"Men and women of the Yanomami people paint their bodies, drawing straight, curved, dotted and parallel lines, arcs and circles, triangles, rectangles, grids, spider’s webs or rings, all arranged as if on a checkerboard. We paint ourselves when there is a celebration, to show that we are happy, and also so that we can hear the shaman’s song clearly when he calls us.”
Sheroanawe Hakihiiwee is the first Yanomami to create works of art in a contemporary manner but drawing on the tradition of his ancestors through the Yanomami world view. Traditionally, body and basket painting has functioned as the only form of expression of symbols in his culture. His works transend his inherited cultural limitations and take those symbols (and, more) to paper. It captures the very essence of Yanomami beliefs and their world view representing a very unique and authentic preservation of the Yanomami culture which has no written history and has only been transmitted orally for thousands of years.
Paper making was taught to him by Laura Anderson Barbata and to many other members of the Yanomami community in Platanal, Amazon State, Venezuela beginning in 1992. Under the leadership of this project, Hakihiiwee has made his drawings on handmade paper from materials from the rainforest. Hakihiiwee's work was shown last year in Caracas at an exhibition called "Oni the Pe Komi," (The Drawings are Finished).
Info about the Exhibition