Susana, Cláudia, Vera, and Yasmine – Restoring the Practice of Kaingáng Ceramics

Date grant awarded: January 7, 2020

This project was born from a collective of four women. What moves us is the desire that the ceramics practice in the Kaingáng Indigenous Lands of RS/Brazil, become again part of the daily life, and a network of collaboration among the Indigenous Lands (ILs) where there is the presence of clay can be formed, as ceramics is a fundamental aspect of this people’s culture, and nowadays is only residually produced, almost disappearing throughout centuries of plundering and loss of territory. For us, this recovery is vital, because the ceramic practice can reestablish ties with the earth, with the land, enabling that much of the memory of the Kaingáng people can come alive again in the present time.

In the future, we aim that the ceramics will constitute a source of income for the Kaingáng. From the knowledge of the ancestors, the Kanhgág Kófa (elders) who still master this practice, they would be the protagonists to teach the younger relatives, moving between Kaingáng ILs of Rio Grande do Sul for this purpose. We also plan the construction of a website for further sharing of the materials produced throughout the project.

This funding ensures the most important for us: conditions for paying the transportation of the elders between the ILs and the possibility of making a website in three languages – Kaingáng, Portuguese and English – fundamental for this knowledge to reach more people, especially the Kaingángs.