August 12, 2021

Yankatu Design Combines Traditional and Modern Methods for New Furniture Collection

Brazilian designer Maria Fernanda Paes de Barros’s Xingu collection for Yankatu Design was developed in partnership with Mehinako artisans in Alto Xingu, located in the country’s Mato Grosso state. Traditional materials and methods meet today’s technology, such as CNC carving, to build of-the-moment design interpretations. The grouping utilizes local materials including cabreuva wood, straw yarn and woven stems from the buriti palm tree, and natural dyes and pigments. A swing dubbed Kaüpuna incorporates buriti yarn harvested, cleaned, and dried by the Mehinako women; the men contribute the wood for the bench seat, decorated with charcoal and annatto-based graphics. The construction of traditional houses inspired the Embira bench in cabreuva, with moorings made from strips of embira tree bark. Traditional buriti and cotton woven rugs become the sheathing for the Oca closet, a tall étagère-like cabinet on spindly legs. For the Shelter credenza, two tambour-style sliding doors of turned cabreuva slats only 6 mm across are woven with cotton threads dyed naturally using raw materials harvested around the Kaüpuna village in Upper Xingu. The showstopping Beiju table, carved of solid cabreuva, balances on brick-shape wood legs and incorporates draped beaded necklaces traditionally used in rituals.

The Kaüpuna swing.
The Shelter credenza.
The Beiju table.
The Oca closet.
The Embira bench.

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