Cecilia Vicuña AMAzone Palabrarmas 1978

  • Not on view

Vicuña was studying in London at the time of the 1973 military coup in Chile. Exiled from her home country, she committed herself to activism from abroad and to the research of Indigenous cultures of the Americas. During a trip across the Amazon rainforest in 1977, she had a vision of a palabrarma : a “word- weapon” that would mobilize poetic language as a form of political resistance. Each drawing in this series is a playful reinvention of existing words, unfolding new meanings out of their parts.

Gallery label from 2022
Series of twenty-eight drawings in ink and pencil on paper
Each: 8 1/2 × 11" (21.6 × 27.9 cm)
Latin American and Caribbean Fund, Modern Women's Fund, gift of Agnes Gund, Amalia Amoedo, María Luisa Ferré Rangel (in honor of Cyril Meduña) and Juan Yarur Torres (in honor of Amalia Amoedo)
Object number
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].