Deuzani, poems from Jequitinhonha's Valley

May 1, 2018
Deuzani, poems from Jequitinhonha's Valley

Deuzani and I are going to New York!


We couldn’t imagine that this will happen when we first met. Who would have thought that tight embrace would be the beginning of an incredible partnership and a friendship for life.


Deuzani Gomes dos Santos is one of these special women, an artisan from the Jequitinhonha Valley with a vision of the world clearer than many of the people living in great metropolis. In addition to creating ceramic pieces using traditional techniques that originated with indigenous women, she goes to the countryside, takes care of the house, the family, receives guests through solidarity tourism and also writes poetry that has such depth that touches the soul .


We met in July 2016 but it was in January 2017 when I stayed with her that we really met. There, staying in her house, realizing her life and her claw, that Records of Time collection was born. Each piece carries with it a bit of Deuzani, whether through pottery or inspiration. Her calm to face the difficulties of life taught me to look at time otherwise, to understand it and respect it.


It was along with Deuzani’s help and affection that I created the Table Lamp Ni, one of the pieces that I believe best sums up what I love to do: to shed light on the incredible work of Brazilian artisans. This lamp highlights the painting done with the last feather of the chicken wing (which needs to fall naturally!), using paints extracted from the clay itself and stones of the region. Something unique and delicate, which is only made there, in the Jequitinhonha Valley.


These pieces now win the world. They will be exhibited at the Unknown Territories exhibition, where Design Pier’s curators from Hong Kong, have selected designers who, somehow, bring to their pieces the cultural traditions and social context of their country. A great honor for me to present, through the pieces of Yankatu, Deuzani’s works representing all these wonderful women artisans who molding the clay managed to change their lives.


With her permission, I reproduce one of her poems and I'm sure you will be delighted with it too.



By Deuzani Gomes do Santos – May 1st, 1996


Woman is more than we think of

She's the art of God, it's love.

Woman is the strong arm of the nation

She is pride for those who know how to value

Woman is the light of home

She is a symbol of affection and heat

Woman is full of harmony

Of secrets that only they have

She carries the most beautiful sources

that springs love like no one else

That in the course of the day to day

Spend time planting the good


Single woman, mother woman

Organized worker

That fights for the family

Who is still enslaved

Resistant of this valley

loaded by pains


Beautiful woman, transparent soul

In your face, hope

Black woman with a white soul

In working, strong.

In society, with few jobs

In politics, we wish we could...


I want to see women.

Hand in hand, in a chain

Fighting for their rights

Changing steps forward

We will get there.

To see a woman president


If we join our forces

Certainly in the future

We will have to our children

A much safer country

And our society

Will have mature fruits


Woman raise your head

It wags dust and comes

Get in this movement with us

You are important too.

Let your task for a minute

Time waits for no one ...

About the author

Yankatu - Design + Art with Brazilian soul

Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros Penteado

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