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THE CIRCULATION OF MEN AND ARTIFACTS IN PORTUGUESE AMERICA AND THE MONSOONS MEMORY BUILDING

Abstract

The purpose of the research is to analyze the connections between São Paulo city and the mines of Cuiabá throughout the first half of the 18th century, starred by men and artifacts that integrated the monsoons. Starting in Araritaguaba, at Itu village, and taking around five months on the water trail to reach the destination, transposing the hydrographic basin from Paraná to the Paraguay one. The focus will fall back on merchants, royal and practical officials who have left impressions about the trips conditions, as well as their experiences and projects during several stops, but a special attention will be given to the merchants acts on the monsoons route, in Cuiabá and the far west. In addition to populations supplying, in the material culture perspective, trade will be taken as a vector for understanding the material dimension of social dynamics, articulating colonial areas, and as a prime factor for the configuration of the American territory. An approach still not really explored by the historiography. For the second part of the investigation, attention will be paid to the processes of the monsoons memory building, from the early years of the Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute until the 4th Centenary celebration of São Paulo city. At this moment, the publications of the seventeenth-century reports published in IHGB Magazine will be privileged for analysis, and joined later on, in the Relatos Monçoeiros, part of the Biblioteca Histórica Paulista (Paulista Historical Library) by Livraria Martins; the design and opening of a monsoons monument in Porto Feliz in 1920, and the tribute to the pioneers of the backwoods; and, finally, the exhibition rooms dedicated to the monsoons in Museu Paulista e Museu Republicano "Convenção de Itu", especially in the management of Afonso de Escragnolle Taunay and Sérgio Buarque de Holanda. The problem that links the two parties and instigates research is to understand how the markedly commercial nature of the river expeditions and their unfoldings to occupy the American territory were obscured in favor of an association between monsoons and bandeirantes, engendered by multiple media of memory. (AU)

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