First work of art of African descent found in the Americas
On Sep 26, a historical finding will be available to the entire community at the hall of the Main Library of PUCRS. It is a statue of a Nimba Goddess that has been found in Santo Ângelo. Its identity has been confirmed by the coordinator of the Multidisciplinary Group in African-Brazilian and Indigenous Culture (Neabi) of the School of Humanities of PUCRS, Dr Édison Hüttner.
Édison claims that the wood work was produced between the 18th and 19th centuries by African-Brazilians who were conversant with the art, sculpture and rituals of the Baga/Nalu peoples, from West Africa (Guinea, Guinea-Bissau). Huttner adds that this is the first sculpture of such genre to be found in the Americas. “This finding shows us the existence of authentic religious rituals among African-Brazilians”, says he, as he mentioned that secret rituals would be against the government’s regulations and that they would only be performed by males.
The statue was found by a fisherman in the 80s, in Ijuí River, after a severe drought. In 2016, the owner of the material, Getúlio Soares Lima, during Hüttner’s visit to Santo Ângelo, earned him an authorization to bring it to PUCRS and conduct his studies. The sculpture’s origin was only confirmed after two years of painstaking study that involved Eder Hüttner, his brother, and Klaus Hilbert, the coordinator of the University’s Laboratory of Archaeology. The statue was even subject to a tomography at the Brain Institute of Rio Grande do Sul (BraIns).
Fun facts about Nimba Goddess
About the exhibit
The statue will be at the main hall of the Main Library of PUCRS, from Sep 26 to Oct 30. The event begins on Sep 26, at 6:30 PM. It is at no charge and Edison Hüttner, Eder Hüttner and Klaus Hilbert will serve as curators.