Taynã Tagliati

PhD Researcher

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room 3.020
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
+49 228 73 62573

Supervisors: Dr. Sinah Kloß, Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack, Juliana Machado (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Member of
© Taynã Tagliati

Academic Profile

The Beauty in everyday life: making people, unmaking the strange and dependency in Kayapó societies

In native Amazonian perspectives the fabrication of people entails the fabrication of artefacts and bodies. In this setting, this research writes a biography about the Kayapó material and immaterial cultural life. The Kayapó identity is intrinsically related to the body adornments they produce, body painting and festivities, and for this reason, visualizing the production and flow of ornaments and things implies visualizing cultural and identity reproduction. Internal circulation of material (objects) and immaterial (prerogatives) wealth converge with internal asymmetrical dependencies and notions of beauty, and intersects in complex ways with kinship relations, at the same time that it is also embedded in alterity relations. Thus, I aim to visualize:  what role plays the embodiment of kayapó culture (kukradjá) in one’s social position in Kayapó society? In which ways the notions of (a beautiful) body have been transformed after contact to the non-indigenous?

This research drawns from the current debates in Anthropology on native Amazonian epistemologies, engaging with the discussions of nurture and feeding, Mastery, agentive capacities of artefacts and subject-object relations. I carry ethnographic research in Kayapó villages since 2021, and count with the collaboration of German museums that offered me access to their collections of Kayapó materiality, some of them dating from the beginning of the 20th century. This body/object-based approach allows me to apprehend changes in Kayapó materiality and visualizing social processes. At the same time, it puts me in front of notions dear to the Kayapó, such as incorporation, familiarization, and innovation. Besides, materials used in museum objects and materials used in the beautification of the body (hair and skin oil, fragrancies, inks made out of seeds), make possible to raise questions about their relationship with the environment and the non-indigenous social surroundings. 

As the Kayapó are inserted in complex networks of political relationships, I will not overlook the dependency relations stablished with non-indigenous communities. I understand that a perspective aimed to be multi-scalar is able to better picture Kayapó relations than any approach concerned exclusively with their internal political dynamics.

The process of writing the monograph employs research positioning as a methodological tool. Finally, this project aims to contribute to the strengthening of indigenous autonomy by offering a narrative that, although non-indigenous, informs the indigenous perspective of historical and social processes in which they are involved.

since 2020
Ph.D. in Anthropology of the Americas, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn, Germany

M.A. in Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany

B.A. in Social Sciences (focus on Anthropology), Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil

since 2020
Research Associate in Research Group Marking Power: Embodied Dependencies, Haptic Regimes and Body Modification, University of Bonn, Germany

PROMOS Scholarship, fieldwork in Trinidad, Bolivia

Research Assistant, Department for Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany

Erasmus+ Scholarship, University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

since 2020 
Organizational Committee of the journal "Notas de Antropología de las Américas (NAA)"

Curation "500 Jahre Eroberung Amerikas," Intervention in the Permanent Exhibition of Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne, Germany

Coordination of Curatorial Committee, Exhibition "1519–2019: Colonialism and Survival Strategies," University of Bonn, Germany

  • 2022. "Colaboración y descolonización en los museos: Reflexiones a partir de tres experiencias indígenas amazónicas." [Collaboration and Decolonization in Museums: Reflections from three Amazonian indigenous experiences]. In Notas de Antropología de las Américas 1: 5–24. Open access
  • 2020. With Carla Jaimes Betancourt. "Koriabo complex from the Maicuru River in the BASA Museum." In Koriabo: From the Caribbean Sea to the Amazon river, edited by C. Barreto, H. Lima, S. Rostain, and C. Hoffman. Leiden University, Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém.
  • 2017. "Globalização por Caminhões." [Glogalization by Trucks]. In RELACult - Latin American Journal of Studies in Culture and Society  3. Special edition. 
  • 2018. "Die Macht des Stillstands, die Brasilien nicht kannte: Streik der LKW-Fahrer legte das Land lahm." [The power of paralysation that Brazil did not know: The truck drivers' strike crippled the country.] In Ila – Das Lateinamerika-Magazin 417.
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