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Knowing birds among the kujubim: a multispecies ethnography about the relations between an indigenous people in Rondônia and their birds

Grant number: 17/14793-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2017
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal researcher:Felipe Ferreira Vander Velden
Grantee:Gabriel Sanchez
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The project presented here aims to produce a multispecies ethnography around the knowledge about, and practices and relations of the Kujubim indigenous people (Rondônia) with the beings that our biological science classifies as birds, from their intellectual, material and symbolic-semiotic perspectives. Thus, I propose to know the birds among the Kujubim and to investigate the classification criteria used by them, that is, the intellectual operations involved in this classification, exploring how the knowledge of these beings is constituted, acquired and organized into certain categories. I start from the hypothesis that the indigenous classifications regarding birds seem to emerge from the contexts of interaction between human groups and these beings and, therefore, it is important to follow the practices and the effective and affective interactions of the Kujubim with the birds. In order to do so, will be tacked, as method of research, the fieldwork with the Kujubim and their birds, aiming at participant observation, daily coexistence, informal conversations with the interlocutors and observation of their tasks, interviews, walks through forests, rivers and other places. It is also planned to participate in common activities aiming at the observation of birds, the gathering of historical and mythological narratives, and conversations about the memories of this people, with the purpose of producing an ethnography based on the knowledge people have about birds, and how birds are present in their lives. In this way, the research seeks to contribute with ethnographic data about the Kujubim and their birds, investigating what their classification can tell us about the ways in which the Kujubim knowledge system is organized - and vice versa -, contributing not only to ethnological knowledge in general, but also for the debate on human-animal relations, as well as on the relations between human collectives and birds. (AU)

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