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Merchandise and money among recently-contacted Indigenous peoples: a new context for the study of the indigenization of Western goods

Grant number: 23/02002-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal Investigator:Dominique Tilkin Gallois
Grantee:Juliana Oliveira Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research proposal seeks to contribute to the theoretical and ethnographic framework of the indigenization of merchandise and Money among contemporary Indigenous peoples in Amazonia. It focuses on protocols created by the Brazilian state, through the National Indian Agency (FUNAI), for two peoples deemed to be 'recently contacted': the Korubo, who speak a Panoan language and inhabit the Vale do Javari Indigenous Land (Amazonas); and the Zo'é, speakers of a Tupi-Guarani language, inhabitants of the Zo'é Indigenous Land (Pará). These different protocols regulate these peoples' access to merchandise and money, and therefore have an impact on their networks of relations with different sectors of national society and with their Indigenous neighbours. Ethnographic fieldwork among the Korubo was carried out during doctoral research between 2019 and 2020 (Silva 2022). The current proposal considers that, based on the ethnography already carried out, and the theoretical writings of Marshall Sahlins (1972; 1992) and Peter Gow (1991; 2007), as well as on new ethnographic research among the Zo'é, it is possible to contribute to a well-consolidated research area, focusing more specifically on the relationship between public policies and Indigenous politics. In the current Brazilian context, in which contradictory development policies are elaborated for Amazonian peoples and communities, it is crucial to analyse the challenges Indigenous peoples face from relations with the market, monetization, and the consumption of industrialized goods. This requires expanding ethnographies of the existing equivocations between ideas dear to agents of the state, such as the idea of "material needs", and what Indigenous people think regarding "wealth" and "value", as well as how they have engaged the merchandise of the whites according to their own ways of distributing and consuming, placing value on their protocols of what are adequate social relations.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
JULIANA OLIVEIRA SILVA. Sangue de menina-velha: adoção e menstruação entre os Korubo. Revista de Estudos Feministas, v. 31, n. 3, . (23/02002-2)

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