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Between war and political negotiation: Xikrin do Bacajá and development projects in Brazil

Grant number: 19/22062-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 23, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal researcher:Clarice Cohn
Grantee:Clarice Cohn
Host: Elizabeth Jacqueline Ewart
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Oxford, England  


The project proposes an expansion and a complementation of the studies, researches and reflections that I have been developing, as an anthropologist, since 1992, with the Xikrin of the Trincheira-Bacajá Indigenous Land, Amazônia, Brazil. The previous analysis, presented in this project, was dedicated to the end of the wars from the pacification process by the Brazilian State, or, more precisely, its continuation by other means, pointing out the productivity of the war to the Xikrin, one of the means by which, as I argue, they enhance their kukradjà, a concept of a broad semantic field that covers both the means for production and the products that make them properly mebengokré, that is, the Xikrin way of being, a condition of being and being in the world. It also reflected upon the process by which they abdicated from the war activities and reinvented them, waging war by other means and thereby maintaining the potency of their kukradjà, starting from the reflections made by the Xikrin on this process, and the eventual benefits and risks they pointed to it. The project seeks to systematize and analyze data from the last decade, in which, due to challenges posed by the same Brazilian State, through the development projects, as in the construction of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam, the imminence of the opening of the Belo Sun open-pit mining, and the invasions of the Indigenous Land, the Xikrin reviewed this option from their recent history, questioning the effectiveness of these other means of waging war, in particular the political negotiations with non-Indigenous (the Kuben), and debating it. This debate has not only placed the Xikrin in a moment of intense reflection, but also my own anthropological analysis. Suggesting that it is time to resume the analysis, based on a new bibliography produced but mainly the continued ethnography with them, I propose here to reflect upon the dilemmas and solutions they experienced in this period. At the end of the research period, I expect to have a text which will complement the three chapters already written, so they can be presented for publication as a book. (AU)

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