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Kayapó People

KAYAPO PAINTING - TORTOISE RED (UNFRAMED)

Regular price
$115.00
Regular price
Sale price
$115.00

This Kayapó painting is a unique expression of ancient culture, artfully rendered by experienced women of the Kayapó village. Each painting features varying styles of body paint, inspired by animals and plants, that mark rites of passage and other important ceremonies.

The tortoise graphic pattern symbolizes long life, resilience, and protection. It is the most frequently employed graphic motif by the Kayapó people during rituals, warfare, and challenging circumstances.

25% OF PROFITS GO TO INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES IN BRAZIL

DETAILS

Original Artwork - Unframed

Materials: Acrylic on canvas.

Dimensions Art: 18”W x 17”H

KAYAPO PAINTING - TORTOISE RED (UNFRAMED)
KAYAPO PAINTING - TORTOISE RED (UNFRAMED)
KAYAPO PAINTING - TORTOISE RED (UNFRAMED)

MEET THE CREATOR

PARÁ, Brazil

KAYAPÓ PEOPLE

Photography by Instituto Kabu

"We wish to improve our lives and provide good things for our children. We want to preserve our culture, see our work recognized and purchased at a fair price. We are standing up for our way of life and our forest".

After over 60 years of contact, the Kayapó people have assimilated various aspects of Brazilian and Western culture. In their craftsmanship, seeds and mollusk shells have been replaced by colorful beads used in necklaces, bracelets and belts. The younger generations have been adapting and adopting these habits, customs, and technologies more quickly.

Despite all the changes, the Kayapó people still maintain their centuries-old way of life and cultivate their traditions. Their sustenance is derived from hunting, fishing, fruit and plant gathering, as well as traditional cassava farming.


Houses are communal, and children move freely throughout the villages. The traditional medicine of the shamans continues to be valued, as well as rituals and festivals that bring together relatives from different villages. This spirit of collectivism is also present in decision-making processes that impact the daily lives of the communities, which are made collectively.

The graphic symbols representing animals such as the tortoise and jaguar have a complex set of rules and are essential within the communities. The art of painting, like basket weaving, is learned and perfected over many years.

Some global phenomena, such as the fight for gender equality, are reflected in the Kayapó universe. The first female chief among the Mekrãgnotí is highly respected, and female leadership is on the rise. 

When it comes to weapons, men wield heavy wooden clubs called "bordunas," which are intricately carved and adorned, while women use machetes, their daily tools in the fields. Diplomatic by nature, they avoid direct confrontations with each other. It is revealing that the Kayapó, known for being assertive in their fight for their rights, have several words for "fight" in their language but none for "war."