Xapiri supports Amazonian indigenous culture by unifying ethical art, emotive photography and informative media. The vision is to increase awareness and inspire positive change.
Connection through the Arts..
Through art, we can connect and learn from indigenous culture while supporting a sustainable fair-trade economy.
The indigenous arts of the Amazon are varied, with each tribe having their own distinct form of expression. Artistic creation is inherent in all that indigenous people do, be it the painting of their bodies to the construction of their homes. Our vision is to give the many indigenous arts a platform for which they can be valued and fully understood.
We believe it is vital for indigenous people to continue their many forms of artistic expression as it is these traditions which help maintain and strengthen their cultural identity. Indigenous peoples are living through a time of change, with more external influences than ever before. It is important there is outside appreciation for their beautiful arts as without, it is possible that these ancient practices will be forgotten as the skills and knowledge are not passed down to the younger generation. By offering and supporting sustainable fair-trade with all ages in the village, we can ensure this artistic knowledge and culture will continue.
We develop fair-trade relationships directly with indigenous communities or associations who work closely with them. This artisanal fair trade develops sustainable, regular and longterm economic opportunities directly benefiting the different ethnic groups we work with. The arrival and need for monetary resources into indigenous communities is not only important but also inevitable. By supporting the arts, we are able to give the artisans opportunity to remain in their communities without being compelled to look for alternative income in the big cities.
We work in the most transparent and sustainable way by paying for all art in advance while never interfering with the makers’ pace or way of life. We trade with traditional arts while encouraging quality, working sensitively with the communities as it is known that both item authenticity and quality can easily be lost when an outside market looks for quantity and price rather than an original item.
Connection through Digital Expression..
Through digital expression, we can share the beauty and wisdom of indigenous culture like never before. Using the Xapiri website and social media platforms to inform, story tell and give our audience an authentic insight into contemporary Amazonian tribal life. Through this online expression we can connect with the wider world, increase the fight and become a stronger movement together.
Xapiri - the Meaning
Xapiri is the sacred word the Yanomami people of Brazil & Venezuela use for “spirit”, the Yanomami shamans contact the Xapiri for guidance and to listen to the ancient wisdom of their ancestors. Davi Kopenawa, a Yanomami shaman and leader explains;
"We Yanomami learn with the great spirits, the xapiri, We learn how to know the xapiri, how to see them and listen to them. Only those who know the xapiri can see them, because the xapiri are very small and bright like lights. There are many, many xapiri - not just a few, but lots, thousands like stars. They are beautiful and decorated with parrot feathers and painted with urucum (red berry paste). Others have earnings and use black dye and they dance very beautifully and sing differently. The whites think that when we indians do shamanism we are singing. But we are not singing, we are accompanying the music and the songs. There are different songs: the songs of the macaw, of the parrot, of the tapir, of the tortoise, of the eagle, of all birds which sing differently. So that’s what the xapiri are like. They are difficult to see. Whoever is a shaman has to accept them, to know them. You have to leave everything: you can’t eat food or drink water, you can’t be near women or the smell of burning, or children playing or making a noise - because the xapiri want to live in silence.
They are other people and they live differently. Some live in the sky, some underground, and others live in the mountains which are covered with forests and flowers. Some live in the rivers, in the sea and others in the stars, or in the moon and the sun. Omame (the creator) chose them because they were good for working - not in the garden, but for working with shamanism, for curing people. They are beautiful and difficult to see. The xapiri look after everything. The xapiri are looking after the world. Our shamans know that our planet is changing. We know the health of the Amazon. We know that it is dangerous to abuse nature, and that when you destroy the rainforest, you cut the arteries of the future and the world’s force just ebbs away. The sky is full of smoke because our rainforest is being logged and burnt. The rains come late, the sun behaves in a strange way. The lungs of the sky are polluted. The world is ill. The forest will die if it is destroyed by the whites. Where will we go when we have destroyed our world? When the planet is silent, how will we learn? We have kept the words of our ancestors inside us for a long time, and we continue to pass them to our children. So the words of the spirits will never disappear.
And their story has no end."