Maria Thereza Alves

 
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Invisible Shadows: Teçâ (Eye), Apigçâ (Ear), Jurû (Mouth), 2015

Fabric, thread, glass beads
37 × 37 cm each

Invisible Shadows: Teçâ (Eye)
Invisible Shadows: Apigçâ (Ears)
Invisible Shadows: Jurû (Mouth)

Some of Alves's family is from the town of Ubatuba in São Paulo State, located in the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. This forest extends along the coast but more than 90% of it has been destroyed since colonization by Europe. The original inhabitants, the Tupinamba, were exterminated from Ubatuba. They spoke Tupi.

There are more than 20,000 species of trees in this forest of which half are endemic to this forest. Tupi is no longer spoken in Ubatuba. We do not know the name of our terrain.
Invisible Shadows: This series consists of beaded representations of seeds or seed pods that Alves picked up when back home. A Tupi word is stitched on each: Teçâ (Eye), Apigçâ (Ears) and Jurû (Mouth). The cloth background is textile used to make men's shirts in Europe. The Tupi words Alves found in the Portuguese/Tupi Dictionary by José de Anchieta, a Spanish priest who led the attack which resulted in the genocide of the Tupinambas in Ubatuba.

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