Amazonia. The Shaman and the mind of the forest
From April 20 to October 22, 2017
Amazonia. The Shaman and the Mind of the Forest features close to 500 exceptional objects from the collections of the Musée d’ethnographie de Genève (MEG) and the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels.
The Museum will be transformed into the Amazon forest in an immersive and multi-sensory experience that will showcase the shamanism and mythology of traditional Amazonian societies, while at the same time focusing on their rights, the defence of their ecosystem, and their ways of life.
On display will be shimmering feathered finery, blowpipes, bows and curare-tipped arrows, everyday objects, basketry, masks, musical instruments, and items required by shamans in their use of hallucinogens. The exhibition will feature objects from some thirty different ethnic groups, from nine countries in the Amazon basin.
Feathers play a big role in this collection, not just for their colours and ornamental qualities, but because of the fascination they have always held among European collectors. Along with the aesthetic and decorative aspects, practical and sacred elements will also be examined. Arrows coated in curare, a deadly poison used in hunting and made from unique recipes that vary from one village to another. The sources of these poisons can also be employed—in smaller doses—in hallucinogenic powders used by shamans to contact the invisible world.