Made in the Amazon, Brazil
By TucumARTE, FSC-certified
Of Tucumã fiber (astrocarium vulgare), fruit dyes
Description A roomy basket full of intricate design detail achieved with tightly interwoven and patterned fiber rich in the natural colors of fruit dyes.
Dimensions 18" diam., 4" H
Availability Generally ships within 2 weeks.
TucumARTE is a group comprised of 35 artisans living in Urucureá, a rural community along the banks of the Amazon River and its tributaries in the northern Brazilian state of Pará. The basketry tradition has been passed down for generations in this rural area. This initiative is sponsored by the Health and Happiness Project (HHP), a Brazilian non-profit whose primary objective is to promote and support a system of participatory and sustainable community development through social and environmental projects in traditional rural communities. Since 1987, HHP has taken an interdisciplinary approach to improve all aspects of community life, including health, agro-forestry production and management, income generation, education, art and culture, public communication and advocacy. HHP currently works with communities in 143 locations representing over 30,000 people. HHP began organizing community-based handcraft production in Urucureá in 1995. With HHP's sponsorship, the TucumARTE group has succeeded in adapting and strengthening its production of traditional basketry hand-woven from tucumã fiber into a more socially and economically sustainable activity. Group members are also responsible for managing their raw materials. The group's products, made using tucumã and natural pigments from its managed forests, are FSC-certified.
Tucumã is an abundant palm tree in the Amazon. It is harvested for its hearts of palm, fruits, seed oil for cooking, wood, leaves and fibers. The fibers are traditionally used for fishing nets which are resistant to salt water. The palm's new leaf fibers are often used for crafts.
FSC, Forest Stewardship Council, "is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests. FSC is a certification system that provides internationally recognized standard-setting, trademark assurance and accreditation services to companies, organizations, and communities interested in responsible forestry."
Basketry is one of the most practiced crafts, employed through the millennia to produce functional objects. The variety is astonishing, as is the creative employment of regional materials in their production. In Brazilian indigenous communities, basketry is made weaving local plant materials using a variety of techniques to produce a diverse range of forms, shapes and decorative elements. Basketry is among the most widely used objects in many indigenous communities given its utilitarian applications, including to sieve, sift, strain and process food stuffs; filter liquids; hunt and fish; store items and transport cargo such as fruits; and serve ritual and ceremonial purposes. In addition, basketry is aesthetically rich and inextricably linked to the indigenous cultural identity. A wide range of geometrical patterns and combinations are common each one with a specific symbolism. The basket may be produced using the natural color of the raw material or may be naturally dyed using local plants and fruits.