the stones

The Gold

Your shiny things

Titles – Flags – Profits

You called that progress

We tried to teach you

But you’ve always been so greedy

Too primitive – Too savage

To understand

Now you still bring curses over the Yanomami


And once again we are dying because of it

And all indigenous land is being turned into

ashes and mud

Five centuries

You never looked up to discover


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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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  1. Pingback: LISTEN TO THE YANOMAMI SHAMAN’S MESSAGE — Barbara Crane Navarro – Tiny Life

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