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Wild and tame: a multispecies ethnography of hunting among the Karitiana (Rondônia, Brazil)

Grant number: 16/03399-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): July 15, 2016
Effective date (End): February 14, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal researcher:Felipe Ferreira Vander Velden
Grantee:Felipe Ferreira Vander Velden
Host: Rane Willerslev
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Aarhus University, Denmark  


This research Project aims to undertake a multispecies ethnographic reading of hunting among the Karitiana, Tupi-Arikém-speaking Amerindians in the Brazilian state of Rondônia, southwestern Brazilian Amazonia. Taking ethnographic reports of encounters between Karitiana hunters and their non-human prey - in other words, taking a relational ethnography of hunting - this project hopes to position itself at the crossroads between anthropological studies of hunting, multispecies ethnography, Amerindian ethnology, and cognitive and behavorial ethology. Thus, its main purpose is to investigate how humans and animals perceive each other during hunting events - from the Karitiana's point of view - and can learn with each other in symbiotic processes. Following this lead, this project aims to rethink relations between hunters and prey addressing them as interspecific relations that have been shaping multispecific contexts in Amazonia for long. It demands to ask what the Karitiana know about what animals know; or, to put it otherwise: what would be a theory of animal mind to the Karitiana? This research project should justify my stay for eight months at the Department of Anthropology of Aarhus University (Denmark), department which houses leading researchers and important research projects, all interested in multispecies relations and interspecific relations, as well as in anthropological perspectives on hunting and hunter-prey interactions. It is hoped to 1) discuss hunting in the perspective of multispecies relations, and 2) to proceed with the fruitful comparative dialogue between Amazonia and Siberia (and elsewhere), from the vantage point of meditation on hunting and human-animal relations in the so-called Anthropocene. (AU)

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