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Colonization of the sacred places of the Xavante territory of Marãiwatsédé and São Marcos

Grant number: 19/02323-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2020 - November 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Historical Archaeology
Cooperation agreement: Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities
Principal researcher:Cláudia Regina Plens
Grantee:Cláudia Regina Plens
Principal researcher abroad: Ivan Roksandic
Institution abroad: University of Winnipeg, Canada
Principal researcher abroad: Katarzyna Górka
Institution abroad: Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), Poland
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Camila Diogo de Souza ; Levy Figuti ; Mirjana Roksandic


The process of European colonization in Brazil reconfigured the social landscape after the Portuguese arrival. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, some indigenous societies managed to remain structured and isolated in the western territory of Brazil. However, the acceleration of the socio-economic processes characterized by new political conjectures from the Military Dictatorship (1964-1985) was the last straw to deeply impact the traditional societies of this region. In addition to extreme violence against the population, there was a continuous process of erasing the memory, history, and culture of these populations, which legitimized the loss of their rights. The purpose of this research project is to evaluate, through archaeology and linguistics, this process which led to the taking of the territory of the Xavante indigenous communities of Marãiwatsédé and São Marcos, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. In order to do so, interviews will be carried out for a linguistic evaluation of the memory of the sacred sites and their cultural importance. Simultaneously, archaeological surveys will be carried out to understand the sacred sites, their cultural meaning, and the territorial distribution during this period. The project will contribute to the understanding of the social, political and cultural dynamics that reconfigured the way of life of the Xavante populations in Brazil. The project stems from the interest of the indigenous communities to reclaim the memory of their territory and sacred spaces. Firmly based in community participatory archaeology the project will provide strategies and guidelines for the maintenance of their traditional customs and culture. This project aims to rescue the memory of territorial occupation and return recognition and respect to the sacred places of the Xavante. (AU)

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