Objects of the Forest

MATERIAL: palm tree named Miriti (or Buriti). Toys are made from the plant pulp.

TECHNIQUE: The external splint of the plant is removed, and the pulp is dried in the sun. The toys are made by carving this pulp, which is easy to sculpt with knives. The resin and paint come at the end of the process.

USE: Toys related to nature and to Amazonian life. These toys are used as symbols at the largest religious festival of Belém, Círio de Nazaré.

Miriti Toys

  • Miriti (or Buriti) is a palm tree abundant in the northern region of Brazil, and it is used for several purposes. The fruit is used in the local cuisine and the leaves can serve as a roof for houses. Toys are made from the plant pulp, which is called “Amazonian foam” on account of its extreme lightness. To manufacture the foam, the external splint of the Miriti – a kind of hard fiber – is removed, and the pulp is then dried in the sun.

    The toys are made by carving this pulp, which is round and very flexible - easy to sculpt with knives. After that, a resin is applied and the objects are painted. The shapes of the objects express the artisan’s view on nature and typical Amazonian elements or scenes: snakes, birds, lovers, boats, etc.
    These toys are the symbol of the Círio de Nazaré, the largest religious festival of Belém. In the traditional cortege, many followers make and carry Miriti objects – which are very light – to fulfill vows.

    The city of Abaetetuba is the main hub of production of the Miriti toys, which are recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Brazilian State of Pará.

    • The Miriti is one of the plants with the biggest economic value in the Amazon region, since its different parts can be availed for various purposes, such as food, construction and crafts.

    • The raw material for the production of the toys is the inner part of the plant that sustains the leaves.

    • Two stages of the production of a miriti bird.

    • The Miriti toys for sale on the market in Abaetetuba.

    • Miriti detailed drawing from the book Flora Brasiliensis.

Hammocks

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