Where in the world?
The Marajoara ceramic art pieces and artifacts are produced in small villages in the margins of the Igarapés, Amazonian streams, from Marajo Island. Marajo Island is actually the largest fluvial marine island in the world. With an area of 40 square km, the Island is located at the mouth of Amazon River, can you imagine how special? Right on the shores of Pará state, in the northernmost part of Brazil we can find the island.
The traditional Marajoara or Marajó culture was a pre-Columbian era society that flourished on Marajó Island at the mouth of the Amazon River. Don’t you think they lived in tropical jungle paradise? From approximately 400 BC to 1600 AD, Marajó was the site of an advanced society called the Marajoara culture, which may have numbered over 100,000 people at its peak. The culture resisted and maintained some traditional components in the colonial era, such as their ceramic art.
Is reproducing art still art?
We at TheFOB think so, considering that most of the current Marajoara artwork is a reproduction of the original antique pieces, which can be found in museums such as Museu Emilio Goeldi, in Belém, capital of Pará, and Museu do Marajó, on the island. Production of ceramics is the breadwinner for many living on the island. The work of these artisans matters, don’t you think? Another cultural preservation art form TheFOB loves is, Capivara Ceramics! Find out more about them here at our blog and/or shop from our store!
Cultural Preservation of Marajoara Culture
Those who make Marajoara art believe their individual work has a higher cosmic meaning, as it contributes to the artistic and cultural legacy of their ancestors. This art form is a way of preserving ancient, native artwork. Island natives believe that Marajoara pottery has mystical powers of protection.
Legacy Technique Creates One of a Kind Pieces
In order to increase the pieces’ resistance, oak and bones ashes, sand, burnt tree barks, crushed shells and other materials are added to the clay. After molding the clay or carving by hand, the pieces are painted using natural pigments, baked on open fire and glazed for a lustrous appearance. These techniques were handed down from generation to generation over the past 200 years. Each handmade item is unique in its pattern and color selection. These distinctions make each and every piece a one of a kind adornment and handicraft. These pieces created with beautiful details are perfect for wall decoration as well as dinner or coffee tables ornaments. Get some true Marajoara Art for your home or a love one at TheFOB!