Achselhaar in Anderswelt – Mythische Comics eines Shipibo-Indianers (Underarm Hair in the Otherworld – the Mythical Comics of a Shipibo Indian)


Mythical figures turn into comic heroes. Just as Spiderman and Hellboy move back and forth between the everyday world and the “otherworld” while changing states and forms, so also the children of the sun god transform themselves as they make their way through the different levels of the Shipibo cosmos. Elmer Elias Silva, whose mother is a Shipibo Indian from the Amazonian lowlands of Peru, expands on indigenous forms of expression through comics. This preserves and also reinvents the knowledge of myth; the culture of memory is communicated to a broader, and also western, audience in new form. Using examples from a series of his works dating from 1990–1992 and belonging to collection of the Weltkulturen Museum, the lecture demonstrates to what extent Silva uses aspects of the comic medium or alters the familiar structures of comics to create an indigenous variation of the genre.

Monika Lodderstaedt, research assistant in the America Department of the Weltkulturen Museum Frankfurt, studied ethnology, art history, and religion at the University of Tübingen and the Universidad de Buenos Aires.