The persistence and cultural transformation of the Guaja Indians : foragers of Maranhao state, Brazil


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The persistence and cultural transformation of the Guaja Indians : foragers of Maranhao state, Brazil
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Forline, Louis Carlos, 1953-
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
    List of Tables
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
    List of Figures
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
    Chapter 1. Introduction
        Page 1
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    Chapter 2. Guaja ethnohistory, field setting, and regional ecology
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    Chapter 3. Time allocation and productive activities among the Guaja
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    Chapter 4. Time allocation, child care, leisure, and other activities among the Guaja
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    Chapter 5. Foraging strategies among the Guaja
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    Chapter 6. Dietary intake and anthropometry among the Guaja
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    Chapter 7. Conclusions
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    Biographical sketch
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Full Text





Copyright 1997


Louis Carlos Forline

I would like to dedicate this dissertation to my parents, Silvana D'Incao, and Karanoh6id6 Guaij6.


Many people and institutions supported me in doing my research and writing this dissertation. My first thanks go to my committee members Maxine Margolis, Marvin Harris, H. Russell Bernard, Leslie Lieberman and Nigel Smith. Their theoretical and practical guidance was instrumental in helping me assemble this work which took nearly five years to complete. I would also like to thank the many friends I made along the way since I first began my graduate studies at the University of Florida for their encouragement and warm support. The anthropology department at the University of Florida is unique in that we learn just as much from other students as we do from classroom experiences. The discussions and debates many of us had with one another at each other's houses, at bars, restaurants and student lounges broadened our anthropogical perspectives and gave us plenty of food for thought in formulating ideas and questions about the human experience.

Bryan Byrne was a constant companion and gave me a lot of solidarity and support to keep my hopes up when thesis writing was difficult. James (Diego) Hay always managed to bring people together with diametrically opposed viewpoints and was a great dialogue stimulator. Gay Biery-Hamilton shared an office with me while I was a


teaching assistant for the Department of Anthropology and was a warm and communicative friend during our "basement" days. Tom Abel also stimulated discussions to help put our work in perspective. I would also like to thank Karen Hjerpe who accompanied me during the initial phase of my fieldwork among the Guaja. And, of course, the late Charles Wagley gave me a lot of helpful insight during my early days at UF. A host of other people also deserve mention and if I did not include them here, let my gratitude go out to them, especially those who forged a warm comaraderie with me and other friends at our weekly "Friday Fests."

During the research part of my work, I was given institutional support from the Goeldi Musem of Bel~m, Brazil. I would like to thank the many friends I made at the Goeldi Museum for their kind help, especially its director, Ad~lia Rodrigues, who provided me with an office to conduct my work in while I wrote my thesis. Many thanks also go to Maria Angela D'Incao for giving me the boost I needed to start my thesis writing. Warm thanks also go out to Marcio Meira, Lficia Hussak and CAndida Barros for providing me with ideas and the opportunity to work at the Goeldi Musem, and Rui Murrieta for his moral support. Roberto Araiijo Santos Jr. was also instrumental in giving me the leeway I needed in writing my thesis as well as Ant6nio Carlos Magalhdes. I also received help from the following people in managing my thesis data: Claudia Eleres, Claudia Kahwage, Selma Gomes and Humberto Cotta Jr. While taking breaks from fieldwork, I was put up in my relative Almirzinho's house, and I would like to extend to him my heartfelt thanks for helping me out.


Later, Vivek Ajmani and Jack Dixon provided me with the expert help I needed in analyzing my time allocation data. I would also like to thank Bill Leonard for his time and patience in analyzing the dietary and anthropometric data.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 9216612), with additional support from the World Wildlife Fund and the Explorers Club (Florida Chapter). I also received a Regional Development Fellowship from Brazil's Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnol6gico (CNPq), which helped me write this dissertation after I had terminated my fieldwork among the Guaji.

Lastly, this research would not have been possible if it were not for the openness and reception I had from the Guaji, the people I studied during this research. They were warm and patient hosts and I hope to see them again someday. Towards their well-being I dedicate this dissertation with the hopes that the indigenous peoples of Brazil receive the due recognition and respect they deserve as regional development encroaches upon them.




A CKN OW LED GM EN TS ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TA BLES .............................................................................................................. x

LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... xiii

ABSTRA CT ..................................................................................................................... xiv


I INTRODU CTION .......................................................................................................... 1

Theoretical Perspectives and Statem ent of Problem ...................................................... 6

The GuajA and M odem Foragers ................................................................................. 8

The GuajA and Am azonian D evelopm ent ................................................................. 12

The Guaji, Contact, and G lobal Issues ..................................................................... 18

Thesis Organization and M ethodology ........................................................................ 25

N otes ............................................................................................................................ 28

ECOLOGY ................................................................................................................... 29

GuajA Ethnohistory ...................................................................................................... 29

Field Setting ................................................................................................................. 64

Regional Ecology ......................................................................................................... 84

Sum m ary ...................................................................................................................... 99

N otes .......................................................................................................................... 100

GUA JA ...................................................................................................................... 104


Methods and Problems Associated with Time Allocation Studies ............................ 105

Tim e Budget Profiles am ong the Guaji ..................................................................... 113

The N ature of Productive A ctivities .......................................................................... 121

Hunting ................................................................................................................... 121

Fishing ..................................................................................................................... 132

A gricultural A ctivities ............................................................................................ 142

Gathering ................................................................................................................. 150

Food Preparation ..................................................................................................... 155

Sum m ary .................................................................................................................... 159

N otes .......................................................................................................................... 160

A CTIV ITIES AM ON G THE GUA A ....................................................................... 163

Child Care .................................................................................................................. 163

Leisure ........................................................................................................................ 174

The Social Com ponent of Leisure .......................................................................... 176

Outpost V isits ......................................................................................................... 191

Rituals, Cerem onies, and "other" activities ............................................................... 199

Sum m ary .................................................................................................................... 207

N otes .......................................................................................................................... 209

V FORAGING STRATEGIES AMONG THE GUAJA ............................................... 211

M ethods U sed in Collecting Foraging Data ............................................................... 211

Foraging Y ields and Patterns am ong the GuaJA ......................................................... 214

Sum m ary .................................................................................................................... 245

N otes .......................................................................................................................... 246



Food Consum ption, Diet Breadth and Variation ....................................................... 247

M ethods in Collecting and A ssessing D ietary Data ................................................ 247

Results of Dietary Consum ption Data Analysis ...................................................... 253

Anthropom ethics Am ong the Guaji ........................................................................... 265

Anthropom etric M ethods ........................................................................................ 265

Results of Anthropornetric D ata Analysis .............................................................. 266

Discussion and Sum m ary ........................................................................................... 281

N otes .......................................................................................................................... 293

VII CON CLU SION S ........................................................................................................ 294

Im plications of Settlem ent ......................................................................................... 297

The GuajA's Future ..................................................................................................... 312

N otes .......................................................................................................................... 316

GLO SSARY .................................................................................................................... 317

REFEREN CES ................................................................................................................ 318

BIOGRAPFHCAL SKETCH ........................................................................................... 337



Table page

2.1 Monthly Rainfall Post Guaja .......................................................... 87

3.1 Time Allocation for Posts Guajd, Awti, and Juriti During Dry Season............ 114

3.2 Time Allocation for Posts Guajd, AwA, and Juriti During Wet Season............ 115

3.3 Time Allocation for Posts GuajA, Awi, and Juriti During Wet and Dry Seasons ................................................................................... 116

3.4 Raw Counts in Time Allocatin Activities for Men and Women Across Villages During Dry Season .............................................................. 117

3.5 Raw Counts in Time Allocation Activities for Men and Women Across Villages During Wet Season.............................................................. 118

3.6 Time Allocation Activities Bearing Significant Differences Between Men and Women Across Posts Guaji, AwA and Juriti During Dry Season ............... 119

3.7 Time Allocation Activities Bearing Significant Differences Between Men and Women across Posts Guaji, AwA and Juriti During Wet Season ............... 120

3.8 A Partial List of Fish Captured by the GuajA ......................................... 136

3.9 Partial List of Cultigens Grown by Guajd and FUNAI............................... 143

5.1 Animals Captured at Post GuajA During Dry Season of 1992...................... 217

5.2 Animals Captured at Post GuajA During Wet Season of 1993 ..................... 218

5.3 Animals Captured at Post AwA During Dry Season of 1993 ....................... 219

5.4 Animals Captured at Post AwA During Wet Season of 1994....................... 220

5.5 Animals Captured at Post Juriti During Dry Season of 1993-1994................ 221

5.6 Animals Captured at Post Juriti During Wet Season of 1994 ...................... 222

5.7 Partial List of Game Animals Captured by the Guaji ................................ 223


5.8 Comparative Efficiency Rates Between Traditional and Introduced
Weaponry Among the Guaji ............................................................. 229

5.9 Optimal Set of Animals Captured by Hunters in the Dry Season .................. 232

5. 10 Optimal Set of Animals Captured by Hunters in the Wet Season................. 233

5.11 Optimal Set of Animals Captured by Hunters During the Year................... 234

5.12 Weapon Classes Ranked by Mean Return Rate...................................... 244

6.1 Mean Daily Intake by Age and Sex Males and Females 16 Years and Older ...254 6.2 Mean Daily Intake by Age and Sex -Males and Females Under 16 Years........ 254 6.3 Mean Daily Intake Across Villages Individuals 16 Years and Older ............ 256

6.5 Source of Daily Nutrition by Sex ...................................................... 262

6.6 Source of Daily Nutrition by Village (Adults & Children)......................... 262

6.7 Mean Weight and Height of Guaji Compared with Other Native South
American Groups.......................................................................... 267

6.8 Anthropomnetric Measures of Men by Village in the Dry Season .................. 268

6.9 Anthropometric Measures of Men by Village in the Wet Season ................. 268

6. 10 Anthropometric Measures of Women by Village in Dry Season ................. 270

6.11 Anthropometric Measures of Women by Village in the Wet Season ............. 270

6.12 Mean Changes in Anthropomnetric Measurements of Men by Village From
Dry to Wet Season......................................................................... 271

6.13 Mean Changes in Anthropometric Measurements of Women by Village
From Dry to Wet Season.................................................................. 271

6.14 Comparison of Standardized Means (z-scores) of Anthropometric Data For
Men and Women in the Dry Season ..................................................... 273

6.15 Comparison of Standardized Means (z-scores) of Anthropometric Data For
Men and Women in the Wet Season..................................................... 273

6.16 Comparison of Mean Change of Men and Women From the Dry to Wet
Season .................................................................................... 274

6.17 Comparison of Standardized Means (z-scores) of Anthropometric Data For
Children Younger Than 18 by Village in Dry Season.................................. 275


6.18 Comparison of Standardized Means (z-scores) of Anthropometric Data For
Children Younger Than 18 by Village in Wet Season ............................................. 275

6.19 Comparison of Standardized Means (z-scores) of Anthropometric Data For
Children Younger than 13 across Villages in Dry Season ........................................ 277

6.20 Comparison of Stadardized Means (z-scores) of Anthropometric Data For
Children Younger than 13 across Villages in Wet Season ....................................... 277

6.21 Comparison of Standardized Means (z-scores) of Anthropometric Data For
Boys and G irls in D ry Season ................................................................................... 278

6.22 Comparison of Standardized Means (z-scores) of Anthropometric Data For
Boys and Girls in the W et Season ............................................................................. 278

7.1 Summary of Major Comparisons Between Posts Guaji, AwA, and Juriti ............. 313



Figue page

1. 1 Study Area: Indigenous Areas of Maranhao Where GuaJi Reside and Adjacent Land Areas.......................................................................... 2

1.2 Map of Carajis Project and Area of Influence .......................................... 14

2.1 Demographic Profile of Indian Post Guaj~i (Village 1)................................. 60

2.2 Demographic Profile of Indian Post Awi (Village 2) .................................. 61

2.3 Demographic Profile of Indian Post Juriti (Village 3) ................................. 62

2.4 Demographic Profile of All Villages Combined........................................ 63

2.5 Map of Major Rivers of Maranhao State................................................ 82

2.6 Map of Major Ecological Zones of Maranhao State.................................... 85

2.7 Distribution of Monthly Rainfall at Post Guaji (1992-1993) ........................ 88

5.1 Mean Foraging Returns for Hunters Across All Villages (Mean Kg/Hour Hunting)................................................................................... 239

5.2 Average Foraging Return Rate by Weapon Class Across All Villages (Mean Kg/Hour Hunting).......................................................................... 242

6.5 GuajA Youth Statural Growth Compared with 50th Percentile of U.S. Youth Population (Ages 0 18)................................................................... 279

6.6 Guaj6 Youth Statural Growth Velocity Compared with 50th Percentile of U.S. Youth Population (Ages 0 18)..................................................... 280


Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


Louis Carlos Forline

December, 1997

Chairman: Maxine Margolis
Major Department: Anthropology

This research examines socio-cultural change among the Guajd Indians of

Maranhdo state, Brazil. The GuaJid are one of the last groups of foragers in the world and have only come into contact with Brazilian national society during the last 24 years. This dissertation compares the effects of contact between three settled groups of GuajA.. As such, this study looks at changes in natural resource utilization between these three Guajd communities and examines changes in diet and nutritional status among these groups. The results of the study reveal that the GuaJd have quickly adapted to a huntinggathering-farming mode of subsistence as a result of contact with Brazil's Indian Service, Fundagdo Nacional do Indio (FUNAI). Calorically, the GuaJd have also turned to consuming more farm products even though hunting occupies more of their time in subsistence pursuits. The transition from foraging to farming also reveals that women and children are faring better than adult males in terms of diet and nutritional status.


Contrasts between the three villages also indicate that the community with the least amount of contact has a more substantial diet calorically and a better nutritional status than the groups that have been under FUNA1's auspices for a longer period of time. Since contact, the GuaJA have also become steadily dependent on FUNAI for goods and services, and as a consequence they have come to play a subordinate role to the Indian Service.



This dissertation is the result of approximately 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork among the Guaja Indians of Maranhdo state, Brazil, where I have been conducting research since 1990. The aim of my fieldwork was to study socio-cultural change among this group of indigenes, one of the last foraging societies in the Brazilian Amazon and in the world. The GuajA have come into contact with Brazilian national society within the last three decades and approximately 158 Guajd individuals resided on three semi-permanent nucleated settlements established by Brazil's National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) at the time of this study. An undetermined number of Guaja still remain uncontacted, save for a few brief encounters with other indigenous groups and Brazilian nationals of this region. This research entailed a comparative study among three settled Guajd communities.

FUNAI has established three different Indian Posts to settle the nomadic Guajd

since 1973. The first of these settlements, Post GuajA, was established by FUNAI near the headwaters of the Turiaqu river in MaranhAo state, after it contacted a group of 13 Guajd Indians in 1973. At the time of this research about 44 GuajA resided in the vicinity of this Indian Post which is situated on the Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve, a land area covering about 530,520 hectares (see Figure 1.1). This Indian Post is located near the site of the first encounter between the Guaja and FUNAI near the Turiaqu watershed and this



~ (........ .....


Nova Olin&

Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve

0 Jo.Cocalinho

oA 4 jA re

Figur 1.1gr (Source Cocih 1991


community represents the first group of Guajd to have come into permanent contact with Brazilian national society.

The second Guaja community settled by FUNAI is located near Indian Post AwA on the Caru Indian Reserve, near the Igarape do Presidio (Presidio Creek), an affluent of the Pindare river. The northern limits of the Caru Indian Reserve are approximately 50 kilometers south of the Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve, and covers approximately 172,667 hectares in land area. The first members of this community were settled at Post Awa in 1980 and a total of approximately 94 Guajd individuals resided near this outpost during the time of my study.

The third community of Guajd Indians settled by FUNAI was established in 1989 at Post Juriti, located on the northern fringes of the Cam Indian reserve near the Caru river headwaters. About 20 individuals reside in this community. Yet another Indian Post has been established by FUNAI on the Caru Indian Reserve near the Pindar6 River, in the event that an often-sighted group of uncontacted Guaja Indians, located in this area, comes into contact and agrees to settle at this outpost. This observation outpost (frente de atragdo), Mirim-Mirim, was officially installed in 1991. At the time of this study, it hosted two indigenous individuals from an unidentified tribe who were relocated to this locale by FUNAT from the neighboring state of Pard (cf Balre 1992). No studies were conducted at Post Mirim-Mirim as there were no Guaja to be studied in that particular area.

I spent approximately six months at each of these three research sites (Posts Guaji, Awa and Juriti) in order to examine socio-cultural change between and among these Guaja communities. In this manner, I attempted to compare these groups to draw a "time-lapse"


photograph of the GuajA experience of contact, settlement and the adoption of new resource strategies. As such, my primary focus was on the productive activities of each village to see what effect, if any, that contact and subsequent settlement among the Guajd would bear on the breadth of their resources and acquisition strategies. GuajA productive activities primarily entail hunting, gathering, fishing and farming. Thus, in terms of drawing a comparison between villages, I examined how each of these activities is carried out by each community. This approach helped evince the differences these endeavors reveal between the GuajA villages in terms of productive efforts and returns.

Productive efforts were primarily examined by conducting time allocation studies in order to see the fraction of time each village invested in each of their resource exploitation strategies. Time allocation research was also carried out in order to draw a general profile of each village's time-investment profile. In this regard, time allocation was also illustrative for descriptive purposes in that it helped in portraying a "traditional ethnography" of the GuajA. Additionally, time allocation studies among the Guaji assisted in drawing a year-round profile of their activities. That is, time allocation observations were conducted during the rainy and dry seasons, respectively, in order to see how each village alters its resource ventures according to seasonality.

Productive yields primarily focused on the foraging returns of each village. In this regard, I concentrated on hunting and fishing yields. These productive activities were recorded to examine the total yields each village obtained in their foraging efforts. Foraging yields also revealed the range of resources exploited by each community in addition to showing the seasonality of each resource acquisition strategy.


1 also conducted dietary studies among the Guajd to examine each community's diet breadth and caloric consumption. Subsequently, dietary studies were complemented by performing anthropometric studies among the GuaJA. Anthropometric measures of stature, weight and skin folds were taken on a seasonal basis to assess and evaluate growth rates, lean body mass, and nutritional status between and among villages. Dietary and anthropometric studies were also conducted to see how particular groups of people compared with one another as a measure of evaluating how particular individuals are faring during the current transitional period in GuaJA history.

The research revealed differences in these communities' approaches to the

utilization of natural resources. While some differences were anticipated in the course of this study, reflecting the amount of time each community has been exposed to FUNAI, other contrasts revealed a difference in the demography and social organization in each of the villages studied, the results of contact with FUNAI and other members of Brazilian national society. Thus, each community has a unique history and had a different population and demographic profile before contact. Settlement and contact patterns were carried out differently for each village, which invariably created different demographic profiles and social structures in each community. Still, another important factor explains the differences encountered between communities. As it happens, Post AwA is situated near a large regional development project (Projeto Grande Caraj~s). The Carajds Project has spawned much growth in the area and its proximity exerts pressure on the Guaji's natural resource base as well as posing a constant threat to the security of regional indigenous communities.

While a number of research agendas were applicable to the study of the GuaJA, studies of modern hunter-gatherers cannot be limited to optimal-foraging, ecological anthropology, cultural ecology and other complementary and/or competing models of human ecology. And while this dissertation will still largely examine the Guajd as Ccecosystern people" coping with a natural environment who rely on a subsistence economy, the GuaJA situation also requires that research consider questions of political ecology, sustainable development, indigenous resource knowledge, and humanitarian issues, primarily within the scope of Amazonian growth and development. Thus, for purposes of this dissertation I approach studying the Guaji as foragers undergoing a transition to horticulture and the subsequent relations which have evolved between them and the state agency charged with integrating them, FUNAL

With these factors in mind, I will discuss the theoretical issues addressed in this research. This discussion will help clarify the analytical framework which guided my research and attempt to show what this study can contribute to the study of foraging populations in the tropics.

Theoretical Perspectives and Statement of Problem: Research Agendas, HunterGatherer Studies, and Amazonian Development The study of tropical hunter-gatherers is one of many ways in which we can examine human adaptation and its consequences. Specifically, this research raises the question of what human adaptation implies and entails for hunter-gatherers situated in the Brazilian Amazon. The Guaji are facing a situation of rapid socio-cultural change and their case is of great scholarly and humane interest in that they are one of the few remaining groups of foragers in the world. In this light, research among the Guaji


contributes towards developing theories about modem hunter-gatherers. Studies among the GuaJA address issues of tribal peoples in the developing world and how foragers in particular are coping with change. From a broader theoretical perspective, this study deals with more comprehensive concepts concerning human adaptation and its consequences.

One of the main premises of this dissertation is that human actors are rational

beings and generally adapt a set of practical procedures to conduct their livelihoods (see Harris 1979). In this manner, I embraced a methodology that examines how Guajd sociocultural practices optimize benefits and reduce costs in the face of contact with the Brazilian state. This framework can contribute to a better understanding of tropical forest adaptation and foraging by indigenous peoples in such habitats. In addition, it can help us understand the processes that ensue in the transition from a foraging mode of subsistence to cultivation. It also sheds light on how foraging populations such as the GuaJA have adopted new methods of livelihood within the context of a developing modem nation state, Brazil, and how these survival strategies can apply to similar situations elsewhere.

While many ethnographies and other studies of human societies will have to be

gathered and synthesized to fine-tune theories for assessing human cultural adaptation, this study attempts to show some of the results, or consequences, of the Guaji experience of contact with the Brazilian state. This research cannot answer questions at the grandiose level of meta-theory as it is a first step in a research series regarding the Guajd Indians. Yet contact and its consequences with the Brazilian state have already manifested themselves in many ways among the GuajA. And to address their situation more specifically, they have to be viewed within the context of modem foragers.


The GuajA and Modem Forage

The GuaJd experience of contact, settlement, and the adoption of new modes of subsistence has to be studied in light of Amazonian ecology and development. This necessarily obliges one to examine the GuaJd situation within the prism of ecological anthropology, particularly as this area of study pertains to the human ecology of indigenous populations of Amazonia. This framework envisages human societies as dynamic and constantly adapting themselves to ecological factors, demographics, economic conditions and technological development (Harris 1979). While it is extremely important to salvage cultural traditions it is equally imperative to anticipate the changes that fragile and marginal populations will invariably face as they are directly and indirectly drawn into the net of local and regional markets, not to mention the development projects and political processes that will affect their future (see Wolf 1982, 1990).

This perspective views culture change as inevitable and must be a part of any study of indigenous groups within the context of developing modem nation states of the tropics. While there are merits for heralding and admiring the persistence of a given lifeway for its resistance and resilience (cf, Bal6e 1984), the anticipation of cultural change can contribute to promoting public policies which could alter the negative consequences so often encountered in situations of culture contact. Studies among hunter-gatherers have often assumed that such groups have always lived in isolation, as if they were but one more species located within their habitat (cf Lee 1993: 32-33). Yet much evidence has accumulated favoring a contrary view that foragers have in fact, for quite some time, been engaged in relations with other peoples (Headland & Reid 1989). This set of relations may reflect a symbiotic exchange between foragers and other human groups which have a


different mode of subsistence as is the case with Efe pigmies of central Africa and their Bantu neighbors (Bailey et al. 1989). Conversely, relations between foragers and other groups may also involve hostile exchanges (Gomes 1988, 1989; Balee 1984, 1992, 1994). In the case at hand, the Guaja would occasionally encroach upon the agricultural fields of other indigenous groups such as the Urubu-Ka'apor and in retaliation these tribes would strike back with raids against the Guajd. Some Guajd individuals were beaten while others were killed, and in some instances woman and children were kidnapped and adopted by other tribes (see Nimuendajfu 1949).

The picture of modem hunter-gatherers of the Amazon is further complicated by the fact that many scholars regard them as vestiges of former agricultural societies. This point was made early by Levi-Strauss (1950: 469) and further supported by Lathrap (1968) and others as a reflection of "deculturation" of erstwhile horticultural groups that were reduced to mere fragments of their former societies and consequently forced to abandon more productive habitats as a result of competitive exclusion by other indigenous groups, colonial powers and non-indigenous members of modem nation states (Sponsel 1989).

In an illustrative work by Stearman (1984), the story of the present-day Yuqui of Bolivia was reconstructed to demonstrate a past connection to the Siriono studied by Holmberg (1969), with this latter group eventually becoming incorporated as a peasant community in rural Bolivia. Gomes (1988, 1989) and Balee (1992, 1994) also provide indirect yet rich evidence that the Guajd were likely to have practiced horticulture in the past. Linguistic data show a strong correspondence between a list of cognates referring to plant names obtained from the GuaA and other Tupi-Guarani groups, namely, the Urubu-


Ka'apor, Tenetehara, Tembe, and Assurini. The list of Guajd plant names includes referents to domesticated plants which would indicate a horticultural past since these glosses form cognates with words employed by these other Tupi-Gurani groups that practice horticulture.

Accordingly, Balee (1992, 1994) refers to the loss of agriculture by the Guajd and other lowland South American groups, such as the Arawet as a gradual process of 'agricultural regression'. Thus, the turn to nomadism does not occur overnight as these groups gradually phase out a series of crops in their agricultural cycle and ultimately opt for a foraging mode of living when farming no longer becomes viable for security reasons.

The Guaja presently conduct a hunting-gathering-horticultural mode of

subsistence. Whereas the Guaja have adapted to a new mode of living, and considering the possibility that they were once cultivators, we will still regard them as a foraging group. That is, the Guaja are embraced in this dissertation as a foraging group which is undergoing a transition from a hunting-gathering lifestyle to a hunting-gatheringhorticultural mode of production, embedded in the context of a developing nation state of the tropics. While the Guaja could have possibly practiced horticulture in the distant past, we assume here that they have primarily been adapted to a foraging style of living for approximately 150 years, until they were drawn into the web of contact with Brazilian nationals during the last 24 years.

There are, indeed, many variations and /or examples of groups that would

adequately fit the category of "hunter-gatherer", especially during this day and age where many of these societies have come into contact and no longer show many of the characteristics one would perhaps like to see in the so-called, arche-typical version of

"hunter-gatherer". In fact, it is interesting to note that while many present-day groups of foragers do not fit any given idealized model of hunter-gatherers (Lee 1992), research among these societies is still financed and conducted in the genre of 'hunter-gatherer studies'. Thus, research among foragers has had to face new epistemological revisions regarding past and present conceptualizations of "hunter-gatherers" .2

These considerations return us to an earlier point, namely, that many of these

groups probably practiced some degree of farming in the past. In the case of Amazonia, most of the indigenous groups in pre-Colombian times were sedentary and concentrated along the Brazilian coast and fluvial zones (cf, Denevan 1976; Hemming 1978). With the advent of European colonization in this area, many of these groups were decimated through contact, or reduced to mere vestiges of their former societies, while others were absorbed by national society in the process of "caboclization" (Wagley 1977; Ross 1978; GalvAo 1979; Parker 1985). Then there were other groups, such as the Mundurucu and Tenetehara, which survived, yet underwent a socio-economic transformative process while maintaining their ethnic identity (Murphy 1960; Gomes 1977). Yet other groups which did not undergo this experience fled to the inaccessible reaches of the Amazon region. Lathrap (1968) was keen to note that many of the present day groups of foragers of this region are actually former horticultural societies that took flight from the oncoming encroachment of European expansion and, in turn, were eventually forced to shift to a nomadic way of life. Lathrap illustrated this observation by pointing out the Maku Indians of Amazonas state as probable vestiges of a former sedentary and farming group, although not all ethnographers share this view (Pozzobon 1997: personal communication). Previously mentioned examples, too, are the Yuqui of Bolivia (Stearman 1984), and the


GuaJd (Bal~e 1989, 1994; Gomes 1988, 1989), not to mention the Ach6 of Paraguay (Clastres 1972).

While this discussion about hunter-gatherer research does not cover all of the details and issues pertaining to foraging groups, it can provide us with some focus and direction in terms of comprehending the GuajA. With all of these considerations in mind, then, we can proceed with examining the GuaJA, hopefully sensitized to the foregoing issues. These new directions in hunter-gatherer studies cast a new light in this area of research. In these terms, the Guaja must be seen from an historical perspective as well as within the framework of the modem Amazonian frontier. The GuaiA and Amazonian Development

These considerations concerning modem foragers are central to understanding

issues pertaining to foraging societies within the context of Amazonian development and, of course, how similar historical and political factors influence other hunter-gatherer groups throughout the world. Like many other foraging groups of the developing world, the GuaJd are not completely isolated or autonomous. Therefore, their current situation of contact questions the validity or notion of studying them as being representative of past hunter-gatherer societies (cf Lee 1993; Hill & Hurtado 1989; see also Roosevelt 1989). As development in the Brazilian Amazon involves large-scale land-use schemes, hydroelectirc projects and massive mining endeavors, foragers and other indigenous groups in this region stand to be invariably affected. In addition to the GuaJA, for example, the CaraJ~s mining project of the eastern Amazon region affects approximately 40 indigenous groups, directly and indirectly (Treece 1987).


Thus, the GuajA situation of contact and settlement was and is a result of

Amazonian settlement and development, principally during the present century. While settlement and development in the Amazon region is an ongoing process and reflects Brazil's effort to modernize and extract raw materials for export, one must be mindful of the fact that the Amazon region is considered a large unknown in terms of the potential it holds for many different, and often divergent, interest groups (Nugent 1990). For one, this region is endowed with vast resources such that their exploitation and export are considered to hold the key to liquidating the burden of a large financial debt which Brazil has incurred with first world lending institutions and governments (Coelho 199 1; Treece 1993; but cf. Sanderson 1993 for alternative view).

Likewise, Amazonia also presents us with an example of world economic

globalization and the interdependence forged between different countries. This latter point is very relevant in that Amazonia serves as a berth and entrep6t for Brazil to extract raw materials for export to other nations, which in turn covet these items to maintain their high standard of living. The CarajAs Project (Projeto Grande Cara As, hereforth referred to as PGQ of the eastern Amazon region (see Figure 1.2) is an illustrative case in point exemplifying an interdependent relationship between Brazil and first world countries. The PGC is an association of mining, agricultural, forestry and industrial projects in eastern Amazonia, with the Carajds Iron Ore Project representing its major venture, involving the European Economic Community (EEC), Japan, U.S., and Brazil.

The PGC represents a new Brazilian strategy not only to meet financial obligations to international creditors but, perhaps more importantly, to continue attracting foreign investment by offering comparative advantages, such as cheap labor, favorable tax



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treatment, abundant natural resources, subsidized energy, transportation facilities in addition to lax environmental standards and regulations (Margulis 1990). From the vantage point of new investment possibilities, the Amazonian local ruling elites facilitated linking local development needs with those of the international system (ibid: 37). This relationship is illustrative in that many developing nations are compromised by first-world involvement and investments. In these terms, the PGC is a development scheme which should be expressed more within the framework of "dependent development" (Cardoso 1972; but cf BrUseke 1997 for alternative view). Thus, while foreign investment is attractive to the Amazon region, and Brazil in general, in terms of generating jobs, income and infrastructure, many of these ventures do not sustain internal goods and services as lumber products, minerals, and other extractive products are destined to benefit external economies. While this dissertation only addresses these matters briefly and indirectly, they are mentioned here to illustrate the broader mechanisms which brought and continue to bring the GuaJd, and other indigenous groups, into contact with Brazilian national society.

For many years the Amazon region was considered a "backwater" area in terms of recognition and self-sustaining development (Bunker 1985). Despite this perception, the Amazon region reflects some of the general characteristics of Brazilian economic history in terms of the boom-bust nature of investment ventures and extractive practices which promoted cycles of quick growth and development, followed by stagnant periods in which it languished in economic malaise. Between each of these peaks of economic growth and stagnation, indigenous communities were invariably affected. In the early days of Brazil's post-colonial era, for example, the Amazonian rubber boom encouraged mass migrations into this region's remote areas, principally enlisting the labor of drought victims from


Brazil's northeast. Many extant indigenous communities that were encountered at that time were eventually drawn into the circuit of exchange relations between patrons and clients, a socio-economic process which contributed much to the emergence of Amazonian peasantry, often referred to throughout this region as caboclos (Ross, 1978; Parker 1985).3 Between these periods of economic growth and subsequent decline, this emergent peasant class eventually had to resort to other means of livelihood. As a result, many landless peasants often found their way driving deeper into areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. In many cases, the alternative options available to these groups of migrant laborers are gold-mining, clearing additional areas of forested land for subsistence and share-cropping, working as farm-hands, and migration to towns and cities of the Amazon region, as well as a host of other employment opportunities left open to this unskilled class of people.

Brazilian mega-projects in the Amazon region also played a major role in

encroaching upon Indian areas. For example, in Brazil's attempt to occupy the Amazon region during the 1 970s, through its National Integration Program [Projeto de Integragiio Nacional (PIN)], calling on people from the country's different regions to settle on homesteads offered by national and local Amazonian governments, the road system implemented in this project directly affected approximately 96 different indigenous groups, or about 56 percent of the known indigenous communities of the Brazilian Amazon (Ramos 1984). Touted as an opportunity of "land without men for men without land" (terra para homens para homens sem terra) this development scheme siphoned off another large contingent of people from the drought polygon of the northeast, in addition to Brazilian nationals from the south-southeastern region who were driven off their land


by large-scale land consolidation ventures. Another flow of people from Brazil's centralwestern states were also attracted to this area in search of better opportunities (Moran 1979; Smith 1982).

The inter-ethnic contact which ensued from these occupational and development schemes proved problematic for the Indians and led to a series of relocation and demarcation projects by the Brazilian government (Davis 1978). In 1967, Brazil's then military government established its current Indian Service, FUNAI. This agency was subordinated to Brazil's Ministry of Interior, the state institution responsible for planning and development. The creation of FUNAI by the Brazilian state served to relocate indigenous groups which were then, and still are, regarded as obstacles to development, and transferred and/or confined these communities to areas which would not interfere with regional projects (Baines 1991; Magalhftes 1983, 1991). Many of the Brazilian stateowned companies responsible for Amazonian development projects such as Compania Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) and Centrais E16tricas do Norte do Brasil, S.A.(ELETRONORTE) worked in collaboration with FUNAL and other governmental agencies to assist in settling indigenous peoples encountered adjacent to development projects by relocating them. These collaborative resettlement projects also entailed contracting anthropologists to assist in identifying and attracting isolated groups of indigenous peoples to ease the stressful transition of contact through settlement, as well as enlisting this corps of professionals for advice and assistance in the demarcation of Indian land areas. This was the case with the Carajds Project, whose main investor, CYRD, hired a number of anthropologists to help establish Indian land areas adjacent to the project's area of influence, namely, the large land corridor created by the construction of the


Carajis railway. This railway extends from the large mining area of Serra dos Carajis in Pari state to the port of Itaqui in Sao Luis, Maranhao, and is approximately 910 kilometers in length [- 570 miles (see Figure 1.2)]. The Carajis Project, in its entirety, covers an area of approximately 900,000 square kilometers and includes parts of Pard, Maranhao and Tocantins states, or about 10.6 percent of Brazil's total land area (Hall 1991: 40). All told, this project affects 29 indigenous reserves and about 40 indigneous communties.

This particular project hired anthropologist Mrcio Gomes to assist in attracting groups of Guaja Indians located near the Carajis railway to settle them onto areas that would not interfere with the development projects as well as keeping them out of harm's way. Later, Gomes was instrumental in contacting other groups of Guaja and, together with Brazil's Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), he advocated establishing a separate land area for a group of unsettled Guaj Indians, Area Indigena Awa (Awa Indian Reserve

- see Figure 1.2). Yet subsumed under this practice of cushioning the impact of contact and interaction with Brazilian nationals is a FUNAI mandate which works in the direction of integrating Indians into mainstream society, a form of social engineering that views indigenous lifeways and customs as "backward" and "neolithic" (Jaguaribe 1994). The Guaj. Contact, and Global Issues

Development in the Amazon region enveloped the Guaji and other indigenous groups in a manner which coopted them into contact and involvement with Brazilian national society. As regional settlement steadily engulfed the Guaja, they eventually ran out of areas to where they could retreat from the oncoming frontier. Not only did the Guaji become geographically circumscribed, they eventually became socially


circumscribed through a political and developmental posture taken by the Brazilian state in Amazonia. As previously mentioned, an array of development processes and actors were the principal agents involved in steadily drawing the Guajd and other indigenous groups closer to contact and eventual relations with Brazilian nationals. That this process invariably becomes articulated through an existing state's official Indian Agency, i.e., FUNAI, does not necessarily invalidate the notion of circumscription as peripheral indigenous communities are ultimately contacted, subjugated and drawn into a web of social relations which undermines their autonomy, affects their health and demographic structure, alters their mode of production, and develops a set of dependency relations with the state (Carneiro 1970, 1981, 1987; Arnold 1993; Bodley 1985).

Many indigenous groups were able to avoid the impact of this process in the past as they could elude encroachment by penetrating deeper into heavily forested regions, away from the main watercourses of the Amazon region (Roosevelt 1991). Although many indigenous groups of this region were decimated by direct and indirect contact in the past through hostilities and disease (Ribeiro 1979; Hemming 1978, 1987), with a good number of them succumbing to pressures which ultimately subjugated them to domination and state rule, an uncounted number of other indigenous societies, such as the Guajd, fled from the encroaching elements of the Amazonian frontier and occupied areas near the headwaters of Amazonia's interfluvial zones (Gomes 1989: 3). In recent years, this course of events has changed as large-scale projects and migration within and to the region enclosed the GuaJd within an area which ultimately made contact unavoidable.

Issues of contact and circumscription will be addressed in subsequent chapters as the GuaJA experience is unique and can perhaps evince a series of processes involved in


other situations of contact and settlement of indigenous groups of Amazonia. In some instances, contact is involuntary and coercive, while in others encounters are voluntarily initiated by indigenous groups. In the case of the GuaJk contact with Brazilian nationals has involved both situations. The situation of the GuaJA illustrates a process whereby peripheral populations are curtailed and faced with the voluntary or involuntary option of contact and subsequent involvement with state polities.

Very often, too, indigenous communities are encountered by the "cut-throat" elements of the frontier. Local peasant groups, gold miners and other members of Brazilian national society in the Amazon region frequently take advantage of the Indians' lack of experience with mainstream society. These groups often manipulate and exploit indigenous people as the process of contact steadily places these communities at the lowest rung of the regional socio-economic ladder. As Gray (1995: 12 1) notes, this form of integration does not create a symbiotic relationship between the dominant society and indigenous peoples. To the contrary, it is an asymmetrical relationship and a form of controlled assimilation. Then, too, many indigenous groups are not always "seduced" by the material benefits and services of the enveloping society; rather, the habitats they occupy may become degraded and restricted in their use, forcing many Indians to turn to wage labor and market activities in order to maintain their livelihoods (Gross et al. 1979).

While Amazonian development projects have altered many environmental habitats and consequently besieged many Brazilian Indian communities, the emergence of a global conservation ethic has turned some of these events around and has put Amazonia and indigenous peoples under a new analytical focus. During the last decade the combination of large scale projects, massive migrations and habitat destruction in the Amazon region


has drawn the attention of many environmental and human rights groups, both within Brazil and abroad. The global environmental awareness that emerged during the 1960s has since gained much momentum in monitoring the effects of environmental change and the consequences of development on ecosystems and people around the world. This movement has also led to the formation of lobbying groups which pressure governments and lending institutions to alter their political and economic stances on issues pertaining to development and socio-biodiversity.

Parallel to the upswing in global environmental issues, studies in cultural ecology, ethnobiology and ecological anthropology have raised the possibility that indigenous and folk societies are competent managers of natural resources. Many of these studies assert that indigenous communities have long been adapted to their habitats and, as such, have developed a knowledge of natural resources and practices to utilize their environents in a sustainable manner (Posey 1985; Sponsel 1986; Moran 1990). Moreover, many of these studies have advocated the incoporation of indigenous knowledge into developmental schemes. Advocates of native resource management thus argue that folk and indigenous societies are more adapted to the ecosystems of the tropics and the needs of the people residing in those regions could be adequately satisfied if indigenous knowledge systems were applied to local development ventures (Brokensha & Riley 1980; Posey 1984).

As the eco-manifesto for indigenous rights was promulgated, both folk and indigenous societies emerged as new symbols in the struggle to keep the globe's ecosystems intact yet usable. Concomitantly, debates about the definitions of sustainable development and its applications around the globe often bring to the fore the argument that folk and indigenous societies are the key to maintaining biodiversity, a concept which


is deemed by many to be crucial to the maintenance of ecosystems, and the development of new strains of food, medicines, raw materials, and other items. (Plotkin 1993; Bal6e 1994).

Although the notion of examining indigenous resource knowledge remains in vogue, this issue has generated some polemics regarding the viability of embracing indigenous and folk peoples as resource "consultants" in development schemes. For one, some skepticism has been raised with regard to the idea that indigenous peoples are, indeed, competent managers of natural resources. Thus, some criticism has been levelled at the idea of viewing indigenous peoples as "ecologically noble savages" as they, too, are capable of habitat destruction and species extinction (Johnson 1989; Redford 1991). The results of the Kayap6 Research Project among the Gorotire Kayap6 of Pari, Brazil, were seriously challenged by Parker (1992, 1993). These and other views have forced a number of scholars and planners to rethink issues of conservation and development in terms of assessing the role that rural peoples could and should play in future development schemes. One such issue that was raised was an attempt to better define the notion of natural resource management and what this implies in terms of indigenous resource practices (cf. Redford & Padoch 1992). And the question of "management" still remains unanswered as this issue brings to the fore questions of "consciously" directed action towards manipulating resources in a sustainable manner (Bal6e 1994).

In spite of these views, there is still much interest in researching indigenous and

folk knowledge. Many research foundations, non-governmental organizations and lending institutions have made more funding available to study the resource knowledge employed by rural peoples. There has been a call for a number of projects to make inventories of


resource utilization knowledge and practices as a way of better preparing development schemes in a manner that is more adequately adapted to the tropics and its peoples.

The new perception envisaged in the global environmental ethic has raised another series of debates. Amazonians are fully aware of the fact that their region is endowed with many resources and the notion of examining indigenous resource knowledge is often perceived as another way of siphoning off valuable materials from this region (Nugent 1990). Indigenous peoples were already used as a human resource since colonial times; both their labor and knowledge were put to work for the benefit of neo-Brazilians (Hemming 1978, 1987; Fischer 1991). In this sense, many observers regard the real outcome of indigenous knowledge if it is only perceived as a quick and effective method of obtaining natural resources. As Gray (1995- 120-121) has pointed out, Green Capitalism conceives of conservation in monetary terms as it can only perceive this goal as being accomplished through marketing strategies. A similar comment was also made by Redclift (1987), who stated that for any conservation measure to be effectively implemented in capitalist-type economies, it will have to demonstrate feasibility in terms of its potential for profit. Gray further reiterates a point made earlier by Dasmann (1988: 3 03

- cited in Gray, 1995: 119), that "ecosystem peoples" (i.e., indigenous peoples) are ultimately controlled by "biosphere peoples," who invariably alter ecosystems inhabited by indigenes. As such, with the globalization of the world economy, bioshpere people can always resort to other habitats and regions from which they can expropriate resources. Thus, if indigenous peoples are to be embraced in marketing strategies, those who advocate for their rights claim that it is necessary to copyright their knowledge for just


compensation and as a way of guaranteeing their security (see Cunningham 1993; Brush 1993).

These questions return us to a point made earlier: the significance of Amazonia

from a global perspective may always remain problematic for indigenous peoples since the leverage exerted by core countries still remains overwhelming for peripheral, developing nations. While the rhetoric of "green consumerism' appears to extend due rights and recognition to those who harbor natural resources and their knowledge use, there are disputes which remain to be resolved in terms of extending patent rights and other benefits that would necessarily accrue to those in possession of this type of information. Take, for instance, the U.S. position with regard to patent rights concerning the active principles of plant material. This issue was raised in the Rio Earth Summit meeting of 1992 and was controversial in that the U.S. refrained from ratifying and extending patent rights to countries which are home to much of the genetic material used to develop synthetic products in first world laboratories.

Now that Amazonia is assessed in terms of its gene-bank potential, will the role that indigenous and folk peoples play in terms of informing us about natural resources in any way contribute to their own well-being? This question is posited by many because it raises a major doubt about the possibility of empowering indigenous peoples in the process of harnessing their knowledge of natural resources. Moreover, the involvement of indigenous peoples in marketing strategies to peddle off their materials and knowledge may also prove problematic in terms of compromising their culture (Posey 1993). Additionally, it has been pointed out that while tropical ecosystems have been little exploited for their full benefit, there has been an "over-ecologizing" rhetoric, or "eco-


babble," concerning the benefits that tropical forests will hold for humanity--while the social concerns of these regions remain largely overlooked (Nugent 1990; Karliner 1993; Fatheuer 1993: cited in Singer 1993: 172). Thus, at this juncture, there are a number of interests converging on the Amazon region represented in the way of governments, laboratories and conservation groups, which hope to hold sway in the region's future. While the discourse which favors indigenous knowledge advocates for their rights, it does not conceal the fact that the rational use of natural resources is a "we" issue, a matter which concerns us all and our future. Thus, in order to "sell" conservation it must be shown that this concept is a material question which addresses everyone's well-being (Plotkin 1982). With these considerations in mind, we are witness to a series of interest groups jockeying for position under the banner of eco-discourse.

These latter reflections return us to a point previously made, namely, that the mechanisms involved in drawing the GuaJA into contact and settlement pertain to the globalization of the world economy, the interdependency of countries, and development issues. But many indigenous societies are unaware of all of these issues pertaining to them. Yet while they are far and removed from most discussions regarding their articulation with mainstream society and resource questions, these unresolved issues continue to be debated as indigenous peoples are steadily drawn into the orbit of mainstream relations and networks.

Thesis Organization and Methodology

This introductory discussion leads into the next chapter which will outline GuaJA

ethnohistory and regional ecology. It will look at the social and historical processes which


brought the GuajA into contact and draw a broad sketch of their habitat's ecology and resources.

Chapters III and IV will examine the time-allocation studies I conducted among the GuaJA to show how they budget their time. As we will see in a comparison of the three Indian Posts, there are differences and similarities in the time each community devotes to various activities. Chapter III will be primarily organized around subsistence pursuits while Chapter IV will portray a general profile of other Guaji daily activities. I will discuss some of the methdological assumptions, procedures and problems associated with time-allocation studies as these considerations had to be weighed in terms of time, provenience and study feasibility to successfully perform this research task. I carried out over 6,000 spot-checks in all three research communities, Posts GuajA, AwA, and Juriti which translates into approximately 2,000 observations in each community. This material will help to compare and contrast each of the study communities in order to determine how they differ in terms of time investments in subsistence, social engagements, leisure, and other activities. I will describe the nature of these activities and how people engage in them in order to flesh out the characteristics of time investments. This will also reveal the nature of social interaction between the Guaji as well as providing us with a glimpse at the social relations and involvement they have with the FUTNAI personnel which administer the Indian Posts.

Chapter V will look at GuajA hunting and subsistence data. I collected 229 days of hunting data which breaks down as follows for each of the Guaji villages: for Post GuajA, I compiled 89 days of hunting harvests; at Post AwA, hunting yields for 78 days were collected, while at Post Juriti 62 days of hunting activities were recorded. I will describe


the data collection procedures and also discuss subsistence yields in terms of production and availability of resources for the Guajd. The differences between villages is reflective of the the length of contact, hunting pressures, weapon technology and foraging strategies. Other differences to be discussed in this chapter will be the variation between individuals and the the particular yields they obtained in foraging efforts.

Chapter VI will look at dietary and anthropometric data. I also collected over six weeks of dietary data in all three Guaji villages. Dietary data collection entailed direct observation of food consumption, and weighing of food, as well as performing dietary recall tasks with informants. This data was complemented by collecting anthropometric data for all three Guaji communities in order to assess seasonal differences among and between villages. Anthropomnetric data was also collected to evaluate dietary requirements for the Guajd. All of these data are useful in terms of building data for comparison with other indigenous groups of lowland South America and other foraging communities, in addition to evaluating the consequences of contact.

The conclusions of this thesis will be presented in Chapter VII. I will synthesize the material presented in the foregoing chapters to draw conclusions about the GuaJA experience of contact, settlement, and adoption of new resource strategies. These closing observations will refer to the issues raised in this introductory chapter regarding indigenous adaptation to tropical ecosystems as well as the consequences of contact between the Guajd and Brazilian national society. In all, this dissertation represents an initial step in studying the Guaji. Hopefully, the material we bring together in the form of collaborative research should contribute to developing not only a traditional ethnography


of these people, but also to the rights and privileges they should enjoy as new and

emerging members of a democratic nation state.


1Since this study, this site has been officially established as Indian Post Tiracambu, and is no longer a FUNAI observation outpost. After I completed this research, approximately 30 GuaJA individuals from Post Awd have gone to reside in the vicinity of this new Indian Post. The main reason cited by these individuals was that resources near Post Awd were drained, and as a result, they departed for Indian Post Tiracambu.

2 Thus, hunter-gatherer studies can now embrace a multitude of societies and terminologies to study groups that once practiced a hunting and gathering life-style. For example, some revisionists question the use of the term 'hunter-gatherer' instead of 'gatherer-hunter' since many of these societies spend more time gathering natural resources than in hunting--not to mention the greater caloric contributions these groups obtain in their diets from gathering than from hunting. These revisions also imply the greater role that women contribute to the subsistence economy of these societies (cf, Dahlberg 198 1). Morever, biological terms like 'foraging' have also been introduced in hunter-gatherer studies to embrace ecological-evolutionary concepts (see Lee 1993).

3Nugent (1997) refers to the vagueness of the term caboclo and the implications of its historical construction. For example, while many regional peasants refer to themselves as caboclos, the term is still rather ambiguous for it does not necessarily stand for a particular ethnic group, per se. For purposes of this dissertation, caboclo generally refers to nonindigenous peasantry of the Brazilian Amazon.


In this chapter, I will draw on documentary research and personal accounts to

present a general picture of the Guajd's background, contact history and settlement. In this manner, the Guajd are compared with other groups pertaining to the Tupi-Guarani linguistic family and are also presented in terms of their personal history. Their own history has also shed light on the nature of contact that ensued in the wake of Amazonian development projects, and subsequent involvement with Brazil's Indian Service, FUNAI. I will close this chapter by presenting a brief sketch of the field setting where I worked among the Guajd and conclude with a general description of the Guaji's habitat with an attempt to highlight this regions's biological and ecological characteristics, particularly with emphasis on the environmental features which influence this group's mode of living.

Guaji Ethnohistory

Both Gomes (1988, 1989) and Bal~e (1984, 1994) speculate that during preColumbian times the Guaja formed part of a larger cultural complex together with other Tupi-Guarani groups of the lower Amazon region.' It is possible that they were part of what was considered to be a fairly homogeneous culture which included other indigenous groups of this area such as the ParakanA, Assurini, Urubu-Ka'apor, Amanaj6s, Anambe, Tenetehara, in addition to other indigenous groups which are probably now extinct (Gomes 1989: 4). With the onset of Portuguese colonial settlement and expansion in this



region, these groups dispersed and steadily became subdivided and fragmented, part and parcel of the large demographic decline experienced by the indigenous groups of Brazil during this period (Hemming 1978, 1987).

Until the early days of the 19th century, the Guajd probably lived in the vicinity of the lower Tocantins river basin and the upper Moju river watershed area, both locales situated in the current Brazilian state of Pard (see Figure 1.2). It is probable that the Guaja began to disperse in an easterly direction during the Cabanagem upheavel which occured during the years of 1835-1840. The Cabanagem was a civil war that pitted Amazonia's former colonial vassals against the region's new elite, which had established itself after Brazil gained its independence from Portugal in 1822. That this insurrection could have also spilled over into adjacent indigenous communities is a distinct possbility as many of the warring contingents consisted of acculturated Indians and mixed-blood peoples (Balre 1994: 34).

The eastward course of migration taken by the Guaji in the direction of Maranhdo state was also tread by the Urubu-Ka'apor at approximately the same time. Both groups had developed a series of skirmishes between one another over territorial disputes and the Guaja turned out to be the more vulnerable in these conflicts as the Urubu-Ka'apor had a numerical advantage over them. Hemming (1978: 496) speculated that the GuajA numbered aproximately 2,000 individuals during pre-Columbian times while the UrubuKa'apor probably had a population of about 3,000.2 In later years, during the 1930s, the Urubu-Ka'apor acquired firearms which rendered the Guaja even more vulnerable during these conflicts. Yet during the 1950s, the Urubu-Ka'apor suffered some demographic


losses and lost some territorial positions to the Guaja in the region of the Turiaqu river headwaters in Maranhao. FUNAI intervened in the conflicts between these two groups and hostilities ceased to exist between them in 1975, as part of an unwritten policy, Pax Brasilliana, to quell all inter-Indian conflicts. Relations with the Urubu-Ka'apor are now fairly amicable and there is even a marriage between a Guaji man from the Post Guajd community with an Urubu-Ka'apor woman from the village of Urutawy, both currently residing at the husband's village located on the Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve.

For quite some time, the Guaji proved to be rather elusive and avoided contact

with any group of Indians or neo-Brazilians. Travelers in Maranhao occasionally reported sighting the Guaja but contact was infrequent and very brief during those periods. Many accounts of the Guaja were reported by other indigenous groups to settlers and travelers of the Pindar6 region. This was the case of the small entry written by Curt Nimuendajii in the Handbook of South American Indians (1949: 135-36) who travelled to this area in 1912 and obtained a brief and succinct account of the Guaja from the Temb6 Indians, and later from the Guajajara in 1929. In this account, Nimuendajii was told that the GuajA were a nomadic people and frequently avoided contact with others. They were said to possess a very simple material culture with the distinguishing characteristics being their long bows and arrows, a short haircut in the form of an inverted bowl for both sexes, no facial adornments, and no clothing except for the tucum palm (Astrocaryum vulgare) fiber skirt woven and worn by the Guaja women. The women also used a sling to carry babies, which was also manufactured from tucum fiber. Moreover, observers made note of other characteristics such as the absence of agriculture, a hunting and gathering mode of


subsistence, and a large dependence on the fruit of the babaqu palm (Attalea speciosa). Others also noted that their dwellings and hunting camps were very temporary, makeshift, and simple. They also possessed a large number of pets, principally howler monkeys (Beghin 1950). Travellers also pointed out that the Guaji lived in very small social groups of two to four families (Dodt 1939) and Nimuendaj6 added that the Guaji and Tembe had similar languages and, as such, they were able to comprehend each other. My own experience with the Guajd revealed, too, that their language is almost mutually intelligible with the Guajajara, whose language they claim to be easier to comprehend than that of their other present-day neighbors, the Urubu-Ka'apor.

That the Guajd lacked agriculture perhaps served as the primary cause for their raiding the crops of their indigneous neighbors, such as the Temb6, Urubu-Ka'apor and Guajajara. As Nimuendaj6 reported, when the GuajA were caught, they were killed or at least beaten and imprisoned. He also noted that on one occasion the Urubu-Ka'apor Indians raided and massacred a Guaja camp. Ribeiro (1996: 282) also commented that the Urubu-Ka'apor scapegoated the Guaji by unloading their hostilities upon them, especially after the Urubu-Ka'apor suffered the bewildering impacts of disease and death from contact with white people.

During another incident, circa 1910-11, the Tembe mentioned that they spotted a group of Guajd Indians stealing crops from one of their agricultural plots and pursued these individuals. When the Temb6 caught up with this small group, the GuajA capitulated without struggle, although they were armed with bows and arrows. The Temb6 brought


these individuals back to their camp as captives and reported that they all eventually died of intestinal maladies after eating the cooked and seasoned food of their captors.

Nimuendaji also listed a host of names that were ascribed/assigned to the Guaja by other groups. He mentioned that both groups of Tenetehara Indians (Guajajara and Temb6) referred to the Guaji as Wazaizara (wazai, an ornament of small tufts of feathers stuck with wax in the hair, plus zara, "owner"). For their part, the Amanay6 Indians referred to the Guajd as Aiay, while the term Guajd is said to be a neo-Brazilian corruption of Gwaza. As for the Guaji, they refer to themselves as Awd, which means "person,.. "man," or "people". Only after permanent contact was established with the GuajAi in 1973, did it become evident that these reports by early travelers were limited for lack of sustained interaction with these indigenes. The gamut of their activities was not known, neither were many aspects of their material culture, social organization or language.

Based on this smattering of scant reports, Nimuendaj6i situated the Guaja Indians between the Capim and Gurupi rivers, in the state of Para, and extending into Maranhao. In Maranhao, the GuajA were thought to occupy the interfluvial zones located between the upper courses of the Gurupi and the Pindar6 rivers. Gomes (1989: 5) speculates that as of 1950 perhaps all living groups of GuajA individuals were residing east of the Gurupi river, in the state of Maranhao (see Figure 1.1). He also notes that this was probably the result of the fact that many Guaji groups west of the Gurupi river, in the state of Pari, were exterminated and unable to survive the constant pressure from the expansion of neoBrazilians and other Indian groups. There are some incidents, however, which report the


existence and brief appearence of some GuajA groups in that area. FUNAI (1995: personal communication) reports, for example, that Urubu-Ka'apor Indians have recently sighted some GuajA near the banks of the Gurupi river in the state of Pari, on the Alto Guami Indian Reserve.

When Brazil's Indian Protection Service [Servigo de Prote9do ao Indio (SPI)] established its first Indian Post in MaranhAo in 1913, on the confluence of the Caru and Pindar6 rivers, it took note of the Guajd presence in that state. In 1914 a report was prepared by this outpost which noted the presence of Guajd Indians near the Pindare river. Until the SPI was disbanded in 1967, many brief and sporadic encounters were made with the Guaja. Former funtionaries of the Indian Service indicate that many of the Guaja suffered from this contact in the way of illness, disease and death, as well as by hostile encounters with the Urubu-Ka'apor and Tenetehara Indians. Gomes (1989: 5) further notes that during the course of these years of sporadic contact, and even during the initial series of contacts subsequently established by FUNAI, the Guajd were viewed in a derogatory manner and written off as a hopeless case, because of their simplicity, nomadism, and their presumed indifference to the advantages which they could accrue through western goods and services all of which they could have acquired had they chosen to live a sedentary lifestyle. Thus, they were deemed as "indomitable" by the state agency charged to look after them as well as by other principle actors of the region such as traders (regatbes), ranchers and the patron class.

Both the Tenetehara Indians and former SPI workers reported that the Guajd were frequently the targets of "extermination" groups which would form posses in local towns


or recently established communities of the expanding frontier located in the Turiaqu and Pindare river valleys. One such incident occurred in 1948 in the muncipio (county) of Amarante in Maranhdo state in retaliation against a group of Guaja Indians who attacked a woman washing clothes along a riverbank. The "avengers" boasted of liquidating a large number of Indians while other accounts of skirmishes with the Guajd were reported by people who travelled in the region of the upper Pindar6 river. When the interstate highway, BR-222, was under construction between Santa In~s and Imperatriz, other reports relate incidents of planned attacks against the Guaji which allegedly resulted in many casualties for these indigenes. As Gomes (1989: 6) pointed out, whether these reports are, in fact, true does not diminish the nature of contact nor the general state of besiege and subsequent decline suffered by the GuajA in this region. While some groups of Guajd, for certain, perished unbeknownst to outsiders, other bands have probably merged. Then, again, the surviving groups are still undergoing many of the maladies which result from direct or indirect contact with Brazilian nationals.

For a number of years, since the 1940s, the SPI attemped to "pacify" the Guaj.. In 1943 it actually managed to contact a small group of Guajd who approached the Indian Post of Gongalves Dias (later established as Indian Post Pindare), approximately 10 kilometers from Santa Ins. Yet for all of its efforts the SPI was not able to maintain sustained contact with members of this group, or with other GuajA bands, which were occasionally sighted along the banks of the Pindare river and one of its affluents, the Buriticupu river. Some years later, in 1969, briefly after the SPI was succeeded by FUNAI, anthropology student Fiorello Parise was called upon to "rescue" a group of


three Guajd Indians who were temporarily hosted in a squatter family compound on the Cam river, the main affluent of the Pindare river. Gomes (ibid.)speculates that this small group represents the survivors of a larger group which was decimated by the first incursion of settlers to this region who squatted along the eastern banks of the Cam river. This small group was relocated to a Tenetehara village, presently known as Indian Post Cam on the Caru Indian Reserve. Only one member of this band still survives after being incorporated into the Tenetehara tribe among whom he resides, married to a woman of that community.

In March, 1973, a small FJNAI search party was formed to attempt contact with a small group of GuajA Indians who were sighted by a regional hunter. This backwoodsman had actually contacted some of these individuals and traded with them on occasion. Subsequently, he informed a local acquaintance of his, Florindo Diniz, also a regional hunter who had recently joined FUNAI, of the presence of the Guaj near the upper Turia~u. The search party consisted of anthropologist Valfria Parise, Jose Carlos Meirelles, son of a former SPI employee, Jairo Patusco, and Florindo Diniz. This team negotiated the upper courses of the Turiaqu river and contacted a group of 13 Guaja Indians in this vicinity, who approached them asking for food. Coincidentally, the site of this first contact is located near a former Urubu-Ka'apor village, situated near a cluster of babaqu palms, an artifact of this latter group's agricultural activities. FUNAI subsequently brought and displayed wares such as pots, pans, machetes and food, to attract and settle this group of Guaja. Other related groups of Guajd were attracted to this sight and gradually settled in this locale along with the original group of thirteen people. FUNAI


reports that approximately five or six Guajd bands were attracted to this location, totalling 91 individuals in 1976. Shortly thereafter, FUNAI intensified its efforts to keep this group settled and as a result many of these Indians contracted pneumonia, influenza, and malaria. FUNAI was less than prepared to manage this contact in a competent manner as it did not harbor a permanent health crew to negotiate this transition. The results were staggering. Of the original group of 91 individuals, only 25 survived through 1980 (Gomes 1989: 7).

The outcome of this initial contact left the survivors disoriented and languishing in state of shock. The group was slow to rebound as this demographic decline took a heavier toll on its female members. This settlement later became established as Indian Post Guajd, and during my research this community hosted a population of 45 individuals with a proportion of approximately three adult men to one female of reproductive age.' This disparity between the sexes has led to the establishment of some polyandrous marriages and has also created tension between certain men. This group slowly recuperated, yet in a manner which saw it developing a dependent relationship with FUNAI's Indian Post, later established as Post Guajd, in 1978, when the Indian Reserve of Alto Turiaqu was officially demarcated. The individuals of this community began to settle down to a semi-sedentary lifestyle and were embraced as laborers by FUNAI to help build and maintain the post, clear horticultural plots, hunt and fish for FUNAI workers, in addition to a number of other services and activities which the Indian Service saw fit to engage the Guajd. The recovery is still slow as it is still plagued by an occasional outbreak of malaria, influenza and other maladies, which come indirectly by way of land invasions in addition to lax FUNAI standards, which do not require any form of prior medical


screening before admitting Indian Service personnel onto Indian Reserves. In 1985, for example, a FUNAI report indicates that it hired an ex-gold miner (garimpeiro) who had worked in the Serra Pelada mine of Para state, and was later admitted to this Indian Reserve without a medical examination. Prior to his arrival, this individual had contracted Malariafalciparum and introduced this strain of malaria to the Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve, hitherto thought to have not existed in this particular region.4

The community at Post Guajd now has a fairly amicable relationship with the Urubu-Ka'apor Indians of Urutawy village (Indian Post Z6 Gurupi) which is located approximately 19 kilometers east of Indian Post Guaji on the Alto Turia~u Reserve (see Figure 1.1). Members of each community visit one another on occasion and the resulting interaction often involves bartering food for wares, exchanging information about hunting and game availability, and also unites some of these individuals on ritual and festive occasions. While FUNAI acted as a go-between for the marriage arrangement previously mentioned, between a Guaja man and an Urubu-Ka'apor woman, it also discourages frequent contact between both communities. The Indian Service claims that during these visits, the Urubu-Ka'apor frequently take advantage of the Guaji as the latter do not have as much experience or power of persuasion as the former in negotiating exchanges. The results, they claim, are that the Urubu-Ka'apor will often hoodwink the Guaji or walk away with a better deal in these negotiations. Indeed, these types of situations do transpire between both groups and it is through the influence of the Urubu-Ka'apor Indians that members of the Post Guajd community grew interested in planting and selling rice in exchange for cash.'


During the first years of sustained contact, the middle courses of the Pindar6 and Caru rivers became sites for new neo-Brazilian migrant squatters to penetrate and settle. Some Guaja groups were contacted in this process while others retreated further into the forested areas. On one of these occasions, an entire band of Guaji died except for two young boys. News of the two youths was passed on by local settlers and FUNAI asked anthropologist Valeria Parise to provide safe conduct for them to the Indian Service's Boarding House in So Luis.6 One of the youths died three years later of tuberculosis while the other was later transferred to Indian Post Guaji, where he was primarily raised at the FUNAI outpost by members of the Indian service. He also resided briefly among the Tenetehara and Gavi~o Indians of Maranhdo and later became an interpreter for FUNAI. Eventually, he was incorporated into FUNAI's Guaji Program and currently serves as a salaried employee for the Indian Service. This individual, Gei, is perhaps the most acculturated of the Guaja Indians and is currently married to a neo-Brazilian woman from a local community bordering the Caru Indian Reserve. He was also previously married to another neo-Brazilian woman from whom he is now separated. In both unions this Gei fathered a child.

In the 1970s, during the paving of route BR-070 (which connects Sdo Luis to

Belm), a small band of six Guajd approached a crew of construction workers. Members of this band were eventually transferred to the FUNAI boarding house of Sdo Luis and were subsequently placed on the nearest Indian Post where they were left to their luck and died of ill health. On another occasion, a small group of Guaja Indians were sighted near the Gavido-Pukobye reserve in the municipio of Amarante. One of the Guaja' women was


apprehended with her daughter and both were taken to the FUNAI boarding house of Sao Luis, where both fell victims to ill health. The mother eventually died while the daughter was raised by nurses at the boarding house. She was later transferred to the Gavido reserve and is currently married to a man of that ethnic group and has no knowledge of her ethnic origins or culture (Gomes ibid.)

In 1980 a group of three Guajd approached a working crew of settlers who were clearing a plot of land near the headwaters of Timbira creek, an affluent of the Pindar6 river. There were earlier reports of this group in the region by local settlers in the vicinity of the middle and lower courses of the creek. Vestiges of this Pindar6 group often appeared in the form of abandoned camps and skeletons. By the early 1 980s, the Guaji of Pindar6 were completely enclosed by the expanding frontier and some of them had on one occasion, been shot at by a local farmer who ambushed them on his cornfield. The Guajd of Pindare were famished because their principal resource base, the babaqu palm clusters, were being cut down to make way for settler expansion of agricultural fields. FUNAI caught wind of this shooting incident and organized a search party to contact the GuajA. This search party was formed by two FUNAI agents, a medical doctor and anthropologist M~rcio Gomes. When contact was made with the Guajd of Pindar6, FUJNAI discovered that it formed part of a larger band consisting of 28 individuals. Some of them were suffering the effects of influenza while others were showing signs of malnutrition. The members of this search team decided quickly that it was time to transfer this band of Guajd to the Caru Indian Reserve as they were completely surrounded by an ever approaching front of settlers. The Camu Indian Reserve was only 30 kilometers to the west of the


contact site and it already harbored some groups of Guajd individuals in addition to a larger contingent of Tenetehara Indians. Yet the relocation was very tenuous as members of the search party had to negotiate the Guaji band through forested areas to avoid contact with local settlements. Gomes (1989: 8) reports that in spite of FUNAI indecisiveness and lack of logistical support, the transfer was managed with the help of local farmers and two Catholic priests from Brazil's Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI), as well as two Guaji individuals from Post GuaA. Between June and September of that year the Pindar6 GuajA were eventually transferred to the Caru Indian Reserve, yet along the way four adults and three children died of influenza. A total of 21 GuajA individuals were successfully transferred to the Caru Indian Reserve and settled along the banks of the Presidio Creek, an affluent of the Pindare river. Near this location a second Indian Post was established as a support center for the GuajA, and was denominated as Posto Indigena AwA (Indian Post AwA) in 1983. Today this community consists of 94 individuals. Although other individuals also died as a result of contact, this sharp rise in population is both the result of a large number of births and the incorporation of other isolated GuajA groups which were eventually contacted and incorporated in the Posto Indigena AwA community. Gomes (ibid.) also reports that one of the community leaders of Posto AwA was very instrumental in attracting other GuajA through his persuasive skills and ability to incorporate people into his village.

A few years later, in an area south of the Caru Indian Reserve, four GuajA appeared in the back yard of a settler farm, located on a settlement established by a government land-issue project for colonists [Grupo Executivo de Terras do


Araguaia/Tocantins (GETAT)]. Although this small group of GuaJd could barely pose a formidable threat, it was the cause of great concern and consternation among settlers in that area, especially after this group killed and ate some of their pigs. In 1986, FUNAT reported that settlers residing in the hamldet of Brejo Santo Ant~nio near Kilometer 426 of the Carajds railway were frightened by these individuals as they threatened to shoot anyone who attempted to approach them. Shortly afterwards, a member of this group attacked and shot a CVRD tractor operator, who was working on a road adjacent to the Carajdis railway. Another person was shot by this group when he was rowing a canoe and yet a third person was also attacked but not harmed. Both CVRD and FUNAL were alerted to these incidents, and the local press sent out alarming notices about the presence of Indians along the Carajis corridor. A discussion ensued about the possibility of establishing an additional Indian Reserve of 2,500 hectares in this area but these deliberations did not materialize into any land gain for this group as the area under consideration would conflict with land claims previously established by existing farms and settlements. What was finally decided was that FUNAI would locate and transfer them to the Camu Indian Reserve. After a few attempts to contact the group had failed, in 1987 they were finally persuaded to approach the FUNAI search party with the assistance of other GuaJd individuals from the Post AwA community. By that time, one of these individuals had died and the remaining three people were convinced by the other GuaJd to accompany them to the Camu Indian Reserve.

The group, made up of two men and one woman, was slow to integrate itself into the community. They were the last remnants of a group which orginally consisted of nine


individuals, as reported by the residents of Brejo Santo Ant~nio. Although they speak the same language as the GuaJAi in the Post Awd community, they were marginalized by members of that village as they were essentially considered "outsiders". The Guaji from the Post AwA community refer to these individuals as mihua, a term which designates someone who is strange, savage and dirty. These individuals were eventually embraced by members of the Post AwA community through a form of indentured servitude. They are often enlisted to perform menial tasks by members of the principal band that settled into that community, yet in return, a member of the mihua group had a couple of young girls betrothed to him for his services. While these individuals are slowly gaining acceptance and respect in the Post Awd community they are occasionally reminded of their position as mi/was, as they are sometimes the butt of jokes, and the object of occasional outbursts of aggressive behavior.

Indentureship will often figure in the life of a stray Guaja individual who does not constitute part of the united bands brought together at FUJNAI outposts. For example, a couple of GuajA boys were encountered by local famers in 1975 and later sent to the FUNAI boarding house of Sdo Luis. These young boys were brothers and were later transferred to Indian Post Guajd. One of the boys died while the other was incorporated into a family unit of that community. He now enjoys the benefits and privileges of that community and has since married, in addition to having a young girl betrothed to him, yet it so happens that he is also the hardest worker among the members at the Post Guaj'a village. A similar type of arrangement also occurs at the Post Awi community in relation to a young boy who was found in the forest by one of the Guajd men who was hunting in


the vicinity of the Pindar6 creek. This lad was eventually adopted by the main band of the Post Awd community and performs many of the menial tasks and heavy labor assigned to him by members of his foster family. In these latter cases, none of the individuals were referred to as mihuas, rather, they were embraced into their adopted families and referred
to by their proper names.

To the south of the Camu Indian Reserve, other groups of Guajd have been sighted by local peasant groups and settlers. FUNAI had heard stories of a group of Guajd which consisted of about three to four different families and dispatched another search party to contact these people. Apparently, only two women and their children were encountered and they told the search party that their husbands had died of illnesses contracted through contact with local farmers or lumbermen of the region. FUNAI still speculates that there are other survivors of this group trekking through the region. In the Arariboia Indian Reserve, located southwest of the Camu Indian Reserve, there have been yet other reports of two Guajd groups, totalling perhaps 30 individuals. Gomes (1989: 9) believes that some potential conflict could ensue between the GuajA and the officially established group of Tenetehara Indians located on the reserve, who number approximately 4,000 people. In this case, there is much speculation as to whether contact and eventual settlement could be negotiated and conducted smoothly in such a manner that would promote a peaceful coexistence between the two ethnic groups. Otherwise, newly contacted Guajd groups would have to be transferred to another Indian Reserve.

This group formed part of a larger contingent of Guajd in times past and was the target of the revenge posse previously mentioned, which organized itself in the town of


Amarante and later boasted of killing many Indians. In 1968 a member of the Arariboia group shot a local peasant while he was clam-digging near their catchment area in the company of some Tenetehara Indians. In 1977, another part of the group, consisting of about 10 to 20 persons, was found in south-central Maranhao on the Gaviao Indian Reserve. As noted before, the Gavido apprehended a woman and her daughter. The rest of the group immediately took refuge in an area adjacent to the Krikati Indian Reserve and proceeded to move in a southerly direction as they anticipated being encircled by encroaching settlements in the forested areas to the north of this region.

In 1978, while this part of the Arariboia group was searching for domestic animals on a farmstead in the muncipio of Porto Franco in southwestern Maranhao state, they were spotted by a dog which alerted local gunmen (jagunfos) to their presence. The jagunfos charged after the group and a young Guajd boy of approximately ten years of age was captured and taken to the jail of Porto Franco, where local police called on FUNAI to come and identify the youth. The boy was later transferred to the FUNAT boarding house of Sao Luis and subsequently relocated to Post Guajd on the Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve, where he lives till this day. He was brought up at the FUNAI Indian Post during most of his growing years and is "unofficially" this outpost's hunter and also serves as an interpreter who brokers information for both visitors and FUNAI workers in the Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve. This young adult man, c6ramukJ-a", christened by FUNAI as Bemvindo Guaja,8 was referred to earlier as the person who married an Urubu-Ka'apor woman from the Urutawy village and this union has produced a pair of children, a girl, and a boy who recently died of intestinal problems.


FUNAI retraced the steps of the attack made on Bemvindo's group in the

municipio of Porto Franco and the number of skeletons located at the site of the ambush revealed that at least four or five individuals had been murdered by thejagunqos. No measures were taken to bring these perpetrators or their bosses to justice (Gomes, ibid.). In the meantime, the other survivors of this group are believed to have fled south, reaching the municipio of Goiatins, in the present-day state of Tocantins. Between 1980 and 1985, reports from that area indicated the presence of four or five Indians in the region of the Serra da Canastra (Canastra plateau). A few years later, in September of 1988, an unknown Indian appeared before a crew of construction workers who were road-building in the municipio of Barreiras, in the state of Bahia. This individual was initially mistaken for an Ava-Canoeiro Indian and was later taken to FUNAI headquarters in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia. As FUNAI suspected that this man could be a GuajA Indian, they flew Bemvindo Guaja from Maranhao to Brasilia to identify the individual. As it happened, the man in question turned out to be Bemvindo's father, Karapiru, who was separated from him during the ambush of Porto Franco ten years earlier, in 1978.9 This was a happy reunion for both father and son, who were then flown back to Maranhao to reside at the Post Guaja community on the Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve. There, they resided together for about a year and Karapiru then asked to go live among the Guaji at the Post Awd community on the Caru Indian Reserve.

Karapiru's meanderings through the Brazilian countryside saw him trek through plateaus, forests, cerrados, and at the edge of local farms and ranches where he would occasionally make a swift raid to kill livestock and then retreat to the forest. He avoided


contact with anyone for a long time and his return to the Guajd community was somewhat cumbersome, psychologically speaking, as he had difficulty in speaking, expressing himself, and relating to other people during the early days of his reintegration. Yet his arrival was gradually accepted among the Guajd as he gained their respect for being a good hunter and sharing his kills with other individuals of the Post AwA village, as well as taking active participation in other working tasks. Today he is married to the daughter of one of the community's leaders. From this marriage he has a son. Additionally, at the time of this study, Karapiru also had an 11I-year-old girl betrothed to him.

Another member of Karapiru 's original group wandered still further afield from the original Guaji catchment area in Maranhao. He was found in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in 1989 and was located and apprehended by local police, after a brief but harmless struggle, in reponse to regional farmers reporting the disappearance of livestock from their compounds. Later, the young man, Yakareali, was flown to Brasilia for identification at FUNAI headquarters. Another young man from the Post Awd community, Irikalako 'a, was flown to Brasilia to identify Yakarejf and once he was confirmed to be a Guajdt individual FIJNAI had both men flown back to the community of Post Awd. Yakarej'i was adopted by the main family unit of this community and has been engaged in service for them since he arrived there. His arrival did not turn out to be as welcome as that of his relative, Karapiru, as he does not take on working chores with as much zeal as the latter. His acceptance, however, has been expressed in the form of the betrothal of a young girl to him. It is interesting to observe, as well, that members of the Post Awd community have indicated that these two individuals, Karapiru and Ya ka rec61 are not


full-fledged people, as the GuaJd consider themselves to be. They do enjoy, however, a more elevated status than the group referred to as mihuas.'0

With the formation of these two FUNAL Indian Posts (Guajd and Awd) a program for the support of the GuajA people was established by the Indian Service in 1985. Anthropologist Mercio Gomes was selected as the program's first coordinator and he established a list of priorities to implement a sustainable support project for the Guajd. This program was developed in response to the World Bank's plans to loan funds to the CVRD for construction of the Carajas railway. CVRD obtained a loan in the order of U.S. $3 04.5 million to build the railroad and the World Bank and European Economic Community stipulated a condition which would require that the state-owned company set aside U.S. $13.6 million in support of the indigenous communities located within the Carajds area of influence. An arbitrary measure was set which would provide support to those indigenous communities located within a radius of 100 kilometers of the railroad (Vidal 1991). These funds would be earmarked to support these communities in areas pertaining to their health, education, productive activities, yet primarily to establish Indian land areas for official demarcation.

With CVRD support, FUNAI established Programa Awd in 1985 (The Awa

Program) and Gomes set as its initial priority the demarcation of a land area for the GuajA. Since 1982, Gomes and members of CIiMI had appealed to set aside a new and separate land area for the Guajd and thus argued for the establishment of the Awd Indian Reserve which would create a territorial corridor linking up the Alto Turiaqu and Caru Reserves (see Figure 1. 1). This initial proposal would have provided a sizeable area of land for the


Guajd covering approximately 276,000 hectares. There was some dispute, however, in negotiating this initial land proposal as part of the intended area conflicted with a claim made by the erstwhile Brazilian Forestry Service (IBDF). IBDF claimed that if this strip of land were granted to FUNAI, it would compromise their own plans to establish the Gurupi Biological Reserve, located in western Maranhdo. The latter area had already been established as a Forest Reserve in 1961 and was in the process of being instituted as a biological reserve. The Awd Program intended to demarcate the Awd Indian Reserve by 1986 but internal political problems in FUNAL impeded this process. FUNAI eventually conceded, and yielded the disputed land area to IBDF, subsequently renewing its request for a new Guajd Reserve in 1988, this time reducing its proposal to an area of 147,000 hectares. Later, that same year, the proposed land area was reduced to approximately 65,700 hectares, and then renegotiated to 118,000 hectares by 1992. However, the powerful economic interests of MaranhAo state, with support from local politicians, have continuously stalmated any effort to establish this reserve. These regional players have employed various means to impede demarcation, such as setting up legal battles to dispute the land claim, pitting regional colonists against the Indians, as well as intimidation (Folha de Sdo Paulo 1995a, 1995b).

FIJNAI's Awd Program deemed it necessary to establish this land corridor for a number of reasons, the principal of which was to create an area ample enough for the Guajd to conduct their livelihoods in a manner that would not compromise their culture or security. This linkup would create one large tract of land for the Indians and reduce the number of land invasions which is presently facilitated by maintaining the Alto Turiaqu and


Camu Indian Reserves separated. Thus, a large, continuous reserve would present a more formidable obstacle to encroachment upon these areas. Another major reason that Gomes insisted in establishing the Awd Indian Reserve is that it would form a continguous area with the Gurupi Biological Reserve, thereby adding increased protection for the watershed areas of three major river systems pertaining to the Alto Turiaqu and Camu Indian reserves, namely, the Turia~u, Camu and Gurupi rivers. As the GuaJA are currently residing on Indian Reserves which were originally demarcated to serve other indigenous groups, this proposed land area would also provide them with a territory of their own, diminishing any possible conflict which could potentially arise by sharing these estates with others.'12

Another priority which Gomes insisted upon was that the Awi Program host a

permanent health crew, staffed with competent professionals and adequately equipped to assist the Guaja coming into contact. As previous contact had proven to be very deleterious for the GuaJA, the Awd Program intended to implement a project policy that would be sensitive to the Guajd's ethnomedicine in terms of administering treatment and offering advice. The administration of medical treatment among indigenous groups is a delicate issue and cannot be reduced to a matter of offering counsel, administration of western medicines, or dealing with epidemic ailments (Moore 1978). In order to adequately address these issues, one would have to necessarily become versed in indigenous concepts of health, illness, curing, disease and death not to mention their language. Unfortunately for the AwA Program, the FUNAI central administration did not lend adequate support to Gomes' health project and largely ignored his request. Moreover, Gomes' appeal that the GuaJA be left to forage on their land, free of any


interference in the way of directing them towards settlement or adopting new modes of production conflicted with an internal FUNAI mandate to integrate indigenous peoples to mainstream society. These internal obstacles, coupled with other problems which occured in the implementation of the Awd Program eventually frustrated any attempt which Gomes had hoped to fulfill to successfully establish a sound project for the GuaJd. Gomes left the AwA Program in 1987 and in its place FUNAI implemented a new program under the title of the Awd-Guajd Protection Service [Servigo de Protegao Awd-Guaji (SPAG)].

Another major problem which Gomes and other anthropologists encountered in enlisting their services for FUNAI, to administer programs for the indigenous groups impacted by the CarajAs program, was the Indian Service's mismanagement and misapplication of funds provided by CVRD through the loan it had obtained from the World Bank. Most observers agreed that spending priorities were indigenous health and the demarcation of land areas, yet many claimed that FIJNAI had actually used a substantial amount of these funds to bolster its own infrastructure by constructing buildings, and purchasing expensive equipment for its own use (Flowers 1992: personal communication). This situation created much dissatisfaction between FUJNAI and professional consultants, and some anthropologists were prohibited from re-entering indigenous areas or were kept at bay for a prolonged period of time. CVRD also became reluctant to freely disburse funds at FUTNI' s request and this situation created mutual antagonisms, such that both sides levelled accusations at one another. For FUNAI' s part, it claimed that CVRD was responsible for undermining the indigenous projects as it was not releasing its funds nor fulfilling its responsibilities according to the World Bank


contract. CVRD countered by stating that FUNAI had been remiss with its own obligations and that it had diverted funds for its own ends. Amid these charges, CVRD still realized that its obligations had to be met with the World Bank and it continued to provide support for the indigenous part of the Carajas Program. It figured that if any inappropriate handling of funds or shirking of contractual obligations actually occured, FUNAI would have to answer for itself as, for its part, CVRD deemed that it had done its share by providing support and money according schedule and contract.

Since Gomes' departure from the Awd Program and FUNAI's subsequent creation of the AwA-GuajA Protection Service (SPAG), a new program was implemented by the Indian Service to attract other groups of GuajA, settle them onto the Indian Reserves, and introduce them to agriculture, in addition to providing ongoing medical support--all in keeping with FUNAI's mandate to integrate indigenous peoples. SPAG was staffed with FUNAI career workers as well as functionaries which were sub-contracted by CVRD. 13 This SPAG Protection Service is administered from its headquarters in Santa In~s, Maranhdo, which is located at the intersections of BR-316, BR-222, and the Carajds railroad (see Figure 1.2). SPAG's Santa In~s headquarters is termed Santa In~s Support Center [NiMcleo de Apoio Santa In~s (NASI)], which is charged with administering and providing support to the four Indian Posts pertaining to the Protection Service, i.e., Post Guaja, Post Awa, Post Juriti and Post Tiracambu. This service is performed by providing transportation to and from Indian Posts, both for FUNAI workers and Indians; by dispatching provisions, medicines and equipment to the outposts; making daily communications with each of these units to send and receive information via CB radios, as


well as obtaining a brief log of each Post's activities; serving as a liaison between outpost members and FUNAI regional administrators; housing convalescing Indians and FUNAI workers; managing FUNAI workers' accounts and personal matters; and storing FUNAI equipment such as outboard motors, guns, munitions, oil drums, etc. NASI also provides information to outsiders about indigenous matters pertaining to the Guaji in the way of documents and interviews and occasionally puts up visiting members of research teams and human rights' organizations.

SPAG was initiated with both FUNAI and CVRD funds and formed part of the Indian Service's Program for Isolated Indians (Programa de Indios Isolados). This program is primarily tasked to protect groups of isolated and uncontacted Indians and, when FUNAI deems it necessary, to attract these individuals and settle them on preestablished reserves or other areas that may eventually become demarcated for them. Gallois (1993: 121) estimates that there are approximately 50 indigenous groups which fall under this category of "isolated Indian," distributed throughout the Brazilian Amazon. The notion of "isolated" is somewhat vague but generally refers to groups of Indians that are remote and eschew contact with neo-Brazilians. 14

The last GuajA community which was contacted and subsequently settled by

FUNAI was established as Indian Post Juriti in 1989, near the northern limits of the Caru Indian Reserve, close to the banks of the Caru River. Sporadic sightings and encounters between members of this community and local settlers began in the early to mid 1980s, in the vicinity of Igarap ,4gua Preta (Black Water Creek), an affluent of the Caru river, located near the headwaters of this watercourse. Some people of this community are


related to one of the main families of Post AwA and some of the Guajd from this latter village assisted FUNAI in attracting, contacting and settling members of the present-day Post Juriti village. FUNAI reports that members of this community initiated contact with the Indian Service in July of 1989, although efforts were already under way to contact this group by the mid 1980s. At the time of this study, 20 Guajd resided in the vicinity of Post Juriti. Sixteen of these individuals were contacted in the vicinity of Igarap6 Agua Preta. There was also a family of three individuals which was contacted south of the Camu Indian Reserve and eventually settled near Post Juriti. The last individual which resided near Post Juriti at the time of this research was Gei, who lived with his neo-Brazilian wife and child on a small, settler-type compound, with a house and farm plot, about two kilometers from the Indian Post. By the time I had arrived at Post Juriti, in 1993, FUNAI had contacted approximately 25 GuajA from this general area. Although no accurate records were kept, it is estimated that about 6 of these people died during the contact experience.

When FUNAI succeeded Brazil's former Indian Protection Service, SPI, in 1967, it had essentially adopted the previous integrationsist policy of incorporating indigenous groups in Brazilian society. Part and parcel of the former service's integration policy was the anticipation of a moving Brazilian frontier and a paternalistic vision of "protecting" Indians. Later, the Indian Service adopted a misguided approach to Ribeiro's interpretation of Indian groups' integration, whereby indigenous societies were typologized according to the varying degrees of their isolation/contact with Brazilian national society (1970: 446). Many anthropologists were to find problems with this view as well as with FUNAI's policy of integrating Indians into Brazilian mainstream society


(Campbell 1995: 218-219). While the SPI had adopted a policy of quick contact and integration, such that it would intervene in the lives of newly contacted groups to speedily involve them in productive activities, FUNAI's policy in relation to isolated groups entails a prolonged plan to "protect," attract, settle, and ultimately integrate these peoples in Brazilian society. There are various approaches to this form of integration, among which are the location and observation of isolated groups, patrolling and interdicting the catchment area of these people, establishing observation posts, and in the event that FUNAI anticipates an inter-ethnic encounter unavoidable, feasible and necessary, it proceeds with contacting these individuals.

The criteria for attracting and settling these groups are fairly straightforward,

namely, to contact such groups when FUNAI assesses the isolated indigenes' security to be compromised. The process of contact can be very brief but can also entail a long and drawn-out series of frustrated attempts, or open hostilities which the Indians can level at FUNAI workers, until they feel comfortable enough to approach the contact team or be approached. In some instances, members of contact teams are shot at by the Indians and become fatally wounded in the process.

The situations which FUNAI determines as perilous to isolated indigenous communities are generally related to the encroachments engendered by large-scale development projects of the Amazon region. Contact with any of these groups has to be authorized by FUNAI's headquarters in Brasilia, which usually dispatches a search party provisioned with supplies and equipment to locate and attract the indigenes in question. Contact crews are often made up of regional FUNAI workers, sometimes accompanied by


one of the administrators from central headquarters in Brasilia. In the event that contact is being attempted with a group that already has some members previously contacted, FUNAI may enlist some of these individuals to assist the search as interpreters.15

These contact missions are sporadic as attraction and contact proceed slowly, with FUNAI initiating the interaction by offering presents to the Indians. This approach to contact has been employed since colonial times (Gallois 1992) and the gift offerings are usually not offered directly to recipients. Gifts will consist of wares, such as machetes, knives, pots, pans, mirrors, and sometimes food, which in most cases is manioc flour. The search team will normally track down the whereabouts of isolated groups and place these items in clear view, in a location where they anticipate the Indians will eventually visit. Very often, a former campsite is selected as one of these gift-display sites, or an area where the FUNAI team is confident that the Indians will transit through, en route to another destination, such as a hunting trail or river bank.

The SPAG program is subordinated to FUNAI's regional district headquarters of Beldm, Pari. It is through this regional administrative unit [Administragdo Regional (ADR)] where FUNAI services the indigenous communities of Pard and Amapi states. Although the Guaja reside in Maranh~o state, FUNAI support for this group is administered through its Belem headquarters as this is where the regional coordinating unit for isolated Indians is located. There are presently two indigenous groups which fall under the category of "isolated Indians" that are administered through the Bel6m office: the Guajd, as previously noted, and the Zo'e Indians of Para state, another indigenous group pertaining to the Tupi-Guarani stock, located on the Cuminapanema Indian


Reserve. Maranhdo state's FUTNAI headquarters does not presently accomodate an administrative unit for that state's groups of isolated Indians, which we believe to consist only of the GuaJd. While the contacted GuaJA currently reside on Indian Reserves that primarily pertain to other indigenous groups (see note 12), Alto Turiaqu and Camu, which are administered through Maranh~o's FLNAI headquarters, some interchange and cooperation exists between both regional districts. Members of each district's administrative staffs will provide information and logistical support for one another and will work in collaborative effort on the occasion of expelling land invaders and in providing medical assistance and other support to the indigenous peoples of those reserves.

The Guajd located at the three Indian Posts pertaining to the SPAG program have been removed from the special category of isolated Indian, as of this writing. Recent budget cuts in FUNAI and reduced support from the CVRD were the primary motives for FUNAI discontinuing this service among the Guajd. With this move, FUINAI has lifted the status under which the Guajd were treated during the last 24 years, as "wards" of the state, and in effect has placed them in a category which envisages them as more or less autonomous, or Indians "in contact". Yet in spite of the major gains made in the new Brazilian consitution of 1988, most Brazilian Indians are still considered wards of the state as FUNAI still largely controls indigenous affairs and mediates most of the interaction that Indian communities have with the outside world. Even though Indians of Brazil technically have the fight to seek representation elsewhere than FUTNAI, the Indian service will not be so quick to relinquish its own political power to implement this policy. Many


indigenous groups are largely unaware of this right which has been extended to them through the constitution. FUNAI still controls who can gain access to indigenous areas even though the more autonomous groups should technically have the last word on admitting outsiders to their communities. In the case of isolated Indian groups, however, it is FUNAI which ultimately decides who may be admitted to Indian Reserves.

This shift in status implies that the SPAG no longer receives a special budget, nor equipment, under which it operated to provide support for the Guaj. 16 The GuajA, however, remain under the jurisdiction of FUNAI's Bel6m office, yet they will not be supported as such for very long as they now pertain to the most common category of Indian under the Indian Service's administration. Support for the Guajd will eventually be transferred to FUNAI's Maranhdo headquarters, in Sdo Luis, as it would be more convenient for FUNAI to manage the GuaJA from that state's headquarters. In all, this process of attracting the GuaJd, settling them, introducing them to new subsistence strategies to make them more "autonomous," and ultimately releasing them to fend for themselves comprises, in effect, what Gallois (1992) described as a form of "seduction and abandonment". While FUNAI budget constraints and withered support from CVRD were the primary causes of this withdrawl of special status and support, the Guaji case demonstrates the Indian Service's general approach to attraction, support, and subsequent abandonment. This form of integration now places the GuaJd in a situation where they are presumed to have an "autonomy" of their own, capable of making their own decisions, after having been engaged in set of dependency relations with FUNAL for the past 24 years, a relationship which continues enforce. In this regard, the degree of autonomy


now conferred upon the GuaJd does not quite extend to them the rights and privileges which one would expect to enjoy as a full-fledged citizen of Brazil. By and large, then, the lifting of the status of isolated Indian means that the Guaja will no longer enjoy the "protection" of the state's Indian service. Thus, the GuaJi steadily experienced what had transpired with other Indian groups during the years of Brazil's former Indian Protection Service (SPI), such that "after several years of receiving gifts, the now indios mansos ('peaceful Indians') or even indios aculturados ('acculturated Indians') would be told that to receive, they must pay in labor, native crafts, game meat, agricultural produce, or anything else that had a price value" (Balke 1994: 42).

At the time of this study, the three GuaJd semi-nucleated communities established by FUNAI had a total population of 157 individuals. The demographic profile for each of these communities is presented in Figures 2.1-2.4. Post Guaja (Village 1), currently has a population of 44 people, broken down into 25 males and 19 females. This number is increased to 45 if we include the Ka'apor woman (Wird) who is married to Bemvindo Guajd (ciramukd-C-1). During this research there was a ratio of approximately three men to one woman of reproductive age. At Post Awi (Village 2), the total population was 94 people, split between 52 males and 42 females. The sex ratio was almost even at this community between adult males and females, and the bottom of its demograhic pyramid exhibits a wide base. As for Post Juriti (Village 3), its total population is represented by 20 people, with 14 males and 6 females. Post Juriti's demographic profile has some distinct gaps and its population is similar to Post GuaJi in that there are approximately three adult men to one woman of reproductive age.




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Field Setting

All of the contacted GuajA presently reside in the vicinity of three Indian Posts

established by FUNAI, on the Alto Turiaqu and Camu Indian reserves. I began my studies among the Guajd in 1990 at Indian Post GuajA which is located on the Alto Turiaqu Indian reserve. Preliminary field research was conducted at this site between the months of August and October of that year and I later returned to this community in 1992 to begin my doctoral dissertation research in earnest, after obtaining financial support. As this particular community represents the Guaji which have been in contact for the longest period of time (i.e. at this writing, 24 years), I chose to begin my studies with this group as among them there are a number of individuals who are bilingual in Portuguese and Guajd. I decided that this step would ease my introduction to the field as I would be able to rely on these bilingual speakers to develop my language skills and take my studies further among the Guajd. In this manner, I was able to obtain a preliminary vocabulary among the Guajd in addition to familiarizing myself better with their customs.

Although I am Brazilian-American and speak fluent Portuguese, having spent a good deal of my childhood and adolescence in Brazil, there were some nuances to the local customs and speaking styles to which I had to adapt. Most of my Brazilian upbringing was in southeastern Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro, and later I worked at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C., for seven years, where most of my fellow coworkers were cosmopolitan individuals from southern Brazil. The speaking styles and customs of southern Brazil differ greatly from those of neo-Brazilians of the region I was working in among the Guajd. That is to say that the Guaji were primarily contacted by


rural residents of Maranhao state, an area which embraces both elements of the Amazon and northeastern regions of Brazil. In fact, most of the Indian agents working at the FUNAI Indian Posts in the SPAG program are residents of the state of Maranhao, and the Guajd introduction to Brazilian society was primarily mediated through these individuals. I had some prior experience in this area, however, in that I had conducted my Masters degree fieldwork in the state of Maranhao, in 1986-87, in a coastal fishing village, Arpoador, in the municipio (county) of Tut6ia. Research in that community helped familiarize me with the regional dialect, accent, speaking styles, slang, and forms of address. Yet there was still much to learn as most of the Guajd bilinguals speak a pidgin type of Portuguese which embraces some elements of their own language in combination with the regional dialect of Portuguese.'17 The Guafii, for example, commonly use the Portuguese pronoun ele (he) when referring to a third person, regardless of gender, as their language does not have a corresponding set of pronouns to distinguish between male and female (ele/ela i.e., he/she).

Integration into that community was somewhat slow and drawn out, not so much for the difficulties I had in adapting myself to the early days of fieldwork, inasmuch as I encountered in Post Guajd a general state of malaise and a sour relationship which it had engendered with FUNAI over the years. My introduction to that community was brokered through the FUNAI Indian agents, and my first encounter with the GuajA was actually very smooth and pleasant as the Indian agent in charge of Post Guaji in 1990 was attentive and conducted himself in a courteous and professional manner. His presence in the area was brief and he informed me that he was attempting to implement an approach


to working with the Guajd that would wean them from the dependency and servitude which previous FUNAI administrators had engaged this community. He was quite deferential to me, yet in no way did this compromise proceeding with his own work or discussing matters with me in an open and straightforward manner.'8

During the early days of fieldwork it was not readily apparent that, indeed, this

community had suffered many of the ill-effects of contact, and that in the aftermath of this impact, it was steadily subordinated into a set of paternalistic relations with FUNAL I was beginning to accept the fact that some individuals were reticent and reluctant to talk much about matters that interested me when I prompted them. This manner of speaking was something I thought was merely of matter of growing accustomed to since I was under the impression that such communication comprised their customary speaking habits. And while there was a general curiosity about my presence I sensed that the mood of this community was less than upbeat. Some individuals would shyly approach me and inquire in an almost indifferent manner about some of the gadgets I brought such as watches, compasses and other items. Occasionally they would also engage me in conversation to find out more about my background and what my home and family were like. And on one particular occasion, a young man approached me and commented that he was told by a FUNAI worker that I was wealthy and had a lot of money. I was rather taken aback and amused by the remark but then asked him who had fabricated this story. He indicated the person to me and later I approached that FUNAI individual to confirm whether it was, indeed, true that he had claimed I was rich. The man feigned incredulity and quipped, "Sir, are you going believe Indian talk?!" (0 senior vai acreditar em converse de indio?!)


1 responded by telling the Indian agent that it was not important, yet that I would appreciate if they would refrain from making any future comments about me to the Indians. Later, the outpost boss interceded and reiterated my request.

M~rcio Gomes (1994: personal communication) had also pointed out to me the difficulty in relating to individuals of the Post Guajd community when he worked among them in the late 1 970s and early 1 980s. He said he found them very reserved and that they would talk among themselves in rather subdued tones. It was a striking contrast to working with the individuals of the Post AwA community who were much more expressive and playful. I went through a similar experience and found that working among the Guajd at Post Awd was almost therapeutic. The tone was, indeed, very uplifting and members of the Post Awd village took a fiendly interest in involving me in their activities. In fact, while many members of the Post GuajA community were somewhat indifferent to communicating with me, I found that most people of Post AwA actually made a point of teaching me their language and correcting me when I made mistakes. By the time I had concluded my fieldwork among all three communities (Posts Guajd, AwA and Juriti), I acquired a rudimentary knowledge of their language such that I could converse with the Guajd, albeit in a slow, awkward and deliberate manner. That I eventually became conversant with them, such that I could conduct interviews, I have the Post Awd community to thank.

As for Post Juriti, the field situation had its own signature as well. By the time I arrived there, my language skills had improved to where I could directly interact with the individuals of that community without much inter-mediation from FUNAL. That my


language skills had improved by that juncture in my fieldwork, would prove both problematic and beneficial in terms of relating to FUNAI. While FUNAI would attempt to carry out its chores among the Indians, Indian agents would often request that I intermediate as an interpreter, especially when ambulatory health crews would visit the Indian reserves to perform blood tests and adminster vaccines. On the other hand, FUNAL workers would sometimes feel slighted or suspicious if I conversed with the Guajd in their language.

Prior to my fieldwork among the GuajA at Post Juriti, I had met a number of individuals from this community, at Post Awd, on the occasion of a FUNAL attempt to promote an interchange between these two communities. It was FUNAI's hope, on that occasion, that people from each of these villages would perhaps find potential marriage partners. The exchange between both of these communities entailed a 13 day trip which a FUNAI team conducted from Post Juriti to Post Awd, bringing with them 19 individuals from the Juriti village. At that time I was working among the GuaJd at Post AwA and took to observing the interaction between these communities. Later, when I began my work at Post Juriti, my introduction to that community was facilitated by having made this prior contact with these individuals and breaking into the field situation was, indeed, made easier by these acquaintances.

The performance of research tasks among the Guajd required much patience and discipline, both in terms of relating to the Indians and FUNAI workers, not to mention the long hours involved in conducting fieldwork. My usual working day entailed waking up at around 5:30 AM and would take me through all daylight hours, up until approximately


8:00 PM. As I figured that my time in the field would be brief, there were not too many opportunities for leisurely activities, even though such moments are also part of the nature of fieldwork, for it is often necessary to approach informants in an informal manner without forcing particular issues (Good 1991). Before formalizing an inquiry that will eventually require structured interviews, measurements, etc., it behooves a fieldworker to establish a minimal of rapport with his/her informants to make these tasks acceptable to those being studied. There were times, for example, where I found my time allocation studies drudgery, both for me and my informants. I felt that I was taxing my informants' humor more than necessary, and it was fortunate that I randomized the families in question for this research task. Similarly, when I weighed game animals, or performed dietary observations, this task became rather unpleasant as it presented an imposition in the normal flow of activities for the GuajA. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to find, that on some occasions, some people would remind me that I had forgotten to weigh a piece of food or would drop by my sleeping quarters at night to show me a game animal that they had killed during the evening. During my "off-days" I would make informal visits to people's households and strike up conversations with them or accompany hunters and, sometimes, their families on foraging tours. Even these latter activities were quite brisk in nature as the Guajd walk through the forest at a robust pace. Thus, I was quite active throughout most of my stay in the field, such that my normal weight, which is around 69 kilograms (-151 lbs.), fell to 61 kilograms (-134 lbs.) during one particular stretch of fieldwork.


Many of these tasks, too, would vary according to the nature and/or disposition of particular individuals. Some people would be more than willing to comply with one research task or another while others preferred to not even be approached. These individuals would sometimes require coaxing by other community members to cooperate, yet if they remained unwilling, I would not insist and gracefully withdraw. In one particular instance, for example, I asked a young woman to repeat a phrase she had previously mentioned to me, and she retorted, "I'm not going to teach you N& you!" (A-1ehe noanf eminu-hd!). There are times, for sure, where one's presence is imposing and, unwittingly, questions may turn out to be of a badgering nature, such that people will, indeed, lose their patience, especially when the fieldworker is in his/her early days and eager to learn. Yet, despite these occasional impasses I found that there was a general acceptance to my presence and I would often be engaged in their humor. I was often asked to sing songs, draw pictures of animals, perform magic tricks, and tell stories. And some of these requests would come after I had put in a full day's work, ready to retire for the evening, on the occasion of a family stopping over at my sleeping quarters to visit.

While conducting fieldwork in the Post Guajd community, I spent the early days of my research at the FUNAI Indian Post. After becoming more familiar with the community, I was invited to reside in the village by one of my informants. While there, I alternated residence between two village households, which provided me with a better opportunity to witness community life in its entirety. The advantage of direct involvement in village life does, for certain, offer a glimpse of the dynamics of the community, but at


the same time, one's privacy is seriously compromised. I quickly learned that I would have to relinquish my sense of proxemics, property, sense of timing in relating to others, among other nuances of my field situation. At night, for example, the Guaji would often sing and invariably they would ask me to lend them my tape recorder or at least record their singing sessions. I would oblige them but when I was ready to retire, the sessions would be closed. Then there were situations where individuals would lay along side me in my hammock to strike up a conversation with me. On the occasion of my making annotations in my working log, I would paddle one of the village canoes back to the FUNAI Indian Post, about 300 meters down the Turiaqu river, to settle into an ambience more conducive to reading and writing.

Research at the Post Awd community was facilitated in that FUNAI had

constructed a small infirmary and dispensary about 150 meters from the Guaji village. The outpost itself is situated about one kilometer from the village. I was put up at the infirmary facility, as are other researchers who visit this community on the occasion of their conducting research at Post Awd. This situation offered more space and privacy, such that I could organize field notes and make annotations without much interference. I had also set up my own stove and gas cannister at this facility which afforded me more independence in terms of setting my own working schedule. In some instances, my residence at the infirmary also turned out to be beneficial for FUNAI as the Indian agents would often ask me to administer medicines to the Guaji since I was situated closer to the village. I would also spend some evenings in the village on ceremonial evenings to witness these events and to obtain a view of Post Awd's night life. Yet during the evenings I


would spend alone at the infirmary, visitors would frequently come by at night to chat with me. This facility also has an electrical hookup as Post Awa is situated near the Carajds railway, where power transmission lines are run from Sao Luis to the Carajas mining range, such that many communities along this corridor are provided with electricity. This situation would enable me to work with my notebook computer from a direct power source, whereas in the other Indian Posts (Guajd and Juriti) I took a car battery and a voltage invertor along with me to perform these operations. Fortunately, FUNAI was equipped with portable solar panels to recharge batteries, which it also makes use of to operate CB radios. All three outposts are also equipped with diesel generators to provide power for operating well pumps, lathes, manioc graters, and electric light for the outposts. FUNAI usually economizes on the use of the diesel generators and only operates them for a few hours during the early evening, or on the occasion of filling their water tanks, grating manioc, fashioning gun handles, etc. All of the outposts were also equipped with refrigerators operated with natural gas cannisters, and each outpost's kitchen was also outfitted with natural gas stoves.

FUNAI workers would usually stay abreast of daily news in Brazil through battery operated radios, tuned into shorwave band stations, as transimission signals from the nearest cities, such as Belem and Sdo Luis were too weak to be picked up on FM or AM bandwaves. As such, the station which FUNAI workers mostly were tuned to was Radio Nacional da Amaz6nia, a station which plays sertaneja and brega type music, gives brief news caps, and provides special information services for people working in the remote areas of Amazrnia. It is interesting that this service occasionally makes people privy to


available gold mines of the region, which can frequently spark a rush to a given land area. I took a small inexpensive radio of my own to the field and was pleasantly surprised to pick up on BBC and Voice ofAmerica shortwave services to keep up with events in the international scene. Thus, while fieldwork in general was a rough and rustic endeavor, there were occasional creature comforts which reminded one of an encroaching frontier and a world beyond forests and rivers. And, of course, with Post Awd's electrical hookup, FUNAI workers at this facility purchased a television to watch news and soap operas novelsas. The GuaJi of this community would often visit the outpost to watch television and were exposed to a variety of transmissions.

At Post Juriti, FUNAI offered me a rice shack to reside in during my research tour in this area. This particular facility was situated behind the outpost compound, about 300 meters from the GuaJA settlement. Perhaps because the members of Post Juriti had been recently contacted by the time I began my fieldwork, interaction with this group varied from a very friendly form of communication to an occasional misunderstanding or miscue in relating to individuals of that community. Add to this the fact that fieldwork among Indians situated adjacent to FUNAI outposts requires a delicate balance of negotiating one's research without interfering with the Indian Service's work or policy. The regional administrator for Isolated Indians had attempted to implement a program that would keep gift-giving to a minimum but this mandate was generally not carried out by outpost bosses who embraced another set of criteria to elaborate their own relationship with the Indians. As will be discussed in the succeeding chapters, this presented me with a situation which I


had to go to great lengths to ignore, while honoring FUNAI protocol and simultaneously managing an amicable relationship with the GuaJ~a.

To arrive at either of the Indian Posts which FUNAI administers for the GuaJA, one usually checks in with the NASI of Santa Ines, MaranhAo, before proceeding to the field. I would usually plan my trips in advance and contact the NASI staff to make prior travel arrangements to the field. Field trips were usually arranged according to FUJNAI schedules, such that I would travel to my study sites when FUNAT workers planned to visit their Indian Posts to supply provisions, medicines, transport personnel to and from the field, etc. All of my travels to the field originated from Bel~m, Para state, where I was put up by relatives to rest during field breaks and resupply myself for future fieldwork. I would travel from Bel~m to Santa In~s on interstate buses and the trips between these two cities usually lasted about eight hours, covering a distance of about 548 kilometers along BR-3 16.

Santa Inis is located on the crossroads of BR-3 16 and BR-222, and as such hosts a major stop for the Carajas railroad, whence travellers can proceed to and from their destinations along one of these highways (see Figure 1.2). This small city currently has a population of 64,655 and serves as a regional headquarters for the CVRD, which provides support and assistance for both FUNAI and the local citizens of Santa In~s and other regional towns. 19 Santa Wns is also home to a number of saw mills for local lumber companies which haul wood in from local municipios (counties). This city recently went through a sparked growth spurt with the influx of migration drives and the construction of


CVRD's Carajds railway which saw Santa Ines expand with new jobs, buildings, and firstclass hotels, growing from a population of 14,902 in 1970 to 45,766 by 1986.

I would usually plan trips to Santa In~s a day or two in advance of FUNAI's

scheduled visits to their Indian Posts. This arrangement would provide me with time to make alternate plans for unforseen circumstances, purchase last minute field supplies and provisions, and to discuss indigenous matters with FUNAI personnel. While I was in transit in Santa In~s, en route to the indigenous communities, I would put myself up in the modest accomodations provided by that town.

To arrive at Post Guaja one usually travels by motor vehicle from the NASI in Santa In~s. The SPAG program currently has two Toyota diesel-operated vehicles, a pickup truck and a land-rover, which were acquired from CVRD through the World Bank contract. After packing and loading equipment and supplies onto one of these vehicles, the trip to Post GuajA proceeds from Santa In~s and passes through the towns of Bom Jardim, Chapeu de Couro and Z6 Doca, along route BR-316, in a northerly direction. This portion of the trip covers about 58 kilometers, and from Ze Doca the vehicle turns left, onto a dirt road, in a westerly direction towards the Alto Turiaqu Indian Reserve. The trip then covers another 30 kilometers, passing through the hamlets of Beb and Igarape Grande, and proceeds onwards until it arrives at the Alto Turiaqu reserve. At the hamlet of Beb6 the road separates, and if one travels along the left side of the fork they will drive past the Goiano Ranch, a large land-holding located just southwest of the Indian Reserve. This road eventually leads to Paragominas in Para state, a town which grew from a colonist settlement project into a major lumber exporter and cattle-ranching


community. The road also cuts through the proposed land area for the GuajA (Awi Indian Reserve), with the Alto Turiaqu Reserve located to its north and the Camu Reserve situated to its south (see Figure 1. 1). In fact, the construction of a railroad is under consideration which would roughly follow the course of this road to connect Paragominas with the CarajAs railway (see Oren 1988; Muller-Planteniberg 1993). These conflicting interests, then, help explain why there has been much difficulty in establishing the proposed Awd Indian Reserve, as its creation clashes squarely with the larger economic interests of the region.

On the ight hand side of the fork, the stretch of road leading from the hamlet of Beb6 to the Alto Turiaqu Reserve takes one past a large expanse of gently rolling hills, interspersed with occasional coolies and ravines, an area which has been largely deforested and converted to cattle pasture. It is interesting, too, that one barely sees any cattle along the way and many of these areas are quickly being succeeded by large clusters of babaqu juvenile palms. The road along this portion of the trip deteriorates into a bad condition and contains a number of washed-out sections with small gorges, and precarious makeshift bridges which the FUNAI vehicle delicately negotiates to traverse small streams. In the middle to late dry season large columns of smoke curtain the horizon in many directions, where land clearings and slash burns make way for horticultural plots and additional pastures. As the trip nears the Indian Reserve, succeeding tufts of secondary vegetation will begin to appear and as the vehicle approaches closer to the edge of the reserve this vegetation stands taller and begins to intermix with primary forest, almost resembling a forested wall which separates the Indian territory from the surrounding pastureland.


Once the FUNMI vehicle enters the Alto Turiaqu Reserve, it usually makes a brief stopover at the Ka'apor village of Urutawy, located adjacent to Indian Post Z6 Gurupi, about two kilometers inside the Indian land area. During this brief rest stop one can freshen up with a bath at a nearby lagoon and chat with the local FUJNAI personnel and Ka'apor Indians about recent news in the area. The Ka'apor are usually very curious about visitors, in addition to being quite hospitable, and gather around to look on and converse with people passing through their village. If visitors arrive rather late in the day at Post Z6 Gurupi, then they usually stay overnight at this location and part early the next day towards Post Guajd. The FUJNAI personnel conducting the trip often ask the Indian Service staff at Post Gurupi to contact Post Guajd via CB radio to advise them of their anticipated arrival.

As one leaves the Urutawy village to embark on the last leg of the trip to Post Guaja, the road improves and goes past many Ka'apor horticultural plots and tracts of secondary forests. It is easy to encounter some Ka'apor during this brief part of the trip, on their way to hunt, fish or tend to their plots. Some of them may even ask for a ride and the travelling FUNAT crew will usually oblige. The road then begins to cut through primary forest, enclosed by a canopy which makes this section of the trip rather cool and pleasant. The canopy also helps prevent rain from eroding this section of the road which is largely intact and smoother to travel upon.

Along the way, there are a series of small bridges which were constructed by

FUNAI to cross a number of small streams. Occasionally, at these junctures, there may some fallen trees which obstruct further travel, often the result of a brief but brisk


rainstorm which swept through the area. If the FUNAI travelling crew comes wellequipped with axes, machetes and chainsaws, then it alights from the vehicle, cuts and chops the tree into sections and removes them to the edge of the road. Otherwise, it will have to return to Post Z6 Gurupi and ask for assistance from the Indian Service staff there and Ka'apor Indians to provide equipment and manpower. If it is late in the day, then the FUNAI crew will usually put itself up for the evening at Post Gurupi and clear the road the next morning to conclude their trip to Post Guajd. This last part of the trip covers approximately 19 kilometers.

Arrival at Post Guaji, 45058'W, 306'S, is usually met with a number of Guaj" in

addition to the FUNM staff which works there. The sound of the approaching vehicle can be heard from a long distance and usually alerts both the GuajA and Indian Service personnel to its approach. All told, a direct trip from Santa In6s to Post Guajd usually takes about 4-5 hours under the prime conditions of the dry season, barring any unforseen obstacles or delays. During the rainy season, the FUNA vehicle can only go as far as the hamlet of Beb6 as further travel is impeded by wet road conditions. In this situation, FUNAI would take me to Beb6 and advise Post GuajA to send a mule pack to pick me at this hamlet to continue my trip. From there we would usually proceed to Post Z6 Gurupi for an overnight stay, and carry on with our journey the next morning. In this case, the trip would usually take about two days, adding the time from Bel6m to Santa In~s. When the dry season firmly establishes itself, FUNAI will dispatch a work crew to clear the stretch of road from Post Ze Gurupi to Post Guajd. This task usually lasts about two weeks and the FUNAI crew initially camps out near the vicinity of Post Gurupi and begins the job of


clearing underbrush and weeds which grew during the wet season. The crew progressively clears its way until it reaches Post Guaji and sets up three to four encampments along the way. This task also enlists the services of some GuajA individuals who assist in clearing the road and hunting for the FU.NAI work crew.

It is much easier to arrive at Post AwA, located on the Camu Indian reserve as this location is only a few kilometers walking distance from the Carajis railway. In addition to transporting precious metals and minerals along the Caraj~s railroad, the CVRD also provides passenger train service on a regular basis at a modest price. Outbound trains from S~o Luis in MaranhAo state to the Carajds mining area of Pard travel on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Returning passenger trains leave the Carajis mining range on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This train service, plus the freight trains which travel daily to and from the Caraj'as area, create a great deal of noise and vibration which can be heard and felt from long distances. I recall, for example, hearing the sounds of passing trains from an area which was almost a day's trip on foot, opposite the direction of the railroad, on the occasion of a hunting trip which I conducted with the Guaji. The bustling sound of the Caraj~s trains frighten away many of the available game animals and as my data will later indicate, the Camu reserve is indeed not as productive as the other GuajA hunting areas. The establishment of the Carajds railway has also spawned the growth a number of small towns and hamlets along this route, giving rise to local populations which frequently venture into the Indian reserve to hunt and fish.

FUNAI would drop me off at the Santa In~s train station and signal ahead to its staff at Post Awd to pick me up at the Auzildndia train stop near kilometer 299 on the


Carajds railway.20 The train ride usually takes a little over an hour from Santa In~s and makes two brief stops before arriving at Auzilandia, at the towns of Alto Alegre and Mineirinho. This trip provides one with another glimpse of a large deforested area, interspersed with small peripheral hamlets, farm plots and large stretches of upshooting babaqu palms. There are two different rates by which one can travel on these passenger trains: a first-class fare which affords one air conditioned travel and waiting services, in addition to the economic class which is only slightly cheaper yet purchased by the majority of passengers. Many of the passengers are modest people often travelling with wares and purchases of food items and small equipment. For a small price, the cargo compartment of the train will transport and insure unportable bags, pallets and boxes for travellers. I have also noticed on a number of these trips that some people carry concealed weapons under their clothes, perhaps a reflection of the violence which occasionally breaks out in this region. During the two brief stops at Alto Alegre and Mineirinho, a number of vendors will approach the train for anyone interested in purchasing refreshments and small pre-cooked packages of food through the train windows.

When I would arrive at the Auzilandia stop, a FUTNAT crew would help me

disembark and transport my supplies and equipment to the Indian Post. This would entail walking for about a kilometer along the railway, then down a dirt trail to the banks of the Pindar6 river which runs parallel to the Carajis railroad and serves as the southeastern limits for the Camu Indian Reserve (see to Figure 1. 1). From this point, we would load an outboard motorboat with my supplies and travel upriver for a short distance until reaching Presidio Creek, which we would ascend until we reached the Post Awd facility,


approximately 4602'W, 3048'S. This last part of the trip to Post Awi was possible throughout most of the year, yet during the peak of the dry season the Presidio Creek would often shrink to a point of being unnavigable. In this situation, we would simply cross the Pindar6 river at the point near the railway and park the boat on the opposite bank, whence we would walk for approximately another kilometer until we reached Post AwA.

Travel to Post Juriti was more time-consuming and cumbersome. During the rainy season, trips to this area were conducted by a small riverboart (lancha) whose driver and service were subcontracted through CVRD. The riverboat would load its cargo in a small town called Santa Luz in the municipio of Bom Jardim, located on the Pindar6 river (see Figure 2.5). The riverboat would then wind its way up the Pindar6 river, past the town of Alto Alegre, then turn right at the mouth of the Camu river and travel upstream on this watercourse until it reached the Juriti outpost. Depending on the strength of water currents, and the number of fallen trees and vines which would have to be cut or eluded, this trip could take anywhere from 12-16 hours of travel time. Along this course, there are many hamlets and small family farms dotting the right side of the riverbank area. To the left is the Camu Indian Reserve, which shows signs of much secondary growth, the results of both indigenous and non-indigenous farming activities. The principal ethnic group of this reserve, the Tenetehara, Indians, have intermingled with many peasants of the region to whom they have granted many farming plots; likewise, many plots are also rented out to some of the peasants of this region by the Tenetehara.


48 46 44 42




P ARA AeAen9






50 0 50 00o. 150 200 250 KILOMETERS

Figure 2.5
Map of Major Rivers of Maranhlo State

(Source: Anderson 1983)


This route also shows signs of former patrolling posts (Postos de Vigildncia)

which FUNAI had established at one time as observation units to curtail land invasions. If the trip starts late in the day from Santa Luz, an overnight stay is in order at one of these former patrolling posts, most of which are old makeshift shacks constructed by FUJNAI. The major town of this rivercourse is Sao Jo~o do Camu, which can also be accessed by a dirt road which takes one to the town of Bomn Jardim, located on BR-3 16. In fact, during the dry season, FUNAI primarily conducts its trips to Post Juriti from this location. In this case, the FLJNAI vehicles travel to SAo Jo~o and load a small outboard motorboat to travel to Post Juriti as the Camu river is too small for the navigation of larger vessels in the dry season. During the peak of the dry season, this trip can also be lengthy as travellers often have to disembark from the canoe to push it over rocks, shallow straits and submerged trees.

Post Juriti is located in the northwestern part of the Camu Indian Reserve

(approximately 303 5'S 46025'W), actually on the side of the Camu river which would pertain to the proposed AwA Indian Reserve. The Indian village at this location is situated about 300 meters from the outpost, along a dirt trail which leads past the edge of a horticultural plot established by both FUNAL and Indian labor. The outpost itself is located a little under 100 meters from the Camu river upon a gently rising knoll which overlooks a large area of land and affords one with a wide-open view and splendid sunsets which are not as frequently seen at the previous two Indian Posts.


Regional Ecology

The general Guajd catchment area is located on the eastern flanks of the Brazilian Amazon. From a region-wide perspective this range is occupied by a number of continguous ecological zones such as upland forest (terra firme), savannah-like cerrados, sandy-soiled elevations (chapadas), river systems, palm forests (babapuais), among other areas (see Figure 2.6). Terra firme dominates Guajd home range and is interspersed with rivers, small lakes and ponds (igapds), tracts of secondary vegetation, seasonally inundated forest, in addition to other zones. On closer examination, terra firme forests contain a mosaic of finer grained ecological zones, a consideration which in recent years has made scholars rethink their general classification scheme of dividing Amazonia into two broad areas, i.e., vdrzeas (generally speaking, floodplain regions) and terra firme forests (see Moran 1990). That terra fire forests are generally termed "highland forest" does not in any sense mean that they are situated in an elevated area; rather, this term refers more to the fact that it is located on higher ground, away from rivers and lakes in relatively well-drained soils, and are primary or climax type forests.

Similarly, it has been thought that this region, much like that of the Amazon in general, consists primarily of areas broadly classified as a tropical humid forests, or evergreen rainforest. However, it would be more accurate to portray this general area as a seasonally dry tropical forest (see Janzen 1988; Anderson 1983). In this regard, this region exhibits two distinct seasons: a rainy season which generally occurs between December and early May, and a dry season, running from June through November. There are slight variations to this seasonality as occured in 1989-90 when the region experienced


PlanaftoZ( Manminhio
Tocantins sAI
J Piauf

Scale In kmqq
6 50 160 150 Grizphic by Nick Spingor

Figure 2.6
Map of Major Ecological Zones of Maranhio State

(Source: Coelho 1991)