• Malu Baumgarten

Invention of the Indian (There Are no Indians in Brazil)

Renato de Mattos Motta, translated by Malu Baumgarten



an Indian is someone that does not exist

there are Kaingangs

there are Guaranis

there are Xoklengs

there were Charruas

there were Minuanos

but Indians never existed.


there are Tapajós

Tupis

Krenaks

Aimorés

Ianomâmis

Caiapós

Tikunas

Bororos

Xavantes

Pataxós

Mundurucus

Guajajaras

Potiguaras

Tapuias

these were the people

of Pindorama


the Indians were invented

by the invaders

who wanted to get to India

but India was far

and in the middle of their way

there was a land


a land

of many peoples

in the middle of the way

of the invaders

a land

that became Indian land

and the Indians

were savages

the invaders

had civilization

and with it

slavery

syphilis


influenza

smallpox

hunger

measles

chickenpox

rubella

mumps

and the Indians

that did not exist

died in heaps

in the cemeteries

all the people

that were the owners of the land

became Indians

and were given

the National Day of the Indian.


poem ©Renato de Mattos Motta

translation ©Malu Baumgarten

photo ©Malu Baumgarten

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