Monday, June 4, 2012

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Today (Thursday, May 31st) we went to the market in Caruaru. Paulo drove us to the city, but we stopped many times along the way to pick up travelers. At first I was very confused as to why we were giving rides to these people that we did not seem to know. I understand that the Xukuru people are very community-based, but this just seemed to cross the line. But then I realized/was told, that Paulo’s job is to drive his van as a taxi service. How had I not known that before? I have been with this lovely family for almost two weeks now, but I am just learning about their jobs now. After Paulo dropped us off at the market, we wandered the stalls in search of trinkets and souvenirs to bring home to our family and friends. The ware that stood out to me the most throughout this whole shopping trip was a certain style of ceramic doll. This doll had the blackest-of-black skin, very kinky-stringy hair that stuck out at odd angles, huge red lips, a very large bosom, and an even larger hip/bottom area. This doll was almost like a caricature of an African woman and seemed very derogatory to me and a few others. This doll, and variations of it, were everywhere, although I have not seen a single woman in Brazil that looks even close to that description. Speaking of women not fitting descriptions. Everywhere I go in Brazil, most of the advertisements feature beautiful “white” women and men. But I haven’t seen anyone here, in Caruaru, Olinda, or Recife that look even close to that. I am not saying that the people here are not beautiful( because they are actually some of the most beautiful people I have ever seen), but there are very few people that could be called “white” here. So the fact that almost all of the advertisements represent a very minute portion of the population is very shocking and relates back to history of colonization and the processes that have happened since. I won’t be writing about that today, but if you are interested in knowing more watch this video . - Beth

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