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Brazil Hosts First Ever Fashion Show Celebrating Indigenous People

Brazil Hosts First Ever Fashion Show Celebrating Indigenous People

Wednesday, 13 April, 2022 - 05:15
Indigenous model Amirla Oliveira, of the Kulina tribe, poses during a fashion event in Manaus, Brazil, April 9, 2022. (AFP Photo).

Brazil has organized the first ever indigenous fashion show in the city of Manaus, during which models wear feathered headdresses.

"It is a feeling of happiness and pride," said 19-year-old model Moan Munduruku.

“As it’s the first-of-its-kind event, we are very eager to show our talent, in sewing, in crafts. To show the world that indigenous people can also succeed in fashion,” he added.

Moan is one of 37 models -- of women and men -- representing 15 indigenous groups of Brazil to take part in the Intercultural Exhibition of Indigenous Fashion. For the entire month of April, the catwalk is to host the creations of 29 indigenous designers in Manaus, the Brazilian Amazon's largest city.

"It's a form of resistance, a way to overcome stereotypes," event organizer Reby Ferreira, 27, told AFP.

The designers use natural elements in their creations, including the spear like teeth of the peccary (an Amazonian boar), the red guarana fruit, acai seeds and coconut shells. The same geometric patterns sported by the models are repeated in the fabrics that envelop them.

"My outfit evokes the ritual of the Ticuna girl, and the hay house where she has to be when practicing these rituals," said Kimpuramana, a 17-year-old model sporting a white dress adorned with black diagonal stripes.

On the runway, a presenter announces the ethnicity of each model and explains the symbolism behind the clothes and accessories they wear. Saturday's show was hosted at the Rio Negro Palace, an early 20th century building that now serves as a cultural center.

"I feel privileged to have been able to attend such an event in this place. We are generally excluded from such sites. Today I can see my people telling their story through fashion," said indigenous participant, writer Bianca Mura, 24.

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