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Population reduction, mixture and differentiation between the Matipu and Nahukwa: post-contact transformations

Grant number: 14/23016-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2014
Effective date (End): November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal researcher:Antonio Roberto Guerreiro Júnior
Grantee:Diogo Henrique Cardoso
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/26676-0 - Transforming amerindian regional systems: the Upper Xingu case, AP.JP


The objective of this research is to investigate the dynamics of mixture and differentiation among the Matipu and Nahukwa, two karib-speaking peoples of the Upper Xingu. Until de beginning of the 20th century, these peoples lived in different villages and pertained to different cluster of the karib subsystem. After a drastic depopulation caused by epidemics in the 1940's and 1950's, they gathered in one single village, until they split again in the 1980's. Since then, conflictual dynamics about chieftaincy, purity and mixture have emerged, resulting in new segmentation processes. This research will gather historical and ethnographical data about these two groups, and will analyze the testimony of an elder former chief whose life trajectory condenses the main events with the Matipu and Nahukwa of the last 70 years. We expect to deepen the ethnological knowledge about the regional dynamics between these two peoples during the 20th century, as well as to ground analysis of their contemporary relations.

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