Friday, February 13, 2009

When Cowboys meet Indians - Part II

Part II - The Indians
Black Foot flashing a Hide
Since I was a little kid I was fascinated by native cultures.
While my friends were playing cowboys and indians I was questioning my parents and teachers why indians were killing white people (that was the message in all the movies and tv series - that indians were the bad guys). Thanks to them I soon realized that story is always told by the ones who wins battles and wars and that information is manipulated by a small group of people. I learned that in the reality, white people, or conquers as they were called, slaughtered natives due to greed. They stole from them their land, their culture and their possessions. They put natives into slavery, erased their cultures and beliefs and tried to transform them into something they were not.The real savages were not the indians. No matter where it was, Brazil, Colombia, Australia, Mexico or in the US, the story was always the same.
In 2004 I spent a lot of my free time researching for photos, historical sites and artifacts of American Native Indians. I was particularly in love with Zunis and Navajos.
I had a dream project of opening a shop in São Paulo where I would sell Indian's textiles dolls and jewelry. The project stayed in my dreams but the love for this culture was planted deep into my heart.
When I first started to read about Roxana Villa and her brand Roxana Illuminated Perfume, I got very interested not only in her fragrances and in her art, but also in her concern with the world surrounding her and her family (example: her support and activities concerning The California Chaparral Institute).
We were writing to each other, exchanging ideas, and she sent me a beautiful set of samples of her collection.
I thought it was funny when I read in her site that Chaparral was called the cowboy perfume because the first image that came to my mind when I opened the sample vial was INDIANS!
I learned that Chaparral is a perfume inspired by her love for the indigenous plants of California, and her research back in 2006 on incense. Roxana learned how Native Americans used sage to clear space or to fumigate an individual, and she decided to create a perfume surrounding incense and the California Native American Indians.
According to the designer it is a tail of aromatic spirit and tradition of the wild west. It is a combination of essences, accords and tinctures of plants found in the Chaparral Biome of California.
Perfume notes: frankincense, wood and sage
To me it was like translating all the images I have researched, compared and and fell in love with, into a fragrance. It was really transforming images into a smell.
Chaparral is mystical, transcendent amazing concept perfume.
Hand craft Taos Indian drum & kachina doll
by Jacinda Loley
Antler Maiden Zuni Fetish by Troy Sice
Navajo kachina doll by Alta Apachino
Navajo Qilt
Ruth and Vera Tyler
MSUM 1996:81.3
Photo by Doug Elbinger
all rights reseved by the Michigan State University Museum
Zuni Bracelet by Emory Lalacito
For video click here: Yeha Noha
Learn more about natives, click here
Photocredits of Chaparral: Roxana Villa
Photocredits of Chaparral view: http://www.californiachaparral.com
Photocredits of artifacts and art: www.museum.msu.edu
Photocredits of artifacts and art: Pueblo
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