This Dream Painting painting is by Katia Hushahu, who became a shaman after undergoing a grueling study period of over 12 months with Tata, Yawanawa Elder. Katia Hushahu broke with tribal heritage to become the first female shaman. During her study, she took to drawing her dreams and has said these designs have specific healing properties.
"This is my personal picture that Chief Tashka Yawanawa gave to me a few years ago," reveals Antoinette Beenders. "It has always been very precious to me, and its significance really hit home once I saw the movie Avatar. The detail and vibrant color are so reminiscent of Avatar. And I realize that the Yawanawa are in some ways like the Navi; they live in harmony with nature, and are a community that has to defend its land, culture and way of life.
"Both groups can inspire us to think about modernity in a different way," Beenders continues. "The rainforest where the Yawanawa live has been in existence for more than 55 million years; Mother Nature is so far ahead of us that there are countless species that haven’t been discovered yet. Why wouldn’t we take that as inspiration and make it relatable to western audiences?"