Living Cultures: Red Skin (2009)
Fleeing from white people – their diseases, massacres, and forest clearance – the Wajapi have tried to preserve their identity and their way of life. For them, living deep in the northern Amazon forest, painting one's skin red is a way of maintaining a link with a very ancient civilization. The Wajapi have a long history of using vegetable dyes to adorn their bodies with geometric motifs and symbols, the jenipa kusiwara. Over the centuries, they have developed a unique communication system – a rich blend of graphic and verbal components – that reflects their world-view and enables them to hand down knowledge about community life.