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Kinship and politics in the Guarani networks: a review of the connections between terminologies, classifications and practices

Grant number: 16/22195-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2017
Effective date (End): February 28, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal Investigator:Adriana Queiroz Testa
Grantee:Bruno Campelo-Pereira
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This project aims to review the literature concerning kinship and politics among the Guarani, as well as the relationship between these two dimensions of social life. Drawing from the ethnographic information and theoretical reflections presented in the texts, the underlying question is: what connections emerge from the analyses carried out in different ethnographic contexts? In order to answer this question, we focus on three main aspects: kinship terminologies, rules and practices concerning the Guarani system of kinship, and the relationships between this kinship system and different dimensions of their political organization. In methodological terms, we propose a comparative review of the ethnographic research carried out among the Guarani, an indigenous people that has been classified into three subgroups: Nhandeva, Mbya and Kaiowa. We seek to identify different points of connection and contrast in the descriptions and analyses presented in the literature regarding kinship, politics and the relationships between these two fundamental dimensions of social life. This will offer a vantage viewpoint from which we aim to readdress and rethink theoretical discussions pertinent to kinship and politics among the Guarani, and develop new perspectives concerning a persistent problem related to the classification of this indigenous population. As mentioned, the Guarani have been classified into three different subgroups, but there is growing evidence that this classification and the assumptions that underlie it need to be reevaluated, even more so when considering the dimensions of Guarani sociality addressed in this project. (AU)

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