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January 23, 2017

Where the Brasileira came from

De donde vino la Brasileira

In October 2012, I had already been in Spain for six years and was looking forward to going to Brazil, and going back to see my family there.

I had already bought my ticket for December when I started working in the ¨Brasileira¨.

Previously I was already working on a series of drawings of girls with different themes and I thought of dedicating one of them to my homeland.

I wanted to add elements that could be identified with Brazil and at the same time with me. I could have portrayed a hottie dressed in a carnival costume holding a soccer ball, this would be something quite Brazilian, but it would have nothing to do with me, and Brazil is infinitely more than that.


Mujer Caiapó
Woman Caiapó

I started thinking and came to the conclusion that I wanted to portray an Indian. Partly because when I was living in Europe I realized how Indian I am. Of the Indian traits and habits I have. I guess when I lived there I didn't notice it so much because I might look quite European compared to many of my countrymen.

On the other hand, I wanted an Indian because I am fascinated by Indian culture and aesthetics, with their feathers, ornaments and tribal paintings. And above all, because to keep in mind where I come from y to pay tribute to all Indians of all tribes.

Niña Guaraní - Caroli Dilli
Guarani Girl

In the end, I chose from among so many tribes, the Caiapó (or Kayapó), and illustrated a girl with shaved eyebrows, hairdos, face and body paint typical of this clan.

While working on this illustration, I realized that in my life I had had little contact with the indigenous people who still preserve their original way of life.

When I went to Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) this year, I accompanied my sister Camila to the Aldeia Guarani Tekoá Anhetengua in Lomba do Pinheiro and we spent the day with them.

The Guaranis were delighted with my tattoos and wanted to take a close look at each one of them. As a tattoo artist, I wanted to mark their skin. I brought ink and I was painting the little Indians. None of us spoke Portuguese, but we understood each other perfectly. They would line up for me to paint them, and once I finished painting them, they would come back to the end of the line to paint again.

And finally we were all painting each other. It was great to meet them, and for them to meet me. We will be different in many ways, and long live difference and variety! However, we must never forget that in essence we are the same.

Pintando niños guaranis
Painting Guarani children

To see the drawing "Brasileira

Written by Caroli Dilli
Caroli Dilli Tattoo & Art
Development + Photography by Fidel