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Maturacá: cosmopolitical transformations and funerary rituals in an Yanomami regional group

Grant number: 20/09294-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): March 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal researcher:Geraldo Luciano Andrello
Grantee:Leon Terci Goulart
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to carry out an ethnography at Maturacá (São Gabriel da Cachoeira, State of Amazonas, Brazil) - a regional group composed of eight Yanomami communities -, continuing to investigate some themes that raised during my master's research. Maturacá shows some unique aspects if compared to other Yanomami realities, such as extended co-residence, high population, and marked spatial proximity between communities - which are effects of the permanent presence of Salesian missionaries, who are stablished there since the 1950s. Thus, taking into account the socio-historical context in which this unique regional group inserts itself, this research should focus on the social and cosmopolitical transformations that have been experimented by the Yanomami. Therefore, the research should be based in an investigation of the relations between the Yanomami and Christianity, that is, the process of shamanic translation of the christians practices. This process is mainly expressed in the recent resumption of the reahu funerary ceremony, which occurs with the combination of Christian burial practices and conventional funerary cannibalism. My central hypothesis is that the headmen-shamans have been playing a central role in the sense of dealing with the relations with missionaries, Christianity and other outsiders. In other words, the shamanism, as a cosmopolitical diplomacy, would be in expansion, crossing the Christian practices translation and the resumption in new terms of the funerary rituals. Thus, the rework of the reahu seems to be a specific way by which the Christian practices and the missionary discourse are translated and transformed through the shamanic creativity. (AU)

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