What is Feather Art?

What is Feather Art?

A Trans-Cultural Encounter

In the 1940’s a Swiss explorer, Armin Caspar and a Swiss/Jewish painter, Anita Guidi, undertook an adventurous journey into Brazil’s Backlands. Their goal: to meet the Ka’apor people, known back-then as violent and merciless “Indians” and to prove that these allegations were wrong. After weeks of travelling the Amazonian rivers, they were followed by the Ka’apor and eventually invited to join them. Out of this encounter grew a deep friendship that brought about the promise to show the world the Ka’apor feather art.

Eighty years later, the legacy of this promise continues, reason for which the descendants of the involved Swiss families agreed to start a project showcasing Ka’apor feather art internationally.

The intention is to enter into close collaboration with the Ka’apor people so that their expertise and worldview may help us to learn what feather art actually is and how it represents a way of understanding human and nature as one.

The project further explores how the context through which the collection emerged exemplifies a transcultural encounter beyond negative stereotypes.

While celebrating the beauty of the Ka’apor feather art, we find an emotionally appealing and empowering approach to inspire cross-cultural understanding and new forms of expertise that may inform our global quest for solutions to establish a harmonious relationship with nature.


A note on the watermarks on our photos: We have received this photos from the Caspar family with their explicit wish to state their copyright, so that images will not appear out of this specific context. However, they and us, are aware that objects displayed belong to the cultural heritage of the Ka’apor.