Artisanal handicrafts are a culture thing! The diverse nature of Brazilian culture has resulted in unique, innovative and wonderful art characterized by the mixture or prominence of Indigenous, African or European influences. Not a lot of people know this, but Brazil has also experienced great influxes of immigrants from Japan and the Middle East. In the complex, modern, contemporary world culture of today, questions often surface related to the origin and development of culture.
How is it preserved? Who does the safekeeping? Or conversely, how is traditional culture lost? We, at TheFOB, care about these types of questions.
Is characterised as one of the best in the world for its quality, variety, originality and beauty. Handicraft guarantees the livelihoods of many Brazilian families:
- handicraft is part and a result of culture
- handicraft reveals customs, traditions and characteristics of each Brazilian region
Brazil is separated into five distinct regions, North, Northeast, Central-West, Southeast and South. These regions were determined considering geography, the environment, culture and socioeconomic factors.
Brazilian handcraft culture is primarily influenced by biodiversity, ethnicity, gastronomy, folklore and manifestations of faith. Handicraft in Brazil is an extremely broad topic, from jewelry to bedspreads, to great wood sculptures or benches, to embroidery in lace, ceramics, painting, and various items of household use.
Native Indigenous Influence on Brazilian Handicraft Art
Indigenous populations are the oldest artisans in Brazil. The North region is characterized by having the greatest number of Indigenous nations still living in relatively traditional ways. Why? Well, we have the Amazon forest in the North Region, full of dense, untouched forests where people have been able to live unbothered by the influences of colonialism and materialism.
Natural pigments, wood, seeds and clay are readily available as gifts from Mother Nature. Indigenous peoples use natural pigments to dye ceramics and weaving works, which are used as musical instruments, as household items or for hunting purposes. These traditional populations know how to produce zero trash and waste, and take advantage of natural resources using ancestral sustainable practices. They are wise enough to ensure that the natural resources they use don’t run out.
After centuries of abuse and disrespect, indigenous populations are gaining social recognition and support for their right to self-determination and autonomy. Becoming knowledgeable about indigenous people and affirming that Indigenous Brazilian art is valuable are a few of the ways TheFOB supports this cause.
Handicraft from Different Regions
The North region is famous for works in wood, Marajoara cermaics, eco-jewelry, pieces that employ the use of feathers and basket weaving.
The Northeast is known for great art in clay, wood, leather, ceramics, weaving and sand. Clay handicraft is popular art and the most widespread handicraft form as a result of the plenty supply of mud/clay. This region is also famous for developing Brazilian instruments.
In the Southeast, handicraft works on cotton cloth, lace, stones, metals, wood, paper and ceramics are prominent. This region is the one most influenced by urbanization.
The South with the greatest concentration of European influence is renowned for their traditional work of artisanal rugs and pieces made out of leather, weaving, wood, clay, wool and horns.
Handicraft from the Center-west region is reflective of myths, dance, folklore and hunting culture. Accompanying a strong influence from Indigenous culture and popular parties, artists of this region are skilled in using materials that are at their disposal. Some of these include leaves, roots, seeds and fibres in clay, crystals, sand, wood, cloth, paper and string.
Defining the complementary, diverse Brazilian culture is very complex and still, it is felt strong, resistant and with its own special character. Come back to TheFOB blog for more on all things Finest of Brazil!