Iconography, myths and symbolism inscribed in ritual artifacts: The Ticuna Collection in a comparative perspective
Baessler-Archiv 54.2006:95-118
Keywords: Ticuna Collection, iconography, bark masks, masks, myths of Ticuna, rituals, puberty rituals

##This paper examines aspects of the iconography inscribed in artifacts in the collection of the Museum of Ethnology Berlin. This iconography is compared with that of the artifacts collected by Curt Nimuendaju, in 1941 and 1942, for the Emílio Goeldi Museum"s Collection. The aim here is to analyze how these images, inscribed in the artifacts, comprise an archive of the Ticuna imaginary. An historical approach must be used to compare the Nimuendaju collection which is over 60 years old - to the present ethnological observations, made by the Ticuna themselves, within their lands on the Brazil-Colombia border. The enquiry implies examining the relationship between the iconography of Ticuna bark masks, costumes and cloth and correlating it to indigenous myths and to the symbolic processes embedded in Ticuna female puberty rituals. Anthropological field research was held, and from approximately September of 1997 through the year 2002, Ticuna exegesis was gathered and personal ethnographical observations were recorded. My approach intends to contextualize the symbolism of Ticuna artifacts when examining real-life occurrences and representations, as elaborated in Ticuna artifacts, as well as testimony about these artifacts, all of which take the Ticunas" own interpretations in light of their own culture and social organization into consideration.##