‘Don't ever let anyone cut your hair off’, Yolanda’s grandmother tells her in their Wichí Lhamtés language. Their beautiful long hair is the pride of the indigenous women of this nation. They live in north eastern Argentina, where they lead a secluded life in extreme poverty. Yolanda works as a housemaid for a large Argentinean family. Her employers are not wealthy people. The man of the house often leaves his overworked wife alone. Everyone is busy preparing for the ‘Quinceañera’, the fifteenth birthday of the daughter Antonella. Yolanda is bossed around by the family, who – although they are not rude – treat her without respect. When the family are all at table laughing and talking, Yolanda sits in front of her plate in the kitchen, alone. Sometimes she complains to her mother, when she sees her in front of the house. Most of the time, however, she endures her lot with great patience. That is, until one day, the family takes her along to the hairdresser. Afterwards, Yolanda takes to her bed for several days, falls ill and refuses to say a word. At her ‘Quinceañera’ celebrations Antonella climbs onto a small stage and dances flamenco. For Yolanda, it is a truly cutting experience.
by Daniela Seggiaro
with Rosmeri Segundo, Sasa Sharet Isabel Mendoza, Ximena Banús, Víctor Hugo Carrizo, Camila Romagnolo, Hugo Nicolás Sona