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Belligerent cultural cosmopolitics. Analysis of the propagation of Pankararu Indians rituals (State of Pernambouco e São Paulo)

Grant number: 21/09027-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal Investigator:Maria Manuela Ligeti Carneiro da Cunha
Grantee:Cyril Florian Menta
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In the Northeast region of Brazil, a process of ritual convergence emerged recently following a historical movement of religious conversion among indigenous populations. Toré and praiá collective rituals, and domestic ones as food offerings or shamanic cures, are wildly present among indigenous groups. From the 1950s onwards, and more intensely from the 1970s, Pankararu Indians agreed to transmit their rituals to kin groups. This project aims to analyze this cultural policy of regional propagation of rituals. Why did the Pankararu cultural elements spread? How can this phenomenon be described? The Pankararu rituals can be defined as symbolic wars. Many data allow us to analyze them that way. I hypothesize that the propagation of these rituals permits the formation of an invisible army, thus constituting belligerent cultural policies. The proposed research articulates two dimensions: bibliographical research on cultural policies and the context of indigenous urbanization; and two research fields among Geripankó Indians (neighbors and relatives of the pankararus, who practice these rituals since the 2000s) and among Pankararu Indians living in the favela of Real Parque in São Paulo. My goal is to analyze the circulation of traditional knowledge and the subsequent socio-cultural transformations.

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