It was among the Kadiwéu that Darcy Ribeiro carried out his first field research, between 1947 and 1948, shortly after joining the Study Section of the Indian Protection Service - SPI as an ethnologist. Darcy became known among them as Bet'rra-yegi ("Little Doctor", in Portuguese), for his supposed kinship with the Italian ethnologist Guido Boggiani (Bet'trra), who had lived among the Kadiwéu at the end of the 19th century.
Kadiwéu Indian with face painting and dental scarification by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
The Kadiwéu people
In 1947, when Darcy was among them for the first time, the Kadiwéu numbered 235 people, distributed in three villages. Currently, there are about 1,600 people living in the Kadiwéu Indigenous Land, located in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
A Kadiwéu Indian woman called Anoã (MS/1947) by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Group of Kadiwéu Indians on a feast day, with adjulate and ankle adornment by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Group of Kadiwéu Indians on a feast day, with adjulate and ankle adornment (detail) by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Darcy's photographs are straightforward, candid, mostly well-resolved portraits. The result is a rich panel of the human dimension of the indigenous peoples with whom he lived, in which the intense fraternal relationship that linked him to his interlocutors stands out, a characteristic that defines his unique way of doing Anthropology.
Kadiwéu woman named Arminda, with face paint by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Captain Lauriano with his adopted daughter on his lap by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Kadiwéu child with face paint by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Kadiwéu child with dental scarification and face painting by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Kadiwéu women and children by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Darcy said that it was with the Kadiwéu that he learned a lot about the subtleties of ethnography. In his photos, it is possible to perceive his search for indigenous intimacy, whose scope is, in his view, the condition for what he defines as the highest aspiration of Anthropology: to see the world through the eyes of the people he studies.
Woman who accompanied a hunting expedition weaving a basket with wax-palm straw (MS/1947) by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Preparation of panther paws (MS/1947) by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
India Kadiwéu called Amokoná resting on the porch of the house by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Indigenous women from the Tomazia village looking at engravings from Guido Boggiani's book on the Kadiwéu Indians by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
An anthropologist who photographs seeks to capture the permanent in the transitory, a centuries-old custom in the gesture of an instant. Darcy moves between this ideal of objectivity and the personal experience he was living. His camera click overlaps the scientific fact and the human moment.
Salvador, an indigenous of Terena people who lived with the Kadiwéu, drinking chimarrão by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Indigenous people of the Guarani Kaiowá people in front of the house and school of the SPI Indigenous Post in the Kadiwéu territory by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Family group of Kadiwéu Indians by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Family of the Kadiwéu leader, João Princípe - MS/1947 (left) and Ritual dance participant wearing xiripas - traditional South American Indian attire - MS/1947 (right) by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Excerpt from a letter sent by Darcy Ribeiro, on July 26, 1948, to Herbert Serpa, director of the Studies Section of the Indian Protection Service (SPI)
Kadiwéu graphics collected by Darcy Ribeiro during his fieldwork
Ritual dance to the sound of a drum and pipe (MS/1947) by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Excerpts from letters sent by Darcy Ribeiro to SPI by Darcy RibeiroMuseu do Índio
Physical exhibition originally held between November 23 and December 30, 2010 at Caixa Cultural in Rio de Janeiro:
General coordination and curation
SAMI - Society of Friends of the Indian Museum
Expographic design and visual design of the exhibition
Jair de Souza Design
Visual production and programming
Exhibition production and assembly
Joana Mazza and Paulo Duque Estrada
Exhibition assembly team
Paulo Duque Estrada and Kazuhiro Bedim
Joana Mazza, Daniel Bokelmann and Branca Mattos
Milton Guran, Fabio Maciel (Indian Museum) e Juca Ferreira.
Fabio Maciel and the Indian Museum team
Virtual version adapted to the Google Arts & Culture platform
Ana Carolina Aleixo
Team of the Documentary References Service of the Museu do Índio
Virtual exhibition assembly
Communication team of the Museum of the Indian