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About this Workshop


In this workshop, you will learn how to produce an alluring necklace made with natural materials found in the forests of Brazil. They are crafted and used by native indigenous tribes for celebrations and identification. Embark on this cultural journey and get in touch with the simplicity and beauty behind indigenous outlooks on nature!

Indigenous tribes are an important facet of Brazilian culture. There are 225 tribes and an estimated 70 more living in isolated places throughout the territory. Their culture is ingrained in some of our habits, aesthetic preferences, and aspects of our language. Once we understand that these tribes are gradually fading or blending with other customs in our plural society, we will see how crucial it is to rescue, value, and shine a loving light on their customs. The collars, earrings and bracelets, together with body paints and headdress, form a set of bodily expressions which are fairly important for the indigenous tribes. It’s a form of tribe identification, a tribute to their surrounding nature, and also part of their rituals.

In Brazil, most women have indigenous accessories. If not authentic, they are certainly inspired replicas of the original ones. In Carnival, it's common to see a number of people wearing indigenous clothes, headdresses, accessories, and body paints to blend in with the costume block parties around the cities.

I first made this item when I was researching local tribes for my internship classes back in 2017. I visited a modern indigenous tribe in Niterói and one of the most remarkable things I heard from them was that anything they take from nature -- whether it be seeds, feathers, or fibers -- they ask for permission from Nature itself. It’s a constant respectful negotiation.

During my internship, I had the opportunity of teaching about local indigenous tribes to groups of students from a public school. The most remarkable moment for me in those classes was to see how shifting from reading the facts in history books, to actual storytelling --  displaying indigenous crafts and pictures -- caught students' attention and got them to draw connections to some things about their routine, our language, and family habits.


What You'll Need

GLOkit What's a GLOkit?


Indigenous Necklace from Brazil GLOkit

This GLOkit contains: natural fiber string, one turkey feather, one peacock feather, four wooden pieces from the "pau-brasil" tree, four açaí palm seeds, and three açaí striped seeds.

GLOkit Included
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Additional Supplies

Learners will also need:

  • Pencil

Technical Requirements

You will need a device (computer or tablet) that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speakers. For more information, please check out our Technical Requirements page.

Meet the Instructor

instructor headshot

Helena VasconcelosView Profile

Hello, my name is Helena! I am a Brazilian English teacher, based in Rio de Janeiro. I am also the mother of the coolest 8-year-old kid! I love to teach and consider myself quite lucky to make a living out of my passion! Experiencing wonderful intercultural exchange among students from other parts of Brazil and from other countries has caused me to dive deeper into the cultural aspects of my country. I hope to bring more awareness of Brazil and its people into classes. 

I first started crafting nine years ago when I was 26. DIY home decoration caught my eye. I had recently moved and I utilized all my free time to make crafts for my new home. I loved to do paintings, key holders, and other functional pieces to bring a bit of sensory stimulation to the rooms. Not all of them were very successful but it was a great pastime! Looking up Brazilian designs, I realized the significant indigenous influence on patterns and material choices, and decorated my nest with these, along with Star Wars action figures and mini movie posters of Quentin Tarantino films. It was quite an interesting layout!

Four years later, I was interning in a class about indigenous tribes and made my first authentic indigenous craft with students. We'd made a spear and a necklace. Indigenous adornments are widely made — in an adapted way — for Carnival celebrations that happen in February. We don't use authentic materials for that purpose as it is aimed at crafting indigenous costumes for fun and for heritage memory. Only indigenous people and their descendants make their crafts according to their own rituals, beliefs and cycles, and each tribe has their own.

I find it important to enhance awareness of the Brazilian indigenous tribes, because not only are many of them being erased but also their knowledge and outlook on life is too amazing to be left behind or forgotten. They make their crafts in a constant negotiation with nature, aiming to use what they find around them — may it be seeds, fibers, feathers, coconut pieces, or mud — as a means to live with gratitude and to honor the environment they've grown up in. I'm very fond of working with natural feathers and seeds, as they are easy to manipulate and always form beautiful and cheerful compositions and pieces. In times of crude destruction of natural resources around the world, bringing this philosophy and wisdom to the eyes of modern societies seems to be a way of rescuing the joy of living on this planet.

Due to the intense cultural mix, Brazil is a place where we have learned to respect and live with each other without much resistance to what is different and to incorporate varied forms of knowledge, perspectives, and customs into our lives. We are happy people besides all the social and economical hurdles we face, and this strength to smile and keep working to make it through is what makes me proud and blissful to live in Brazil.


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NOTE: You can choose any available date on the calendar and rest assured that your GLOkit(s) WILL arrive before your workshop time! We only display dates/times that allow time to ship.

Workshop Reviews


Workshop Rating
(1 reviews)

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Informative + Fun

by Margaret on

My students voted for this workshop. They learned a little bit about Brazil and enjoyed making the necklace.

workshop poster

Indigenous Necklace from Brazil