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The inexhaustible wealth of Brazilian handicrafts produced in Tocantins

 10/10/2021 | Posted by: Jussara Assuncao
Artisanal pieces of golden grass - Photo: Secom-To
Artisanal pieces of golden grass - Photo: Secom-To

Passed from generation to generation, with a tradition originating from the Xerentes Indians, the appearance of golden grass as handicrafts for a large public started in 1993, in the first edition of FECOARTE (Folklore Fair, Typical Foods and Handicrafts of the State of Tocantins ), which took place in Palmas-TO, encouraged by the first lady of the state, Eleusa Miranda Costa and aroused the recognition of the public and authorities present, classifying Mateiros handicrafts in first place for the originality of his pieces.

The art was learned by residents of the Mumbuca quilombola community and arrived in Jalapão in the mid-1920s at the hands of Xerentes Indians. The small bundles of golden grass stems are sewn with a fine and resistant fiber obtained from new leaves of the buriti palm (Mauritia flexuosa). These species are born naturally in the Cerrado of Central Brazil and are very abundant in this region.

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Capim dourado is a raw material exclusively from the Jalapão region, in the state of Tocantins, which is used in the manufacture of handcrafted pieces such as: bracelets, earrings, key chains, bags, belts, vases and decorative pieces. The name golden grass comes from the similarity with gold, although it is called grass, in reality, the 'Golden grass' (Syngonanthus nitens) belongs to the family of evergreens.

Golden grass handicrafts have been increasingly valued worldwide, and their main sales focus is for export. Some pieces reach as much as US $ 500 dollars.

The main location, where the development of artisanal production began in the state of Tocantins, is in Mumbuca, a village located in the municipality of Mateiros. Nowadays these handicrafts are also produced in other locations in the Jalapão region.

Currently, the golden grass is protected by several laws that regulate the form and, as well, the harvest season, to avoid its extinction and can only be extracted between 20 September and 20 November, as it is also strictly forbidden to remove the “in natura” material from the region and only being allowed that the pieces already produced for sale to leave the state, aiming at the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the place.

Combined with the protection laws surrounding golden grass, its acquired fame lives up to its name and transforms this raw material into a beautiful handmade jewel and is a source of pride for the region of Jalapão, as well as for the whole country, which it further establishes itself as an inexhaustible source of natural wealth, standing out all over the world, due to the artistic application of these talented and notorious Brazilian artisans.

Currently, the pieces already produced in golden grass can be found in different parts of Brazil.


By: Jussara Assuncao
Estancia / BA
Journalist MTB-Ba 4840, Tribuna do Interior Quality Award - (4th consecutive year) Poet, Journalism Director Magazine Visit Bahia and Sergipe as well; Editora Revista do Desenvolvimento Prefeitura Estância (Se) and Collaborator of several newspapers in Sergipe for 30 years.
Capim Dourado harvest - Photo: Secom-To
Capim Dourado harvest - Photo: Secom-To
Capim Dourado harvest - Photo: Secom-To
Capim Dourado Mandala - Photo: Vchoi - License: CC-BY-3.0
Capim Dourado harvest - Photo: Secom-To
Capim Dourado harvest - Photo: PGR-To
Capim Dourado Harvest - Photo: Government of Tocantins
Capim Dourado Harvest - Photo: Viramundo e Mundovirado
Capim Dourado-Photo: Press Release-Tocantinense News Agency
Post production parts - Photo: Vchoi - License: CC-BY-25