Snapshots from indigenous culture in Pernambuco, Brazil: arts and crafts of the Fulni-ô tribe

Today, April 19th, Brazil celebrates the National Indian Day.

In Pernambuco, the state of Brazil we’re currently calling ‘home’, there are still a few indigenous tribes – and most important of all, some of them still keep their native language, like the ones featured here.

The most common indigenous tribes in Pernambuco are: the Xucuru, the Fulni-ô, the Pankararu,  and the Truká.

Recently, other groups were added to the list, although, with fewer representatives: the Atikum, the Kambiwá and the Kapinawá. In order to honor today’s date, please find below a few images from the artistic tribe Fulni-ô, with 3,229 confirmed members.


Author: 3rdCultureChildren

Welcome! Here I am, 'releasing' my thoughts on traveling, parenting, raising TCKs, teaching, writing, working... and who knows what else! I’m a WIFE, 'geeky-stuff' SCIENTIST, TEACHER, AMATEUR photographer, MOM of 3, TRAVELER by choice and by marriage, and of course, a HOUSEHOLD QUEEN!!

18 thoughts on “Snapshots from indigenous culture in Pernambuco, Brazil: arts and crafts of the Fulni-ô tribe”

  1. What a great experience you and your children have in seeing this culture up close and personal. An awesome way to learn, respect, and appreciate others. Love the photos, and the jewerly is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your day!


  2. Fascinating piece. And so refreshing to see the children spending time with the tribal members. I think it is so important that children are exposed and introduced to indigenous peoples, and that they have an opportunity to appreciate the art and culture.
    As you mentioned, many of the tribes are dwindling in numbers, and their culture is disappearing with them. It’ll take more than black body paint to prevent that from happening, but opportunities such as this are a positive sign.


    1. Thank you very much, Alice… You’re totally right regarding the need to respect and preserve cultural traditions, as well as, take advantage of any opportunity to have the children exposed to their “real cultural past”… the natives were here in Brazil way before the Europeans, and should remain here, respected and honored. Thanks again, for taking the time to read the post and share your impressions – much appreciated and needed – it makes the blogging experience more fascinating! 😮 Greetings from Recife, Brazil!


  3. Thanks for this post, how interesting! It’s important that people appreciate and learn about indigenous cultures. This sort of work is common for ethnomusicologists, which is something I considered doing after college! I went another route, however, and I am now studying arts management with the hope of inspiring and bringing the arts to communities in the US. Did they mind the pictures? What was the most interesting/different cultural tradition or belief that you experienced while interacting with this tribe?


    1. Thanks, Catherine, for your impressions/shared interest… I’m also very passionate and respectful for other cultures… Let me begin with the pictures: before snapping the shots, I asked for permission, and was granted. This tribe does not believe in “harming their souls” if images are taken from them, but before any move, I always ask for permission. They came to the city and to the local American School for Indians Day celebration, and also, to display their culture and work, which they’re extremely proud of… a great experience, interacting with them… all fluent in English (the men)… the women, not as much, and more reserved, as well. My warmest wishes for a very successful career after college.. who knows? Maybe you’ll be coming down to Brazil for that… 😮 Let me know if you’ll have any questions regarding this or other cultural interest… Take care, and have a great Brazilian Indian Day! 😮


    1. Yeap… pretty lucky… a great expression of culture, tradition… teaching the youngsters the need to develop social respect and admiration… all in one… and they [indians] can come to the cities and showcase their work, sell it, bring the profit home, without being harmed or disrespected… There are also dances and music… but those two… maybe for an upcoming post… I didn’t want to ‘overwhelm’ readers… for this one’s scope, I believe that mentioning the need to appreciate and respect the National Indians Day [Brazil], would suffice… 😮 Thank you very much for your interest, curiosity, and for sharing your comments!


  4. The pictures are really cool, I like the necklaces! This is going to be a very silly question, but it looks like the men in the tribe have the black tattooed on…or is it just some sort of body paint?


    1. It’s not a silly question, Stacey! They’ve got their whole bodies painted, in black – this is because they were asked to leave their tribes and come to the city, so, they paint their bodies to protect themselves from the different social/cultural environment… it’s a tradition, a philosophy, and, quite interesting to investigate and appreciate… thanks for your interest – much appreciated! 😮


    1. Thank you, Gilly! As I mentioned [post], this is one of the few tribes that still maintain their original/native language, despite all the social/economical influences from the state/country. So, members of the tribe grow up bilingual (native & Portuguese languages)… Thanks for stopping by and sharing your impressions! 😮


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