RIO DE JANEIRO – She carries the weight of her people on her shoulders and that makes her beautiful. With her seashell and pearl necklace around the neck, her tanned tattooed skin, her feathers of different sizes and her bright and vividly colored skeins, Vangri Kaingang is a proud native and she’s not afraid to show it.
Descended from the Kaingang tribe from the south of Brazil, this urban indigenous woman lives in Rio de Janeiro. Vangri, 31, works as a bilingual Portuguese-Kaingang youth worker – which is just another way to claim and share her background. “The state has always ignored us, as if we did not exist,” she says.