Minas Gerais/Vale do Jequitinhonha
Jequitinhonha Valley, in the north-eastern region of Minas Gerais State, has 80 municipalities scattered over an area of 85,000km². The Valley is classified geographically by the local population as: Upper Jequitinhonha, corresponding to the region of Diamantina, close to the headwaters of the River Jequitinhonha; Middle Jequitinhonha, corresponding to the region of Araçuaí; and Lower Jequitinhonha, corresponding to the region of Almenara, in southern Bahia. Jequitinhonha Valley can be understood as a cultural zone, a region of contrasts - bearing the stigma of social poverty but at the same time considered one of the richest cultural regions. Such cultural expression ranges from folklore groups, architectural and historical buildings to the production of handicraft in basketry, bamboo, wood, cotton and ceramics. Ceramics is the most representative in the region and widely recognised, found in museums, exhibitions, cultural centres as well as folk art shops. Some of the most appreciated sculptures are the “figures” produced in the region, especially those by D. Isabel Mendes da Cunha, and the unique art of Noemiza Batista and Ulisses Pereira Chaves.