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    “Resemblances to archaeological finds”: Guido Boggiani, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Caduveo body painting

    Martins, Luciana (2017) “Resemblances to archaeological finds”: Guido Boggiani, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Caduveo body painting. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 26 (2), pp. 187-219. ISSN 1356-9325.

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    In 1942, Claude Lévi-Strauss published an article on Caduveo body painting in the surrealist magazine VVV. In the article, Lévi-Strauss used photographs of Caduveo women taken in 1935-36, together with drawings of facial designs which ‘evok[e] a very ancient culture, and one full of preciosities’. Amongst these illustrations is an engraving taken from Guido Boggiani’s book, I Caduvei (1895). Boggiani, an Italian landscape painter who visited South America in 1887-93, was captivated by Caduveo graphic art, and in 1896 he travelled to Paraguay, equipped with a camera. Over a period of five years, Boggiani completed more than 400 photographs of peoples and places. For Lévi-Strauss, as for Boggiani, the originality of Caduveo art remained enigmatic, evoking an ancient culture. In this article, I focus on the visual images (engraved, drawn, photographed and filmed) that depict the body painting of the Caduveo people in central Brazil by Boggiani and Lévi-Strauss in order to explore the ways they enabled an ephemeral art – delicate arabesques painted on skin – to be studied as archaeological vestiges. In the process, I trace the transnational networks involved in the formation of the Caduveo image-world, including the aesthetic, commercial and disciplinary circuits of knowledge production.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, Centre for (CILAVS), Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Luciana Martins
    Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 15:46
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:39


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