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Hawe Henewakame
MAHKU (Movimento dos Artistas Huni Kuin)

Painting, the main artistic production of Mahku, was born in 2012 out of the need to revive collective knowledge on the verge of disappearing, and consists of translating Huni meka songs that guide ayahuasca rituals and certain myths into images. Guided by Ibã Huni Kuin, the artists transform and create bridges with the non-Indigenous through murals, drawings and installations while building alliances and strategies of autonomy.

Currently, the works of the collective are part of the collection of the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP) Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and Fondation Cartier, in Paris. Among the exhibitions in which they participated, there is Histoires de Voir (Fondation Cartier), Les Vivants (Fondation Cartier/Lille 3000), Mestizo Stories (Tomie Ohtake Institute), 35th Panorama of Brazilian Art: Brazil by Multiplication (MAM-SP), Avenida Paulista (MASP), Vaivém (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil), Vexoá: we know (Pinacoteca) and Moquém_Surarî: contemporary indigenous art (MAM-SP). With a participatory and collaborative approach, MAHKU disseminates the millennia-old knowledge of the Huni Kuin and draws attention to an ongoing history of oppression, exclusion and displacement of the indigenous people.

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Alternative title
Le grand fleuve
Canada Council for the Arts, Programme art mural de la ville de Montréal
Overall size
2,4 x 72 meters
External link
Piscine Paul-Emile Sauvageau - Parc L.-O.-Taillon
Facade et murs Est, Ouest et Sud du bâtiment
9200 Rue Notre Dame Est

Artwork description

The mural Hawe henewakame, meaning The Great River, is the visual translation of a traditional huni meka song that evokes the various animal species that live in the riparian ecosystem. Observing, coming and going, calling out to us, the animals in the song become animated subjects, losing the objectivity we usually accord them. As for the river, it runs and lives in motion, for there are no barriers to prevent it from following its course. Like a circle, past, present and future merge. The time of the song shows that the future is ancestral, for it has always been there, living in the present.

The artists invite us to listen to the words of rivers and snakes, to connect with the different living beings that inhabit both the Amazonian water bodies and the one surrounding Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang/Montréal.

The mural was created by Pedro Maná and Bane Huni Kuin of the MAHKU collective (Movimento dos Artistas Huni Kuin) in July 2023.

In production partnership with Milmurs Production and with the support of the Ville de Montréal and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec (MCC) as part of the Programme d’art mural (PAM), the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), the Conseil des art et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), the Brazilian Consulate and the borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The project also received support from the International Observatory for the Rights of Nature, Denalt peintures, Solidarité Mercier-Est, Ô poids vert and De ma cuisine à la tienne.