||Francisco José Teixeira (in the picture on the left with his family and wearing a blue vest) learned with his father Mr. Antônio, a rubber tapper known all over Acre, how to mould scenes of the forest in rubber gutta-percha (virgin and smoked).
Gutta-percha is boiled rubber sap, the very same rubber tappers make in the jungle, at the Casa da Borracha (“House of Rubber”). Nowadays, Mr. Antônio travels around the forest, teaching the technique to other locals.
In order to mould the material, Francisco hardens the sap with vinegar, dyes it and starts to make small figurines. The little forests, ranches, animals and birds moulded in gutta-percha are his only source of income. “My entire family works. But this is better than bleeding rubber trees in the jungle like my father used to do.”