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A road in the village: the relations between the Kalapalo and non-indigenous peoples

Grant number: 18/07747-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Artionka Manuela Goes Capiberibe
Grantee:Marina Pereira Novo
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/26676-0 - Transforming amerindian regional systems: the Upper Xingu case, AP.JP
Associated scholarship(s):19/06327-8 - A road in the village: relations between the Kalapalo and non-indigenous peoples, BE.EP.PD


This project intends to reflect on the movements of approach and distance of the Kalapalo in relation to the non-indigenous people and the cities. The start point is the discussions about the opening of a road within the limits of the Xingu Indigenous Territory (TIX), from Aiha village to the municipality of Querência/MT. The ethnographic focus lies in the discussions about this road because it is a claim made by the Kalapalo themselves, with the support of representatives of other Xingu peoples. These discussions mobilizes a series of opposing and favorable arguments and instigate reflections on the relations maintained with the non-indigenous world. One the one hand, that road was approved byrepresentatives of the ethnic groups that are part of the TIX, in the meetings of what has been called "governance" by them. On the other hand, the same representatives manifested against the opening of a state highway, only a few kilometers away from the south border of the TIX. My hypothesis is that this kind of positioning does not represent a contradiction. Thinking of whites as one of the possible types of Others with whom the Xinguans can relate, I intend to reflect on this double movement "outward" (towards the whites) and "inwardly" (distancing oneself from such beings considered inventive and dangerous at the same time) and their respective effects on the way of life and daily life of the Kalapalo of Aiha. In addition, I intend to follow the political processes involved in the discussions about the opening of this road, encompassing mainly the relations of the Kalapalo with the governance of the TIX and the decisions that flow from these instances.