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The Buritis and the Auwe: an ethnography of plants, landscapes and other Cerrado peoples

Grant number: 23/04360-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2024
Effective date (End): May 31, 2027
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Indigenous Ethnology
Principal Investigator:Joana Cabral de Oliveira
Grantee:Eduardo Santos Gonçalves Monteiro
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This research project outlines an ethnographic work to be conducted among the A'uw½-Xavante, an indigenous people located in the cerrado of Mato Grosso. Its primary aim is to describe the relationships the A'uw½ establish with the buriti palm tree, a plant of enormous importance to them. Based on them, it will seek to elucidate the networks of relationships that connect the buriti with the landscapes and people that inhabit them. This proposal follows in the wake of recent discussions in anthropology which, through the deepening of ethnographic description among Amerindian peoples, broadens and sharpens the debate on plants in Amerindian ethnology. I will try to describe A'uw½ knowledge about the buriti and its constitutive landscapes, their cultivation relationships and the co-creation of buritis, men and water. In addition, I intend to qualify the existing relationships between buriti, other plants - cultivated or not -, animals and other beings, from the point of view of the A'uw½. Finally, I will ethnographically investigate these networks of relationships beyond the human in conjunction with mythology, memory about territories, landscapes and displacements and the a'uw½ ritual dynamics. To this end, this research plans to carry out long-term fieldwork, which will be complemented with documentary research and the use of georeferenced data from the A'uw½ territory. (AU)

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