Symbols & Art

Displayed above are Yanomami Shotos (shallow baskets) which are used for storing food. In the Yanomami cosmologly, everything is alive from the mountains to the river. They see themselves as caretakers of the planet, the sun, the moon and to all of the creatures and beings who live in the rainforest. They have developed a grammar of symbols which express in their myths and emotions as seen throughout their body and basket painting. They paint lines, curves, dots, circles, waves, lines and spider webs. The red color used in their body painting and on their baskets is made of crushed onoto (Bixa orellana) and the black used to create their symbols on their baskets are made from masticated charcoal. They paint themselves to express their feelings, and, for celebration to show how they feel. When a Yanomami no longer paints himself he is viewed as lost.


Click here to see the

 Yanomami Basket Art Installation 

of the Cosmic Anaconda