Paraponera Clavata

This acrylic belongs to Selva Fauna Project about Amazonian nature and the “humanity” of its animal species. These have a gesture that is typical of their species, of their peculiar way of being in the world, but that at the same time appeals to and reflects our humanity. In the myths of the Amazon there is constant talk of a mythical era in which humans and beasts spoke a common language and where the borders between humanity and animality almost did not exist and were even sometimes invisible. Known colloquially as “bullet ant”, it spreads abundantly along the earth roads, wood and leaf litter of the jungle. It marches in small columns and does so diligently, although moodily and aggressively, it is appreciated by the native for its corporeality and nutritional capacity. In Amazonian brazilian tribes to go from adolescence to adulthood, and prove that you are already capable of starting a family, shamans capture and lull the paraponeras with concoctions, tie them to leaves that will later turn them into gloves. These gloves will be put on in a ceremony for all those who wish to be adults. With smoke, the shamans wake them up and they, desperate to free themselves from that mooring, will furiously bite the adolescent’s hand. This ritual lasts approximately 10 to 15 minutes in which everyone dances and in which the young people test their resistance. Testimonials from biologists affirm that the sting is as strong as receiving a bullet and that such a sting produces immediate fever. In another context, diners from Amazonian villages prefer them fried because they are crunchier.

Year                                 2019
Materials                       Acrylic on canvas

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