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Robin Jones

The Essential Forest

Oil and white gold leaf on aluminum panel, Image: 24"h x 30"w, framed: 29.25"h x 35.25"w, Item No. 20681,

She is of the Kayapo, indigenous people who live in Brazil, south of the Amazon River and along the Xingu River and its tributaries. With her is an Amazon Kingfisher.

The Kayapo use intricate black body paint covering their entire bodies. They believe that their ancestors learned their social skills from insects, so they paint their bodies to mimic them and to better communicate with the Spirit that exists everywhere.The black body paint also allows them to blend into their surroundings when hunting in the forests.

The Kayaop are fighting to maintain their traditional way of life. Industrial development projects like mining, ranching, and mega-dams such as the Belo Monte are destroying their rainforest territory. The Belo Monte dam cuts Xingu River flow by 85%, leaving 70% of usually-flooded forest dry, causing massive fish mortality and diminished reproduction.