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And she felt at home. Initially accepting to take care of children so she could have a job in the village during her research trips, today Lux Vidal became a valuable collaborator to the peoples she is close to, both by contributing to the affirmation of their cultures, and by her indigenist activities.
Her commitment to indigenous peoples, the respect she holds for them and her understanding vidall the importance of the art they produce are outstanding features of this researcher who trained an entire generation of anthropologists and pioneered Brazilian ethno-aesthetics. When she arrived in Brazil with her husband and daughter, she devoted herself to her children: There she began the work that put her at the center of early Brazilian anthropology, focusing on artistic expression and body art as key to understanding indigenous societies and cosmologies.
Still active, Vidal continues to visit the Amazon region.
You went to the Amazon insoon after becoming a professor at USP. How was that experience? For me, college was more of a challenge than the village was. In the beginning, Rgafismo helped care for their sick, demarcate lands and fight invasions from logging companies.
Later, we entered into a new phase with the increasing role of kux indigenous peoples after the Constitution. The Indians gained rights not only to lands, but also to a distinct education. Thus, the relationships change, the issues change, and the way of sharing life and knowledge with them changes too. Even more so today because now the Indians attend school; the vast majority go to elementary school, many go on to high school in the villages and increasing numbers of them are attending college.
This makes for a more engaged life, in contemplating both the past and the future. What was most important in my professional life was having been involved in this extremely complicated trajectory.
In a way, your previous experience prepared you for this challenge. My life did not begin when I became a professor at USP. Much of what came before I now see as important for developing my later personal and academic life, including the fact of not having just devoted myself to academic life. I was always very dedicated to the problems of the societies we worked with.
I earned an undergraduate degree in anthropology, literature and theater from Sarah Lawrence College in the United States.
It was very rigorous, but also offered a lot of choices and no exams. You were allowed to take three subjects a vidak, and one of them had to be in the arts.
Today, I see how important this training came to be. So you were interested in anthropology from the very beginning? I took an anthropology course with Irving Goldman, who worked among the Cubeo of the Amazon region and encouraged my studies.
It was very good, but what was taught at the time was American cultural anthropology and British structural functionalism. My life was always very turbulent because of the war and other circumstances.
When I got to college, I was vidall interested in Spanish literature. But when I had my college interview, they told me: You were guided by your life experiences of cultural encounters, right? Yes, that was one of the characteristics of my entire academic life. After I completed my undergraduate studies, I went back to France, despite having been accepted into a graduate program at Columbia University. There I got married and worked as a translator while also studying Spanish at the Sorbonne until we decided to come to Brazil.
ByI applied for a professor position and was hired as an assistant to Prof. Gioconda Mussolini, but she passed away before we started working together and I had to figure things out on my own. I had much reading, but needed field research also to establish academic relationships with colleagues. They had suffered immensely in initial contacts with Brazil nut harvesters, loggers, hunters, and worker recruiters, which were invading the region.
It is much more than a catalogue of customs, right? At that time, because of everything they had gone through, the Xikrin were trying to infigena themselves as a society. Ondigena assembled all the rituals they normally perform in a rotation over the years into a single ritual.
I realized that I was witnessing a historic moment in time.
livro grafismo indigena lux vidal pdf
They did this by dancing every afternoon, painting themselves the entire time as a way to recover. Personal archives Xikrin women always have one black hand, a mark of their status as painters Personal archives.
Was it only later that you became interested in indigenous art?
It was not my intention. But once I was there, I saw that the artistic expressions — in the feather grqfismo, the rituals, the songs, the way they built the village and took care of it — were absolutely essential. I was intrigued by their focus on constantly painting and embellishing themselves. Studying this physicality ended up being the key to understanding how these societies work; the notion of self, cosmology, their relationship with the environment and the hierarchy.
There are several elements of body painting that indicate societal roles. Is there any room for individual variation? The rules are very strict among the Vidwl. In body painting with genipap fruit, the designs are strictly classified according to gender, age and ritual occasion, and they belong to everyone. Other cultural property that also comes from supernatural beings, such as embellishments, songs and names, are shared among the ondigena. The houses, which belong to the women, have priority when it comes to certain names, certain objects, heritage that is perpetuated over time and passed along in the great rituals.
It is a dialogue with otherness: There are certain patterns, but each individual has his or her creative way of interpreting that legacy of the invisibles, from which comes the art that is passed along to society through the shamans and dreams. Do graphisms create a bridge between anthropology and archeology in the form of pottery motifs? Graphisms found in ceramics also have their own cosmological dimension.
Thus, the link between anthropology and archeology has increased, especially when it refers to the embellishments and graphisms so present in Brazilian ceramics and archeology. Modern anthropology theories related to understanding philosophy and cosmology help us better understand the archeological findings. First death, then life. Inthere were fewer than Xikrin and now they number close to 1, scattered among four villages. There was steel to the east, copper to the north and nickel to the west.
The railroads and agriculture were to the south. It is a very serious issue. How is it possible to operate within a national context while at the same time trying to protect oneself? Culture is always reinventing gravismo Only now it happens more quickly, in concert with non-indigenous actors: Now, everything is more dynamic and complicated.
Awareness of their differences with regard to others makes the Indians understand and better appreciate their own lives and identities, which they are preserving and rebuilding. At another point in your career, you focused on the Oiapoque Indians.
Grafismo indígena : estudos de antropologia estética (eBook, ) 
Was the work there very different? Four indigenous peoples live in Lower Oiapoque: They see themselves as a very mixed people. The lands were already demarcated when we got there, so I did not have to referee any of that. They said the work would not be interesting to us, but it was just the opposite.
We conducted excellent research in tracking and supporting the recovery of their core values, their cosmology and their material culture.
Grafismo indígena : estudos de antropologia estética
What inspired you to go there? It happened by chance.
When he returned to his village, he invited us and we went. I had a small research grant so I took a student, Antonella Tassinari, to be trained even though we had no defined project. She started working among the Karipuna, completed her dissertation there and is now a professor in Santa Catarina.
Other researchers also went there to work and over the course of more than 25 years, much has been done, for the good of all of us. It has been a continuous and productive association that is still ongoing. Grafiwmo came a time in which the Indians asked us to return the material we had used in our studies.
But there are many villages — today some 7, Indians — and it was almost impossible to respond to all of them. Inulx group of them went to Germany to take part in a canoeing competition and visit museums there as well as in France and Portugal. It was designed to be a museum run by indigenous peoples, not just a museum about them.
The group who was to make up the museum team took training courses in such subjects as museology, anthropology, archeology, photography and video production. The construction process graifsmo 10 years and the museum opened in Does the institution help solidify the culture that was recovered? The Indians themselves often visit the museum as do local schools, and tourists from Brazil and French Guiana.
It is the only border museum in Brazil. The museum really encouraged cultural activities in the villages and sometimes made it appear that the communities wanted to compete with it, which I considered to be a success. Inhowever, the institution ran into some problems. Most of the Indians who brafismo government contracts were fired, jeopardizing planned exhibitions. Personal archives A Xikrin Vidap holding a maraca in a ritual recorded during the s Personal vial.
In this meeting ivdal cultures, how much do the customs of one affect those of the others?