Going down in history: artists celebrate the catalog of the 1st Manaus Indigenous Show

Priscilla Peixoto – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – Aiming to value and eternalize the work of indigenous artists, the Municipal Council and Culture (Concultura) with the support of the Municipal Foundation of Culture, Tourism and Events (Manauscult) launched on Wednesday, 15, the exhibition catalog ‘My People: 1st Exhibition of Indigenous Art of Manaus’ in book format, a photographic historical record. The event was held at the Palácio Rio Branco, s/n, 7 de Setembro Avenue, Manaus downtown.

“This event was perhaps the most important and symbolic of the visual expressions that happened in Manaus in 2021, for the theme, rescue, memory. Valuing and projecting the indigenous artists and putting on the agenda the culture of our city,” celebrated the president of Concultura, Tenório Telles.

The catalog registers the work of pioneering indigenous artists such as Kawena Maricaua, Otília Waraó, and the members of the Bahserikowi Indigenous Medicine Center, Ivan Barreto, Cledson Tukano, Carla Dessana, Chermie Ferreira Kokama, Paulo Olivença, Tuniel Mura and Tchanpan Maricaua.

Among the photos of objects, paintings, and sculptures, the book tells, in a summarized way, a little about the perspective of each artist in relation to art and their creations that contribute to the richness and plurality of the Amazonian culture, breaking barriers and making room for diversity.

Catalog of the 1st Manaus Indigenous Show (Priscilla Peixoto/CENARIUM)

Opportunity and gratitude

For Kawena Maricaua, 33 years old and dedicated to the world of the arts, the word that defines the feeling of being able to participate in the catalog is “gratitude”. Belonging to the Kokama people, she became the first woman of her ethnic group to be an artist of marquetry in the Amazon.

“It is gratifying to experience this opportunity that we never had before. I will continue dedicating myself and spreading my and our art. Let’s keep going without giving up”, says the indigenous woman.

The artist Monik Ventilari, responsible for curating the exhibition along with the anthropologist João Paulo Tukano, highlighted the relevance of the initiative for the indigenous movement and the visual arts market. “We hope that this historical record will also be a source of research and that all artists, both young and experienced, will have the same opportunity”, said the curator.

Kawena Maricaua, belonging to the Kokama people (Priscilla Peixoto/CENARIUM)

‘Show My People’

The genuinely indigenous exhibition, which resulted in the catalog, began on September 15th of this year. During the 40-day exhibition period, the show received more than 260 people from several countries, Brazilian states, and most of them living in Manaus.

The show gathered several artistic works, such as anthropological ritualistic graffiti portrayed in urban art pictures of the generations living in the capital. In addition, it was also possible to see close up exhibits of cultures, ceramics, baskets and artifacts that refer to different indigenous cultures, such as: Kokama, Tukano, Mura, Tuyuka and Warau.

The program included the participation of the Bahserikowi Indian Center, which contributed with some objects exhibited at the event from the Tukano, Dessana and Tuyukas people of the upper Negro River. For the elaboration of the catalog, Concultura also counted on the partnership of the Pan-American Development Foundation (Padaf).

Catalog of the art exhibition ‘My People’ (Priscilla Peixoto/CENARIUM)

“This catalog seems like a simple thing, but it is ultra important and so memorable for everyone who got involved to contribute to the strengthening and integration of the peoples”, concluded coordinator Ana Paula Angiole.

For those who wish to have access to the album, it will be possible to find some copies in the João Bosco Pantoja Evangelista Municipal Library, located at Rua Costa Azevedo, 216 – Downtown. The catalog will also be available in some municipal schools and in all five zones of the city. Another access point will be at the Bashekowi Indigenous Medicine Center, at Rua Bernardo Ramos, 97 (near the Manaus Museum), Downtown.

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