Boa Vista village, Kaxinawá Indigenous Land of the Jordão River

AINBU Project – Women’s Gathering

APOTI carried out a meeting of the Huni Kuin women in the Boa Vista village of the Jordão River. Many activities such as discussion and education of art and crafts took place.

Kene kuĩ is the name given to the system of graphic patterns among the Huni Kuĩ. One of the translations given for the expression is “true drawing” or something close to “our drawing”. In their narratives, the Huni Kuĩ say that in ancient times these drawings were taught by the Boa Constrictor to a Huni Kuĩ woman, which is why they consider that women are the owners of the drawings, and can make them through different techniques, such as weaving in cotton, bead art, basketry, painting them on ceramic pieces and on the body itself using natural pigments such as annatto and genipapo.

Older women, experts in the arts of kene, are called aĩbu keneya, “woman with drawing”, or even “kene masters”. They play an important role in training young people to learn how to draw. One way to teach them is using the bawe plant, the juice of which is squeezed by the older woman into the eyes of the young women, while chanting a prayer (pakarĩ) asking the forest beings to hand over the knowledge of the drawings to the apprentice. After carrying out this practice, the Huni Kuĩ women say that it is possible to visualize the drawings during their dreams and thus easily produce them in their various forms.