TUPI VALONGO - Cemetery of the New Blacks and Old Indians
Tupi-Valongo Cemetery of the New Blacks and Old Indians
Performance / video-art 20’ Anita Ekman and Hugo Germano 24 April /18h30 PM
Teatro do Instituto Goethe Salvador Conferência Ecos do Atlântico Sul
Karl Werner Pothmann
Instituto de Pesquisa e Memória Pretos Novos
In the performance “Tupi-Valongo / Cemitério dos Pretos Novos e Velhos Índios” ("Tupi-Valongo/Cemetery of the New Blacks* and Old Indians”),Anita Ekman retakes the technology of ceramic stamps, developed by the Sambaqui peoples (6.600 B.P), to stamp the skin of the actor Hugo Germano in an environment created by the projections of images of the Cemetery of the Pretos Novos in Rio de Janeiro. The action combines diverse elements to inquire about the Afro-indigenous Brazilian identity.
PS: "Cemitério dos Pretos Novos - Cemetery of the New Blacks in Riode Janeiro* is the name of the largest slave cemetery in the Americas. "New Blacks" or "boçais" were the denominations given to captives from Africa upon their arrival in Brazil. After being sold or learning Portuguese they would be called "ladinos".
Tupi-Valongo / Cemitério dos Pretos Novos e Velhos Índios
Dos 10 milhões de africanos que chegaram às Américas como escravos, 40% desembarcaram na costa atlântica brasileira, milenarmente ocupada por povos indígenas Tupi. O Cais do Valongo, no Rio de Janeiro, foi o porto que recebeu a maior quantidade de escravos no mundo. Os que chegavam mortos ou morriam ao desembarcar eram jogados à flor da terra, no Cemitério dos Pretos Novos. Mesmo local onde anteriormente existiu uma aldeia Tupinambá e um Sambaqui (acumulado de conchas, os mais antigos enterramentos indígenas da costa Atlântica).
Na performance de Anita Ekman, a artista retoma a tecnologia de carimbos cerâmicos para pintura corporal (desenvolvida pelos povos Sambaquieiros há 6.600 anos) para estampar sua pele e a do ator Hugo Germano, que dialogando com máscaras africanas e indígenas indaga sobre a identidade Afro-Indígena brasileira, em um cenário criado com projeções de um vídeo-arte produzido pela artista em parceria com Marcelo Noronha, Maranduva filmes.
MORE - https://www.goethe.de/ins/br/en/kul/sup/echoes/exp.html
Cemetery of the New Blacks and Old Indians
10 million Africans arrived in the Americas, on indigenous lands, to be enslaved. Four million Africans came to Brazil alone... the main destination was Rio de Janeiro, the Pier of Valongo, the largest slave port on earth. It was right there ... in the old Taba Tupinamba, GûyráGûazu`unaê, the village of the Great Black Bird. Imprisoned, dead.
So many blacks were coming ... 20,000 thousand when the more the sun burned in the summer, 25,000 souls arrived in those slave ships, brigantines, galleons, schooners - black men, far more men than women, they counted three or four men for every woman, and very few young girls at all.
They came from Cabinda, Congo, Gabon, Zaire River, Angola, Ambriz, Luanda, Benguela, Mozambique, Inhamba-ne, Guilina-me, Guinea, Mina, they were Tios, Tekes, Lunda-Tchokue, Ambaca Quissamas, Lilobos, Milua, Lunda, Mbunda, Mbwila and Lozi, Guanguelas, Luimbes, Luchazes, Mbwaelas, Mbwila and loz, Macuas, Lagos, Ios, Ngunis, Senas, from the Lower Zambezi Valley.
700 thousand of them came through Valongo. Alive or dead. Many dead. The storehouse did not heal, the storehouse did not heal. They ate dirt, sickened, in disgust Gabon killed itself.
Dead, dead men, six Thousand of them thrown into the ground in the cemetery of New Blacks and Old Indians. Shallow graves.
Down there are sambaqui shells, Indian pottery shards, blue glass, beads, crushed white bones, tortured, burned by whites. But, but, but on the flesh, branded skin, a stamp of fire, tickets on bodies, for the market of souls.
"From the deposit of the new slaves coming from Lourenço Marques, they’re going to bury a boy with an “F” branded onto the left side of his chest, and this body is at the disposal of the Most Excellent Judge of the Crime!"
"On July 18, 1827, Joaquim Antônio Ferreira had a new slave buried with his mark scorched on the right arm, from the Angolan ship ‘Despique’"
"Antonio Cabinda, a sailor of the brigantine ‘Denzegano’, which was transporting a large number of slaves across the Atlantic, fell ill. He died in August 1828 and was thrown into the cemetery of the new blacks."
"In the centre of the cemetery was a mound where the remains of yet-to-be-buried bodies uncovered by the rain could be seen. Naked, they were only wrapped in a sheet, tied over their heads and under their feet. With burials happening once a week, corpses rot, the smell unbearable.
Finally a better solution was found, with the excess of half rotten bodies burnt from time to time".
Pereira, Júlio César Medeiros da Silva. À flor da terra : o cemitério dos pretos novos no Rio de Janeiro / Júlio César. Medeiros da Silva Pereira. - Rio de Janeiro : Garamond : IPHAN, 2007.
FLORENTINO, Manolo. O comércio negreiro e os historiadores. In: ____. Em costas negras: história do tráfico atlântico de escravos entre a África e o Rio de Janeiro (séculos XVIII e. XIX). Rio de Janeiro: Cia das Letras, 1997.
Picture by Anita Ekman. African slave skeleton in Cemitério dos Pretos Novos, Rio de Janeiro 2017.