A personal selection of photographs with their stories.
112. Dirty hands
JULY 2007: Dirty hands
We had spent 55 hours by bus, to bridge the huge distance of more than 2500 km between Belo Horizonte and São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão. Another five hours were spent by bus to reach Barreirinhas, gateway to the immense dune landscape of Lençóis Maranhenses. Four more hours were spent by boat to reach Atins Beach, at the Atlantic Ocean. Our feet really hurt when we stepped on the hot sand. It was as if our flip flops were even melting! But that didn’t stop us from reaching the shoreline and giving our feet a refreshing bath. To our big surprise, our feet sank deeply in the moist sand, almost ten centimeters! There was another surprise that clumps of clay were found on the shoreline. Two students immediately recognized the substance, and started to smear the clay on their hands. According to them, this clay type is very suitable for ceramic handicraft.
© Adriano Antoine Robbesom 2007, 2015
Atins Beach, Maranhão (MA)
About 250 km east of São Luís, capital of the Brazilian state of Maranhão, Atins is located at the Atlantic coast, at the border of the immense dune landscape of Lençóis Maranhenses. Atins may be reached by boat from Barreirinhas, thereby following the Preguiças River. In 2007, the travel fare was 5 reais only, for a journey of four hours. Many locals use this boat, as their public transport. On the savage beach of Atins, one may located lumps of clay, which may be used as the basis for pottery. My travel companions immediately recognized the clay, and played with it. As a result: dirty, brown hands…
The original picture was taken in July 2007.
Click HERE for general information about SÃO LUÍS,
The Brazilian state of Maranhão is widely known for hosting the immense dune landscape of Lençóis Maranhenses. From Barreirinhas – gateway to Lençóis Maranhenses -, one may join a boat trip in the really lazy Preguiças River. The regular, and thus cheap, boat ride took more than four hours, to arrive at the final destination: Atins.
Atins is a very small coastal village, with one main road. From there, it is a short walk to the beach of Atins, and reach the Atlantic Ocean. It is not a beach with white sands and palm trees, but a rough beach, with tiny shrubs and grass growing on greyish brown sand.
Near the shoreline, one may find some clay humps, ideal for pottery. Also suitable to dirt your hands with.
The girl in this photograph demonstrates the clay that made her already tanned hands much darker.
Camera: Canon PowerShot A540
f/4, 1/400 sec. local time: 17.22 h.