Letters from a traveller | #13

Time to wait
July 20, 2020

Freedom is one of the soul's foods and having it enceded for months on end is difficult to deal with. Every day I am more surprised by our ability to overcome, whether here, in Pará, in the Xingu or in Japan. We changed the way we communicate and today we also communicate with ourselves, something that for many had been left aside.


At first this communication with ourselves is frightening, it is difficult to face our weaknesses, the sides not so nice of our way of being, but after a while, we can look at our past and understand what has brought us here, what is really ours and what we carry along the way without necessarily belonging to us. We gain another kind of freedom, to choose what we want or not to take with us from now on


This incursion into us brings us the feeling of belonging, a bond with our past that does not bind us, on the contrary, frees us to be who we really are. All, without exception, have in their history and in the history of their ancestors facts of which they are proud and those who preferred that they were not there. When we access that part that we leave hidden inside of us and we can understand it and accept it we take a huge step to overcome it and turn it into something better. Running away from our true story is what really limits our movements.


I say this because I started this journey a few years ago and it was from it that Yankatu was born. At first I was much questioned, a woman traveling alone to places not so common in the tourist itineraries, a woman no longer so young spending days incommunicado in a village in the middle of Acre, going against the common understanding and tapping the foot that all the pieces that would create would add to know, would have real soul, tell stories and spread throughout the world the way of life and traditions of the Brazilian people. I came to be paraded by a group on a beach on the Tapajós River because they wanted to take a picture to show friends what a woman who traveled alone... Can you believe it? Yes, she is a woman like all the others, only she allowed herself not to worry about the opinion of others, not to take what is expected. I believe that this is one of the main things that I propose to artisans that I have the privilege of knowing, who connect with their origins, look at things from different angles, resign what does not do them so well and from there free themselves and also free their creativity.


I do not know exactly why I'm telling you all this today, it's been a long time since I've stop to write, I think I've lost a little sense of time or rather, I think I'm not so attached to it anymore, rsrsrsrsrs. Anyway, this is a  trip I hope everyone can make one day. Understanding, accepting, overcoming and transforming is what frees us into life. I'm sure that after that many people will follow their path lighter, much lighter!


This freedom allowed me to go far beyond what I ever imagined and the best, take with me the Brazilian handicrafts and the stories and knowledge of so many amazing craftsmen. Today my work ahead of Yankatu, my purpose, my way of seeing life, are part of the Swiss publication AS Architecture Switzerland A unique magazine in its form, the AS is simultaneously linked, detachable and classifiable. Work tool, reference and memory par excellence, AS is the collection of quality Swiss architectural achievements, essential for architects, engineers, building owners, students, art lovers and libraries. I couldn't be happier! But I'm fully aware that I wouldn't have made it this far if i hadn't allowed myself to be free and allowed me to meet so many amazing people down that road.


It was because I allowed myself to be free that I met Kulikyrda Mehinako and became great friends. It is this friendship and trust that allows me to develop even the distance the XIngu project with the women of the village, with whom I have developed pieces, exchanged ideas, learned a lot and taught as well. At first I was surprised at how easily he had to understand my crazy ideas, but now, while writing to you, my record fell! He lives in the Xingu Indigenous Reserve, has come several times to São Paulo, accesses the internet, has Instagram, drives a car, is a health agent, but above all is Mehinako and is very, very proud of it. He is not bound to ideas pre-established by our society, he is free to create animal banks from tree trunks, to paint his body, sing and dance, and it is this freedom that allows us, there and I here, to be able to communicate so easily.


Wait! There's a lot of beautiful stuff coming out there!!!


With affection,

Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros

About the author

Yankatu - Design + Art with Brazilian soul

Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros Penteado

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