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The Story of The Legendary Icon Anastacia: Escrava Anastacia

 
 
 
Editor's note:  This story comes from the website, Artworks By Matt Branson.Finding Anastacia's story in English has been a challenge, but this author seems to be from the UK and has the essence of the story correct (my Portuguese is sketchy at best, but from what I've been able to translate his version of the story rings true).  I've seen this iconic image of the cruelties of slavery, but I haven't, until this day, been able to locate the backstory of the masked woman.  

From my understanding and research, it appears that the Portuguese/Brazilian slave holders possessed this strange propensity to mask their enslaved population.  One can just imagine the agony of wearing an iron bridle in the subtropic heat, day in and day out.  The utter misery and torment of enslavement coupled with an unbearable  torture devise like the "dirt eating mask" must have yielded untold suffering for those wearing these vile devices.  Add on to that the burdensome iron slave collar with prongs for extra torture, along with enslavement in perpetuity and the hopeless tyranny of enslavement seems too extreme to wrap your mind around.--Ron Edwards, US Slave Blog
 
 
Escrava Anastacia

So, on with the story from Matt Branson:  "I had lived in Rio De Janero for a few years. One day while out down town, I came across a little head of a black girl wearing an iron mask. I had already collected quite a few strange looking statues and thought she would fit in just fine with the rest of them. She pecked my curiosity and I wanted to know more about her."
 
The story I discovered concerning this new, small statue, was about a child named Anastacia. A black female slave brought from the west coast of Africa to Brazil. Her mother had been forcibly taken by her white owner for his physical pleasures. A child was conceived, the first black child to be born with blue eyes. The cruelty and guilt of this plantation owner drove him to have the baby sent far away, concealing from his wife his indiscretion as well as his violence.

 
 
"A man I had met in Rio first told me the tale of Anastacia and of the church in which her image is honored. The truth is that little remains to prove her existence. Two accounts exist, the one above and the following narrative, both of which explain my interest in this amazing woman. My experiences in life, and particularly in Brazil, leads me to believe she truly was a real person. " -MATTHEW BRANSON The Story of Anastacia - The Slave Girl
 
Based on oral tradition and translated from a Brazilian website Worshipped in Brazil as a saint and heroine, Anastacia is considered one of the most important woman in black history within the culture of Rio de Janeiro. "Her story still has the power to move us to awe and compassion and for that reason alone, I want to make her real to those that don't know about her."


Escrava Anastacia

Anastacia's birth is linked to the tale of Delminda. Some say Delminda was from the Bantu tribe (originating in about 2,000 B.C.E. in southern Nigeria and Cameroon), a daughter of the royal family of Galanga brought to Brazil in 1740 with a cargo of 112 slaves. One version of the story is as follows. Delminda was extremely pretty. She was sold in the harbour by Antonio Rodrigues Velho. She had been raped by a white man and was sold pregnant to Joaquina Pompeu. Delminda gave birth that same year on the 5th March to the blue eyed Anastacia. She was the first black girl with blue eyes in Brazil. It is at this point the two stories seem to merge. Whether or not she was separated from her mother or remained with Delminda, all seem to agree on what comes next. As she grew up Anasatcia became the obsession of the owner's son, Joaquin Antonio.

Very beautiful, It is said that all the white women around were jealous of her, so encouraged Joaquin to make her wear the slave mask. As a punishment for repeatedly refusing his advances, he raped her and condemned her to wear the iron mask for the rest of her life, only removing it once a day to eat. She lived for some years before the toxicity of the metal from the mask became poisonous.
 
Some accounts claim she was performing miracles toward the end of her life. It became gossip amongst the poor that she could heal because she had found it in her heart to forgive the torture she had suffered, and that she even healed her owner's son of some disease. At that moment she became a saint for many of the poor.
 
Some continue today petitioning Rome, to have her canonized as St. Anastacia of Rio. There is a statue and a place of worship in Vas Lobo, where pilgrims flock to worship her. She has more than twenty-eight million followers, though I was surprised to find that most of the Brazilian's I have met have never heard of her.

She is exclusive to the poor of Rio and the descendants of slaves. Some link her image with a number of paintings by Etienne Victor Arago (b. 1755 d. 1855), a French watercolourist who traveled in Brazil sometime between 1817-1820. His known works portrayed gold mining slaves who were also forced to wear iron masks, so as not to hide or swallow gold nuggets while they were digging.
 
She died in Rio after years of agony, her remains were housed in the Church of Rosario, in downtown Rio, but disappeared after a fire. Anastacia became a religious myth, performing miracles, even until today. Many people continue to pray to her when they are sick. Then they are healed.
 
Portrait - Face - Painting - Punishment for Slaves 1839
Punishment for slaves. Painting of African person with neck shackled and mouth muzzled. Jacques Etienne Arago. Castigo de Escravos, 1839. English: Punishiment for slaves. PortuguÊs: Castigo de Escravo. Museu Afro Brasil (São Paulo).

Her history was miraculously recovered in 1968, when an exhibition to celebrate 90 years of the abolition of slavery was held in the Church of Rosario. In the back of the church was found a portrait of her by Arago. "As you can see, there are a few different accounts of her existence, of Anastacia, the slave girl. She would have been forgotten entirely if it hadn't been for a portrait by Arago.
 
Mystery is part of her story as it is part of the life of this French painter who sailed the seas between Australia and South America. There are conflicting tales as to whether or not Arago is buried in Paris or in Rio itself.

Human Rights are for all of us and slavery is not a condition for humanity. I continuously lived in Brazil from 1985 to 1992. Around 1987, a television news broadcast in Rio said authorities had found a farmer in the middle of nowhere in rural Brazil, who operated his farm with all his workers in chains. He repeatedly advertised jobs through the press in Sao Paulo and when anyone arrived to work, he made a slave of them, one-hundred and ten years after the abolition of slavery. How can we be so unconscious as to not know about these things? How can we be apathetic to the conditions of others? I would like to put Anastacia into the history books, in Brazil and everywhere else. She represents the suffering of people that have been forgotten and are still being ignored today. I hope you see my point of view, and can appreciate my art, for her sake.
 
It wasn't until years later, that I discovered the meaning of the name Anastacia -- it means "Resurrection". (source: http://www.mattbranson.co.uk/page4.htm)



 

 

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Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  We must should NEVER ever FORGET!!!!  

 

Yeah, and some things are unforgivable.

 

Some things should never be given a pass of forgiveness.

 

Funny how "forgiveness" is always thrown at those most victimized, like cake crumbs being throw at the poor when they speak of the hunger and starvation they are/have suffered.  

 

The Catholic Church should canonize her because she must be a saint to be able to "forgive" the subhuman torture and terrorizing she suffered at the hands of feral sadists.  That and the fact that all this "forgiveness" certainly keeps Brazil's predominately Black populations' quest for equality and justice at bay.  

Last edited by sunnubian

  Exactly my sista!  Thing is?  I'm reintroducing some of the dynamic black women who unfortunately became unwilling slaves because of the lie massa has going on regarding beauty.  [some] Black women are often seen chasing the massa;s idea of what is considered beauty-they bleached their skin, fry their hair, starve themselves only to immulate[sp] something that initiately[sp]] derived from African culture.  Massa has successfully turned it around for us to think that true beauty is European...or even Asian beauty when it is clearly NOT!  Some of us get so obsessed that we don't realized that...that obsession is really massa's obsession over OUR beauty,

 

For example:  Let's start with the LIE....Blondes are considered top of the line beautiful in European culture and that it is something black people can't copy unless they alter themselves some kind of way.  As always massa keeps the real truth from us.

 

 

 The fact is?  Blonde was NEVER exclusive to European genetics and that being blonde is a matter of environment than DNA.  in other words if one lives around the same conditions?  That will trigger blonde hair... regardless of whatever ethnicity of the people... that trait will follow...as seen in oceanic tribes (see above) with no European contact[sexuall] but children are born with platinum blonde hair and sometimes BLUE EYES..  See?  Massa ALWAYS wanna take ownership to something he considers beauty or power to justify SUPERIORITY.  And as we have witnessed historically? Massa will OUT AND OUT lie to do it.  In a racist sick attempt to stay on top of the food[social]  chain.  

 

And so when more people are EXPOSED to the REAL truth....they will not be so incline to follow in massa's footsteps cuz the steps are TAINTED with deceit.  And only because it is important to the offspring of black people do I continue to keep this out in the open.  So that our children won't FEEL the NEED to copy something that has BEEN copying our culture....all along..for thousands of years.  That way, our children can keep their EYES on the ball [by having their self-esteem in check] and pull outta of this cess pool of inferiority that massa created to make himself and his race appear worthy and valuable based on physical attributes that were stolen from us.  Just keeping it real yall.  But! 

Last edited by Kocolicious

Never Ever, Ever Forget!!!  Forgiveness is different, not unthinkable conventional forgiveness but transcendent forgiveness! That kind of forgiveness is a spiritual power. Buddha said that Ignorance is the cause of all suffering and Christ said to forgive them for they know not what they do. Look at how the Dalai Lama forgives the disgusting physical and cultural genocide of the Chinese against the Tibetan people. The Chinese are lost in ignorance. So is the human race. People need to see the universal aspect of ignorance in order to spiritually forgive, I know of an Iranian man tortured in Iran. The torturer put a wire up his urethra. The man said that he once saw a tear falling from the torturer’s eye and that helped him not go mad. Ignorance is a universal!

 

The story of the Black Holocaust has never been properly told. The recent denial of affirmative action indirectly says that the Holocaust is now over. It’s in the past. The old "Get over it." But the story has not been told. When people at large think of the Jewish Holocaust, they know that was nightmares beyond nightmares but people do not think the same of the Black Holocaust. Got to tell that story! People at large are not aware of the atrocities, the centuries of domestic terrorism into the present, the tortures and the horrors of what went with slavery and its aftermath.   Cultures hate to look at their shadow side. To this day, Turks deny that they murdered  1,000,000 Christian Armenians. But they did. It’s documented. Same here. It’s got to be thrown in the face of the culture. Much more! Who is qualified to actually tell this story, what group?!Who else?

" The recent denial of affirmative action indirectly says that the Holocaust is now over."

****************************************************************************

 

Actually, it directly says that they could care less about the Black holocaust and any and all atrocities and suffering of Black people, period.

 

It also says that, with the first chance they get, they will put the Black race right back where they started from in this country and back were they once were in Africa and throughout the entire Black diaspora.  

 

Black people themselves refuse to accept this truth; maybe it's too much for the Black psyche to bare, maybe it's because too many of us find ignorance, denial and self-hatred a very comfortable place.  

 

Brotha DK wrote: Never Ever, Ever Forget!!!  Forgiveness is different

 

  I don't know my brotha.  I'm kinda different. I DON'T FORGIVE.  I hold grudges.  If I'm wrong to do that?  I'll let the creator of the universe tell me once I cross over.  In the meantime?  Hell...all the stuff MAN has done?  Hellllllllllll no.  Not me. I stopped giving get outta jail cards a looooooong time ago.    Cuz it appears that when you forgive the mofos do it again or think you are their fool.  I don't have that kind of time to waste.  So I just move on.  Cuz I know in terms of payback.  Karma can do it far better than I can.  Cuz what ever you CAUSE will come back and effect you one way or the other.  Proof?  Massa is unable to outlive us.  No matter how many ways he tries to kill us.  He still dies at such an early age.  But!  That's neither here or there.

 

 

The story of the Black Holocaust has never been properly told. The recent denial of affirmative action indirectly says that the Holocaust is now over. It’s in the past. The old "Get over it." But the story has not been told

 

Of course the REAL story hasn't been told.  And that's why we as black people are in very pivotal moment in time cuz why?  We can FINALLY tell our story and DON'T need Massa [or his money] to tell it.  And what's important?  We can tell it ALL OVER THE WORLD.  Not like before when massa had full control of the lies, propaganda, myths and stereotypes regarding black people. Now when he get all this egg on his face from the years of lying...we will be able to tell him GET OVER IT!  And when that moment arrives...it's gonna feel sooooo good. 

 

Yes, it's gonna take a minute for all these black writers, producers, directors, artists, actors to come together for the universal cause of telling our stories in different settings.  And the real reason why the Jews' story are repeated every year during the holiday season and once and twice during the year is because massa wanna continue to brainwash people into thinking that the only other people to suffer inhumanity were the Jews-which that blocks out other injustices on other people.  That's why Jews were placed in the bible, that's why they are arch enemies to those in the middle east[cuz they i.e. middle easterners KNOW they are lying and been lying for years] and that's why the social arrangement between massa and Jews have been so successful because when telling the story of the Jews...they LOOK LIKE MASSA.  

 

 So the story is easier absorbed by the white masses.  And they don't have to share blame.  They can still mistreat black folks and sleep like a baby at night cuz black folks don't LOOK LIKE them.  However, that is CHANGING.  Cuz the stories being told are not in massa's hands ANYMORE.  He will not control what COLOR the actors or perceptions.  Cuz  why?  They're in the hands of those who have been waiting to tell the story accurate for YEARS.  And the time is here.  Watch.  It's going to be a marvelous time being black in this country and in places where slavery existed.  And the reason why I say marvelous?  Cuz the REAL TRUTH regarding slavery all over the world will finally be told.  But!

That's a sad and disgusting story.

 

I am with the sisters Koco and Nubian.

 

I ain't forgetting and I ain't forgiving.

 

The only way I'll even consider forgiving Europeans is if they are in slavery for 500 years and then we let them out of slavery and then they face extinction. 

 

That's JUSTICE.

 

Justice isn't an apology and some government tossed  your way. 

 

Slave stories like thus makes me want to keep going on for the race. 

 

Screw Europeans. 

  I got so caught up in the story I forgot my other point.  Anastacia wasn't the only black child to have blue eyes-maybe the only THEY saw....but!  Like blonde hair?  Blue eyes are not exclusive to European...and it probably points more to the fact that aside from the neanderthal inheritance...blue eyes and blonde hair derived from African ancestors during the migration out of Africa.

 

 

All blue-eyed people can be traced back to one ancestor who lived 10,000 years ago near the Black Sea. What many people DO NOT KNOW is that Europe was colonised by AFRICANS about 10K + years ago. Therefore, the chance of any African child being born with blue eyes has been spread throughout the continent since then as a recessive gene. "...the more you know."

 

 
wow, those eyes

 

 .

.

Maybe those traits were one of the few things inherit from us that as usual Massa tries to take full EXCLUSIVE ownership of.  It's important to note simply because of the definition of beauty that is burned into culture/psyche of America.  And since Massa has kept so many things about the TRUE history of our amazing civilization from us...it stands to reason that these traits are included.  So in conclusion, we as African Americans who derived from the heart of Africa really must take another look at what determines or for a better word DEFINES beauty.  Is it only on the outside or it is from the INSIDE OUT?  Think about it!   But!

Last edited by Kocolicious

"Anastacia wasn't the only black child to have blue eyes-maybe the only THEY saw....but!"

***********************************************************************

 

I was really thinking the same thing when I read that statement.  That perception is probably ingrained in the false belief that the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was the Black race's first encounter with the White race.  

 

So much of history gets distorted and deliberated fabricated because they know that the average person does not view history on a time-line to begin with, at least, not an accurate one. 

Originally Posted by GoodMan:

That's a sad and disgusting story.

 

I am with the sisters Koco and Nubian.

 

I ain't forgetting and I ain't forgiving.

 

The only way I'll even consider forgiving Europeans is if they are in slavery for 500 years and then we let them out of slavery and then they face extinction. 

 

That's JUSTICE.

 

Justice isn't an apology and some government tossed  your way. 

 

Slave stories like thus makes me want to keep going on for the race. 

 

Screw Europeans. 

When I say that some things are unforgivable, I mean the ones who committed such atrocities, such crimes against humanity should not be forgiven or given a pass; their legacy should not be spared the reality and truth that it really was. 

 

I do not hold all White people living today responsible for what their ancestors did in the past, but I do hold those living today that are consistently trying to reinstate and continue such atrocities, those who still today, insist on wearing their ancestors bloody legacy as a badge of honor and pride. Ann Coulter, for example, is one of those people that is doing just that. Therefore Ann Coulter, and those who think like her, should be held accountable for her/their racism, racist actions and insistence on carrying on [continuing] the racist, sadistic, bloody legacy of her ancestors, with unapologetic pride, not every White person just because they happen to be White.  

 

White people not consciously and deliberately engaging in acts of racism and sabotage of Black people and the Black race are no more accountable for the actions of their ancestors or the racist people today that are engaging in such acts, than Trayvon Martin was a "thug" just because he happened to be wearing a hoodie.      

 

In other words, I feel no ill will towards White people who are not racist, and who have not did anything racist to me or Black people in general, but I do hold racist Whites that are out their consciously and deliberately perpetrating such, responsible for the racism that continues exists against Black people in America and anywhere else in the world because of their actions.

 

I don't believe that White people or any other group or race of people should ever be enslaved for any number of years, because "eye-for-eye" only creates a cycle of revenge and violence and injustice that is hard to break.

 

I do believe that Black people, of all people on earth today, should be the very people uniting to actively and consciously and deliberately work against racism and all of its constructs, to stamp it out, eradicate it, forever all across the entire globe, therefore, also should not be the ones to perpetrate the very thing that has caused so much harm to Black people and the Black race globally, and historically. against anyone else  .

 

Racism and racial hatred is wrong no matter who perpetrates it.  Black people forfeit their right against being victims of racism if they are also perpetrators of it.  However,  we owe it to ourselves and to our future generations, as well as to humanity to tell the truth about racism, to speak out against racism, and to not allow the atrocious, bloody trail that racism has left throughout the Black race, our history and the history of humanity, to be “white-washed” or covered up or down-played by anyone.     

Last edited by sunnubian
Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

Brotha DK wrote: Never Ever, Ever Forget!!!  Forgiveness is different

 

  I don't know my brotha.  I'm kinda different. I DON'T FORGIVE.  I hold grudges.  If I'm wrong to do that?  I'll let the creator of the universe tell me once I cross over.  In the meantime?  Hell...all the stuff MAN has done?  Hellllllllllll no.  Not me. I stopped giving get outta jail cards a looooooong time ago.    Cuz it appears that when you forgive the mofos do it again or think you are their fool.  I don't have that kind of time to waste.  So I just move on.  Cuz I know in terms of payback.  Karma can do it far better than I can.  Cuz what ever you CAUSE will come back and effect you one way or the other.  Proof?  Massa is unable to outlive us.  No matter how many ways he tries to kill us.  He still dies at such an early age.  But!  That's neither here or there.

 

 

The story of the Black Holocaust has never been properly told. The recent denial of affirmative action indirectly says that the Holocaust is now over. It’s in the past. The old "Get over it." But the story has not been told

 

Of course the REAL story hasn't been told.  And that's why we as black people are in very pivotal moment in time cuz why?  We can FINALLY tell our story and DON'T need Massa [or his money] to tell it.  And what's important?  We can tell it ALL OVER THE WORLD.  Not like before when massa had full control of the lies, propaganda, myths and stereotypes regarding black people. Now when he get all this egg on his face from the years of lying...we will be able to tell him GET OVER IT!  And when that moment arrives...it's gonna feel sooooo good. 

 

Yes, it's gonna take a minute for all these black writers, producers, directors, artists, actors to come together for the universal cause of telling our stories in different settings.  And the real reason why the Jews' story are repeated every year during the holiday season and once and twice during the year is because massa wanna continue to brainwash people into thinking that the only other people to suffer inhumanity were the Jews-which that blocks out other injustices on other people.  That's why Jews were placed in the bible, that's why they are arch enemies to those in the middle east[cuz they i.e. middle easterners KNOW they are lying and been lying for years] and that's why the social arrangement between massa and Jews have been so successful because when telling the story of the Jews...they LOOK LIKE MASSA.  

 

 So the story is easier absorbed by the white masses.  And they don't have to share blame.  They can still mistreat black folks and sleep like a baby at night cuz black folks don't LOOK LIKE them.  However, that is CHANGING.  Cuz the stories being told are not in massa's hands ANYMORE.  He will not control what COLOR the actors or perceptions.  Cuz  why?  They're in the hands of those who have been waiting to tell the story accurate for YEARS.  And the time is here.  Watch.  It's going to be a marvelous time being black in this country and in places where slavery existed.  And the reason why I say marvelous?  Cuz the REAL TRUTH regarding slavery all over the world will finally be told.  But!

 

Sista K,  I’m not talking about conventional forgiveness. Hello no, forget that  Talking about using compassion . . . as a weapon. Seeing the  human condition at large in all its ignorance like the Dalai Lama does with the Chinese.   Getting into  conflicts with all Euros burns. eats at and  weakens a person!  And the Chinese are around our corner too.  When I can see how much ignorance rules people, I know what I’m  dealing with.  That gives me some distance and allows me to plug-out  from things.  Helps me to function, should that makes any sense to anyone else.  

 

Brotha DK wrote:  I’m not talking about conventional forgiveness. Hello no, forget that  Talking about using compassion . . . as a weapon. Seeing the  human condition at large in all its ignorance like the Dalai Lama does with the Chinese.   Getting into  conflicts with all Euros burns. eats at and  weakens a person!  And the Chinese are around our corner too.  When I can see how much ignorance rules people, I know what I’m  dealing with.  That gives me some distance and allows me to plug-out  from things.  Helps me to function, should that makes any sense to anyone else.  

 

  I gotcha ya my brotha.  I know exactly what you are talking about.  And you are correct ignorance is our biggest enemy...however for me?  I don't give...well I don't care whether folks are deemed ignorance or not because this has been going on toooooo long and I come from a human stand point in that folks gotta know deep what they are doing to other people is WRONG.

 

But I do know you see a whole lot more of this injustice globally than I do or ever will... probably. And although the Chinese is around the corner?  Well they've been around the corner for a long time especially around the corner from where black folks are-whether African American or just African.

 

I remember as a kid growing up when the LA riot happened in the early 60s...there was an Asian merchant down the street from my house.  And when the LA riot started moving closer to our neighborhood...burning Jewish stores etc and everything in sight...the Asian man wrote on his building:  I'm negro too."  To keep from having his store burn down.  So for me it's like when things are going well for them financially as they exploit us with overzealous prices when partnering with massa...they talk down to us and even follow us in their stores stationed in our neighborhoods....but!  When racial explosion happens against massa and they are stuck in our community or maybe even trapped...all of a sudden they are black too.  So for me...ain't surprised cuz Chinese are Asians just like Arabs are....and just like the Hyksos who pretended to be in alliance with North Africa until it was enough of 'em cuz they kept coming back.  And finally was able to take over Egypt for a few hundreds.  It is the same kinda thing they are presently doing in Africa AND America.  But again...I hear ya my brotha....loud and clear.  But! 

 

Last edited by Kocolicious

Sista Sunnubian wrote:  

I was really thinking the same thing when I read that statement. That perception is probably ingrained in the false belief that the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was the Black race's first encounter with the White race.

 

And the fact that Europeans truly believe they are the ONLY ones with the blue-eye trait. Which clearly is false. And no...we didn't inherited blue eyes from them....they inherit it from us. Cuz many of 'em with blue-eyes lived around the same environment as Africans that cause blue-eyes to occur. And that's all I'm saying.   How can we inherit anything from them....when it has been proven they DERIVED for us. As a matter of fact, all humankind derived from Africa. So they can twist the facts if they want to.  But the REAL truth about EVERYTHING they lied about is finally coming out full throttle.  Thank god!

 

So much of history gets distorted and deliberated fabricated because they know that the average person does not view history on a time-line to begin with, at least, not an accurate one.

 

Bingo!  That's the word "FABRICATED"  And I think some students don't enjoy history because it can be boring or that they don't wanna know about dead people and passed events.  But the truth of the matter is instinctively those students probably felt what was being told to them was a LIE any way so why bother learning it.  And in many cases, they were right.

 

As a third-grader I thought Egyptians were ORANGE people because that's all I saw in the one paragraph one page section in my torn social studies book.  It wasn't explain to me either and I had to wait until I was  in college at 16 to learn that Egypt is in Africa...and Egyptians were BLACK people.  Yet as a young student I always LOVED history.  Did my first play on Christopher Columbus in the 2nd grade.

 

Although I ate everything black in terms of discovering my black heritage in junior high...it was pre-mature information.  Cuz it was after the civil rights movement so teachers had to scramble to get a curriculum on black history....and so they plowed everything on top of each other...and it was confusing for young people to dissect what everything meant.  Had they did it right the first time?  I don't think it would have ignited so much anger and violence during the black power days.  My opinion of course.   But!

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