Instituto Kabu


Pele Vermelha

[Red Skin]

Annatto (or urucum in Portuguese) was the raw material used by the indigenous peoples as dye. Many tribes painted their skin red in the rituals to give grace for the abundance, health, food. In the picture, the headdress of the Kayapós natives in the annatto powder.




The Instituto Kabu (Kabu Institute) is an organization that represents 11 villages, in the State of Pará. The objective of the Kayapó Art project is fair, solidary trade of these natives’ ancient artisanship. Their production includes wood creations, basketry, and beaded bracelets that showcase the ancestral graphic designs of the Kayapó people.

This work began in 2006, with the Menire Project, coordinated by indigenous expert Carmen Figueiredo, who passed away last May. The Menire project, focused exclusively on the Kayapó women, was a milestone in the attempt to conciliate valuing the Kayapó art and empowering women, ensuring resources generated by them, with returns to the entire community of villages involved. Tireless advocate for indigenous peoples, Carmen Figueiredo was always a highly respected partner, admired by our artists. Today, it is a gift to remain close to this beautiful project.
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