Buriti and Cotton Hammocks
Made by the Yawalapiti indigenous tribe in Xingu Park, Brazil and brought to Brooklyn by Incausa
Brooklyn-based Incausa continues to work relentlessly on their mission to financially support, empower and preserve indigenous tribes in Brazil via unique social business endeavors. They are now working with the Yawalapiti for the first time, after Incausa founder Vinicius Vieira de Vieira visited them at the Aldeia Multi Etnica event last summer. (He notes that the last census marked about 170 Yawalapiti people left in the reservation at Xingu Indigenous Park in Brazil.)
He's kept in regular contact with the Chief Anuiá Yawalapiti (via Facebook Messenger; kudos to Zuckerberg) who is taking advantage of Incausa's pro-bono work as the middleman. Women artisans in his tribe make common buriti hammocks using fiber from the native moriche palm found within Xingu, as well as softer (and more colorful) cotton hammocks—which are reserved for chiefs. For Anuiá Yawalapiti, to sell these hammocks outside of Brazil via Incausa is a rare opportunity to help his tribe flourish. The Chief learned how to use the post office at a nearby settlement, sending the first batch of hammocks to Brooklyn—and with the returning money, plans to build an educational memorial inside the reservation as well as a new village for the Yawalapiti.
"The idea is to develop a wholesale platform for longterm sustainability with shops," Vinicius Vieira de Vieira tells CH, "And at the same time, up-valuing the artisanship." Incausa—which never takes any profit for their work—creates a commercial market placement for indigenous tribes like the Yawalapiti, so that at some point in the future, they can benefit from their own wholesale and retail and eventually lead it without Incausa's help. When the hammocks are sold wholesale to shops, that wholesale price is returned entirely to the tribe; and when Incausa sells pieces like the hammock directly on their own site, the entire retail profit is sent back. Incausa's work has resulted in, for example, woven bags by the Xavantes tribe stocked in concept shops around the world. Being displayed alone creates visibility for these tribes and their heritage, but Incausa aptly finesses demand for their handmade work, too.
Images courtesy of Incausa