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From other rats and other humanities: an ethnography of rat-human relations in Guarani-Mbya villages in Jaraguá (São Paulo/SP)

Grant number: 19/03297-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal Investigator:Felipe Ferreira Vander Velden
Grantee:Bruno Silva Santos
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The presence of companion and breeding animals in the daily life of indigenous societies in South America has been described by an increasing anthropological bibliography, and aroused the interest of ethnologists working with the Guarani peoples. However, it should be noted that little is known about the life of certain companion species: the synanthropic animals introduced into the villages, such as rats, pigeons and cockroaches. In this sense, the objective of this research is to perform an ethnography of the relations between the Guarani-Mbya and the synanthropic rats in Jaraguá (São Paulo/SP), focusing on understanding how this collective perceives, knows, classifies and relates to these beings. This general objective unfolds in a wide bibliographic review about the presence of these rodents introduced in indigenous villages, as well as a critical review of the categories of synanthropy and the relationship between exotic/introduced and native. In addition, it is sought to understand how, from the Guarani-Mbya point of view, the category of "doença do rato" may refer to processes in which humans and non-humans are related in ways that are different from those emphasized by the biomedical description of zoonoses. From this, it is expected to understand what are, what can and what do rats do in the Guarani-Mbya villages in Jaraguá - thus contributing to deepening the anthropological, zoological and ecological knowledge of the relationships between human collectives and these rodents. (AU)

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