Florinda Martins da Silva


Florinda was born in Morro da Saudade, Parelheiros in São Paulo state in 1973. As the daughter of the great craftsman and artist Honório Martins da Silva, she learned to make ajaka (traditional Guarani baskets) when she was only eight years old, by watching her father making them from taquara (Atlantic Forest bamboo). Florinda is skilled at making various types of baskets, combining tradition with creativity to design and re-create Guarani Mbya art.

Guarani basketry is an art traditionally made by women – it stands as a metaphor for a woman's own body, which carries food and life. Its graphic patterns reflect Guarani thought about the universe and according to Timóteo Verá Tupã Popygua, represents the lunar cycles and the Guarani calendar. The very movement used to weave the taquara and create the basket is in itself a metaphor for how the universe was created by Nhanderu (the creator god): it expands from the base in spiral movements.