Thursday, April 24, 2008

Amazon Seducer

One of my favorite musical groups is the Brazilian percussive ensemble Uakti. Classically trained, they draw inspiration from the rich and varied cultural traditions of that country. The name Uakti itself comes from a fantastic legend of the Amazon Tucano people.

Uakti was a monster with several holes on his body. When he ran across the forest, the wind passing through his body made wonderful sounds. Upon hearing the hypnotic rhythms, the Tucano women were drawn into the forest, where Uakti seduced them. The men became jealous and hunted and killed Uakti. From his burial site, three palm trees grew, which kept his spirit alive.

The musical wind instruments the Tucanos made from the palm trees reproduced the Uakti sound. This painting is how I imagined Uakti might have looked.

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