Feliciano Pimental Lana (1937–2020)

The Brazilian artist, leader, philosopher and poet Feliciano Lana, whose indigenous name was Sibé (meaning ‘son of the sun’), died on 12 May 2020 in São Francisco in the western Amazon region.

With a Tukano mother and Desâna father, his indigenous heritage lay at the heart of his creativity. Throughout his life he was fascinated by the myths and legends of his community, which he illustrated in a uniquely scenic manner in his paintings. He made an effort to integrate new media into his works while it was still in its infancy: as early as the 1970s he took photos of his watercolours and used ninety-eight slides to produce a slide show that he also filmed and set to sound. Entitled “The Beginning before the Beginning”, the work narrates the creation of humankind and the culture of the Desâna.

Feliciano Lana frequently found new partners for his projects, such as the Salesian missionary Padre Casimiro Beksta, ethnologist Berta G. Ribeiro and many others. In 1988, his original drawings appeared in the exhibition “Die Mythen Sehen: Bilder und Zeichen vom Amazonas” (Seeing the Myths: Amazonian Images and Symbols) and in 1997 the slides were published in “Sinnwelten” (Worlds of the Senses). The ninety-eight slides belong to the Weltkulturen Museum collection.