Oiapoque, Amapá, Brazil
Exhibition space of the Kuahí Museum of the Indigenous Peoples of Oiapoque, which presents the daily life and mythology of four ethnic groups in the region. Photo: Publicity
The initiative behind the museum’s creation came from four ethnic groups living in the extreme north of Brazil, on the border with French Guiana: Palikur, Galibi Kali’na, Karipuna and Galibi Marworno. In development since the late 1990s, the space was born in 2007 aiming to give visibility to indigenous culture and to act as a center of reference, memory, documentation and research for the indigenous people of the region. Another goal is to strengthen ties between those people and the inhabitants of the city of Oiapoque. From the outset, the Kuahí (the word refers to both an Amazonian fish and a graphic pattern used in the decoration of local artifacts) Museum has been run by the indigenous communities themselves, with support from the State of Amapá’s Secretary of Culture. It is this team, made up of members of the four ethnic groups, who watches over the collection of more than 300 pieces, such as items of daily use and wooden sculptures by the Palikur people, related to indigenous astronomy.