Onça, 2020

by Turuza Waujá

Brazilian wood (Piranheira), natural pigments and shell, 25 x 117 x 15 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Turuza Waujá, from the Waujá people, is 33 years old and is a contemporary artist specialised in wood sculpture. He produces the traditional zoomorphic benches of the Upper Xingu River from a regime of authorial creativity through which he innovates the design, shape and painting of the pieces. His benches have a meticulous finish which adds a high aesthetic value to their daily and ritual use. His pieces have already been exhibited in important museums, galleries, and art fairs in Brazil and worldwide, the most recent exhibitions being the BEI collection at the Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, the Mostra SP-Arte in São Paulo, as well as “Ka’a Body”, in London, in 2021.

“My name is Tsiuya Turuza Waujá, I am an artist of the Waujá people, which belongs to the Aruak linguistic family and inhabits the Xingu Indigenous Park in the Mato Grosso state. I was born on July 4th, 1990. A long time ago, I didn’t know how to make stools, and I got interested when I saw my dad making it. At that time, I started to practice it because of my admiration for my father’s art, and so I learned how to make stools with him. I am not doing it for the money, I am doing it because this is a part of the Waujá culture. I need to value this culture so it never ends and, in the future, my children and grandchildren keep making stools and practicing various handicrafts. That is why I am making stools, to share my knowledge with other people. I also know how to paint, how to make paddles, bows and arrows, and other stuff. I didn’t take any course to learn how to do all that, I am not graduated, I have my own knowledge which I use to make my art.