Citation
Santa Terezinha

Material Information

Title:
Santa Terezinha life in a Brazilian frontier town
Creator:
Lisansky, Judith Matilda, 1950-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xiv, 393 leaves : ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Anthropology thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Mato Grosso (Brazil : State) ( lcsh )
Santa Terezinha (Brazil) ( lcsh )
City of Gainesville ( local )
Farmers ( jstor )
Agricultural land ( jstor )
Farms ( jstor )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 383-392).
Additional Physical Form:
Also available online.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Judith Matilda Lisansky.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Judith Matilda Lisansky. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
023406346 ( ALEPH )
06973854 ( OCLC )
Classification:
F2576 .L52 1980 ( lcc )

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Full Text
352
implementation and creation of improved pastures. Once
pastures are established, the maintenance and operation of
a ranch requires only a small staff. Local men and migrant
workers find jobs available on ranches still creating pas
tures; the jobs are primarily in deforestation and the
planting and maintenance of the improved pastures.
In the 1960s, gangs of workers were brought to Mato
Grosso from other regions of Brazil by labor contractors be
cause there was not enough manpower available locally.
These first workers, like the rubber collectors of an ear
lier era in Amazonian history, found upon arrival that they
were indebted to the contractor for their travel expenses
and tools. Dependent on company stores, constantly in debt,
and guarded by hired gun men, the workers found that they
were trapped in a system of debt peonage.
Increasing immigration into the region during the
1960s augmented the available labor force. Some companies
reduced their labor forces because they already had estab
lished pastures and a very few began experimenting with
machinery for deforestation. These two factors contributed
to some improvements in the situations of ranch-company work
ers in the region. Most company employment in northern
Mato Grosso, however, continues to be handled by labor con
tractors so that ranches do not directly hire the majority
of their labor force and are thus able to circumvent Bra
zilian labor laws designed to protect workers. The number


298
failed in their marital duties and obligations of respect
and obedience to their husbands. Local opinion usually
blames the female when marriages, either legal or common-
law, break up. There may be some truth in local explana
tions, however, the socio-economic pressures resulting from
frontier economic constraints and the insecurity of the
males' ability to provide for families seems a more ade
quate though more macro-level explanation of increasing
family instability.
Another point of friction and divisive behaviors in
volves the breakdown of control by the family over adult
sons. While still not a dominant pattern in the town, some
families find themselves hard pressed to exercise authority
and control over their sons and the sons' earnings. Both
landed and landless families find that their "more modern"
sons resist pressures to farm with other household members,
and want to go out and find ways to make money and improve
their socio-economic status positions. Particularly sons
who work at the ranch-companies often fall into what has
been previously described as "peon behavior patterns" where
they waste much of their earnings in drunken carousing dur
ing their time off, neglecting their own families and their
kin.
Although difficult to quantify, it appeared to the re
searcher that relatively dutiful sons still outnumbered the
sons involved in open rebellion. The customary patterns of


312
out the exchange by immediate and concrete reciprocity
such as doing favors, offering some extra labor or prom
ises to help with land taxes if the need should arise.
Persons allowed to farm for free on the land of others must
also make a verbal commitment to never press a claim of
squatters' rights against the landowner who allowed them
to use his land. Generally, exchanges occur between house
holds which are more or less equal, or perhaps more impor
tantly, between persons/households who consider themselves
as equals.
Most persons interviewed also mentioned the important
role that "good friends" play in their lives. Good friends,
who are frequently one's neighbors, are often but not al
ways further bonded by means of godparenthood. The two
most important ways of establishing a godparenthood rela
tionship in the frontier town in order of importance are:
(1) by asking someone to be a godparent of your child's
baptism, and (2) by jumping over the bonfires lit for Sao
Joao (Saint John's Eve). In the baptism, the critical re
lationship established is between the compadres, that is,
between the biological parents and the godparents, and
only secondarily the relationship between the godparents
and the godchildren. In the ceremony of jumping the fire,
the central relationship established is between the two per
sons who jumped together (Wagley, 1976) The latter is con
sidered a bond of lesser importance and some informants


36
the process of capitalist transformation in Latin America
(1976: 104) .
Roberts argues that the internal development of Latin
American countries has responded more to the forces of ex
ternal powers than to an internal dynamic interaction be
tween town and countryside. He points out that the impor
tation of manufactured goods into the countryside impedes
the creation of local industries, and that the increasing
dominance of the capitalist enterprises in the interior chai
lenges the power of local provincial elites. Urban places
in the countryside are transformed into commercial and ad
ministrative centers which respond to the dynamics of the
large enterprises present in a region. Roberts sees the
growth of provincial urban places as directly linked to
their roles vis-a-vis the large enterprises. Provincial
urban places, in regions with capitalist enterprises, gen
erally fulfill two functions: (1) as outlets for the sale
of imported manufactured goods, and (2) as places which pro
vide temporary accommodations for rural migrants. Santa
Terezinha is an example of this type of involuted urban
growth. It is not linked into a network of markets but
rather receives most commodities directly from major cities
and exports nothing.
O
The historical structuralist school, on the other hand
takes as its central premise:


170
labor. Farmers repeatedly expressed frustration at their
inability to find sufficient interested laborers to help
in the rice harvest. Those with small areas planted may
be unwilling to lose a percentage of the rice in payment.
There are no cooperative labor parties or even "trading
days" in connection to the rice harvest. The reasons for
this apparent lack of cooperation are somewhat unclear.
Farmers interviewed made statements such as: "It's each
man for himself. When you gain you gain and when you lose
you lose." The timing of the rice harvest, which is rel
atively simultaneous for all concerned, may contribute to
the lack of cooperation. The researcher suggested several
times to farmers the idea of cooperative group labor for
rice harvesting but farmers said that that was an unreal
istic idea.
Another serious problem for many farmers is both trans
portation and the general lack of roads to many homesteads.
Since so many farm families reside more or less permanently
in the town, and since the selling of rice (as well as the
rice-cleaning machines) is in town, it is important for pro
ducers to find a means to transport rice and other legumes
to Santa Terezinha. Since so few farmers own beasts of bur
den (four out of 44 people interviewed had animals) many
producers must hire a vehicle to bring in the rice. Trucks
are expensive to hire in Santa Terezinha. Farmers may pay
as much as $10 to $15 depending on the distance or, as


147
require better soils and/or fertilizers, few farmers consid
er the possibilities very good. The rising prices of cof
fee, considered an essential beverage and a sign of hospi
tality, has spurred experimentation with coffee growing
most of which has been small-scale for home consumption.
Some fruit trees, including lemons, avocadoes, oranges,
mangoes and others, require at least several years until
the plant begins to produce fruit. Because so many Santa
Terezinha farmers have been unable to continue farming one
homestead for an extended period and the INCRA land distri
bution in 1973-1974 reshuffled the farmers into new loca-
. 4
tions, many farmers do not have mature trees.
Men do most of the planting although other family mem
bers sometimes help. Most men plant their ropas alone un
less their family is also staying at the fields or they have
a tenant working with them. The only "machine" used in
planting is a wooden rice seeder with which a man can plant
30 to 40 liters of rice a day; the rice seeders are heavy
to handle and so only men plant rice, whereas women may
work planting all other cultigens. All planting, except
for rice, is done with knives, hoes (enxada) and hands.
All planting, harvesting and the cutting of wood and
thatch are done in accordance with the phases of the moon.
All Santa Terezinha farmers, regardless of migration his
tories, believe that "the moon governs the land" and that
agricultural activities must be coordinated with the


377
o
A "marriage of the fire" (de fogueira) is a form of com
mon-law marriage which has been sanctified by a home con
ducted ceremony around a bonfire. It was apparently car
ried out by people living in remote locations in the back-
lands and was very rarely encountered in Santa Terezinha.


196
increased the local or regional market for commodities
which the small farmers can produce. They are, in fact,
by-passed and entirely peripheral to outside markets.
Ranch-companies are clearly uninterested in either buying
local products nor are they interested in allowing or en
couraging small farmers to function as tenants on their vast
tracts of land.^ The minimal town market for locally pro
duced agricultural commodities, described in this chapter,
is relatively unchanged from that which existed in the pre
vious stages of frontier expansion. The stimuli of in
creased immigration and increased cash flow in the town have
functioned to expand the local market in a small way, but
the dominance and dependence on imported commodities is
demonstrated in the complete lack of a permanent local mar
ket (feira) and the precarious situation of the agricultural
cooperative. Unlike the historical development of large en
terprises in Northeastern Brazil where interstitial minifun
dio farmer surplus commodities circulated through a regional
marketing system of feiras (market day fairs), the more mod
ern capitalist enterprises in northern Mato Grosso clearly
have not contributed to the formation of a regional market
ing system.
The third set of critical factors which retard and
block small farming enterprises are the technological and
infrastructural problems mentioned in this chapter. These
include (1) lack of access to improvements in agricultural


392
Waibel, Leo H.
1955 As Zonas Pioneiras do Brasil. Revista Bra-
sileira de Geografia 17 (4):391-392.
Willems, Emilio
1975
Latin American Culture: An Anthropological
Synthesis. New York: Harper and Row.
Wolf, Eric
1966
Peasants. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey:
Prentice-Hall.
Wood, Charles H.
1980
Structural Change and Household Strategies:
An Integrated Approach to Rural Migration in
Latin America. Paper presented to the annual
meetings of the Population Association of
America, Denver, Colorado.
Wood, Charles H. and Marianne Schmink
1978
Blaming the Victim: Small Farmer Production
in an Amazon Colonization Project. Paper pre
sented at the annual meetings of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science,
Washington, DC.


345
has speeded up, and there emerges a clear pattern of the
constant movement of labor to each successive location of
the installation of capitalist enterprises. Since so many
of the corporate projects in the Amazon require signifi
cant labor power only in the initial stages, it is not in
their interests to encourage the formation of a landed
peasantry which would act as a permanent low-cost labor
force. Within the context of such powerful socio-economic
constraints and general insecurity and instability, the
relatively fragile and limited survival strategies of fron
tier residents are rational.
But to point to either the logical nature or ration
ality of the survival strategies is not to say that they
are more than marginally successful. If measured at all,
the success must be assessed at the level of survival and
not in terms of expansion. In short, such strategies are
more accurately characterized as a "holding action" of
people swimming against increasingly strong currents.
Therefore, it should not be surprising that multiplicity,
flexibility, short-term goals and such, are also dysfunc
tional for long-term planning and organizing. The final
point is, however, that any solution to the acute prob
lems of the rural poor in the frontier areas of the Amazon
cannot begin with either the changing of small farmers'
attitudes and values, or the introduction of technological


32
expansion (stage one) that the landless subsistence farm
ers and petty commodity producers are allowed to occupy
land, and, in regions with "boom" products prior to the
1950s (such as rubber in Amazonia), certain parties man
aged to obtain de facto control over land in the absence
of any kinds of deeds or titles. Ianni's (1978) account
of the effects of the rubber boom in and around Conceipo
do Araguaia (Para) makes clear that rubber trails were con
trolled by trader "owners" and that rubber workers were in
virtual debt peonage (the avimento system). The control
of "owners" frequently extended to prohibiting rubber col
lectors from planting and harvesting crops for subsistence
in order to (1) keep them dependent on trading posts for
foodstuffs, and (2) not permit them to divert their labor
away from rubber collecting (Ianni, 1978).
Although various versions of the Brazilian land laws
passed since the 1850s have reiterated the rights of squat
ters on the land, in fact it has always been extremely dif
ficult for occupants claiming ownership by usufruct to ac
tually process their claim. This is especially true when
these squatter claims are being disputed by powerful per
sons or companies who have the resources to win legal dis
putes. It is also generally the case that squatters (pos-
seiros) in frontier zones are frequently uninterested in
the process of obtaining title until they are directly
threatened by another party claiming ownership; subsistencce


381
4. How is farming here different than it was in the North
east?
5. What kinds of changes or adjustments did people from
the Northeast have to make to get used to farming and
living here?
6. At that time, who were the rich people?
7. Was there a difference between the people who lived
in the small settlements and the people who lived on
their ropas?
8. What kinds of people were here then?
9. Who were the inhabitants (moradores) and who were the
outsiders?
10. When did the peons start to arrive?
11. What did the people here think of these peons arriving?
12. Do you remember Lucio de Luz?
13. Who represented the law around here in those days?
14. Do you think people used to be more law-abiding and
moral in those days?
15. When was Luciara settled?
16. When was Sao Felix settled?
17. Do you know when the Indian Park was established?
18. Do you know when the Forest Park was established?
19. Do you know when this area stopped being Para and be
came Mato Grosso?
20. What kinds of school and education did people have
then?
21. Did people travel much? Where to? How?
22. Was there much cattle raising? Please tell me about it.
23. What religions existed here then?
24. What things did people arriving here learn from the
Indians?


389
Prado, Caio Jr.
1971 The Colonial Background of Modern Brazil.
Berkeley: University of California Press.
Queiroz, Maria Isaura Pereira de
1977 0 Messianismo No Brasil e No Mundo. Sao Paulo:
Editora Alfa-Omega.
Quijano, Anibal
1970 Redefinizacion de la Dependencia y Marginal-
izacion en America Latina. Santiago: Centro
de Estudios Socio-Economicos, Universidad de
Chile.
Redfield, Robert
1941 The Folk Culture of Yucatan. Chicago: Uni
versity of Chicago Press.
1963 The Little Community and Peasant Society and
Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago
Press.
Reis, Arthur Cesar Ferreira
1974 Economic History of the Brazilian Amazon. In
Man in the Amazon. Charles Wagley, ed.
Gainesville: University of Florida Press.
Roberts, Bryan R.
1976 The Provincial Urban System and the Process of
Dependency. In Current Perspectives in Latin
American Urban Research. Alejandro Portes and
Harley L. Browning, eds. Austin: Institute of
Latin American Studies, University of Texas at
Austin.
Santos, Theotonio dos
1968 El Nuevo Carcter de la Dependencia. Santiago:
Cuadernos de Estudios Socio-Economicos (10),
Centro de Estudios Socio-Economicos (CESO),
Universidad de Chile.
Sawyer, Donald R.
1977 Peasants and Capitalism on the Amazon Frontier.
Paper presented to the meetings of the Latin
American Studies Association, Houston, Texas.
Schmink, Marianne
1977 Frontier Expansion and Land Conflicts in the
Brazilian Amazon: Contradictions in Policy
and Process. Paper presented to the meetings
of the American Anthropological Association,
Houston, Texas.


22
laboring on latifundios, or as migrant workers at the mercy
of unstable, insecure rural labor markets" (Stavenhagen,
1974: 127). Stavenhagen's conclusion is:
This oppressed, exploited rural class, without
legal or social protection, whose conditions of
existence are analogous to those of the medie
val European serf, represent between 60-90% of
the agricultural populations in the countries
studied (CIDA, 1966) Not only are their stan
dards of living and levels of consumption low,
but their high rate of disguised unemployment
and the resulting waste of human resources
reaches alarming proportions. Furthermore,
their very position in the agrarian structure
has excluded them from institutionalized polit
ical activity, only permitting them to express
themselves in periodic uprisings, movements and
peasant rebellions which in most cases have been
violently suppressed by the powers of the state
(Stavenhagen, 1974: 127).
Intra-rural migration has been found to be increasing
worldwide. John Connell and his associates (1976: 201),
in a worldwide study of intra-rural migration patterns, con
eluded that the rural poor are primarily "pushed" rather
than "pulled" to their new destinations, and that "intra-
rural inequality is at once the main cause, and a serious
consequence of rural emigration." Stephen Thompson (1973),
in his review of the literature on frontiers, mentions that
Oscar Lewis suggested to him that "push" factors often ap
peared to be the "primary motivation" for migration to fron
tier zones. Indeed, Foweraker (1980) and others have chal
lenged the entire applicability of using the term "spontane
our" to refer to frontier immigration which is so often


362
9. A complete list of the number and types of marriage
unions entered into by the informant and why these
did or did not last.
10. Attention to children: how many still alive and how
many died; how many were given to someone else to
raise; and how many children were adopted and from
whom?
11. Try to elicit informants' opinions on preferred types
of living places and preferred types of economic ac
tivities and life-styles. What is considered a good
life? Had the informant ever experienced it, and if
so, when? What is considered the most desirable way
to live? What are the obstacles that prevent them
from realizing their ideal?
12. What kinds of places and types of economic activities
are considered undesirable? Has the informant ever
done these? Why are they undesirable? Was there any
thing that could have been done to improve the bad
situation?
13. What are/were the most pressing problems of life?
14. What are/were the major disappointments in life?
15. How did the informant come to live in Santa Terezinha
and does he/she plan to stay or leave?
16. Current information on the informant's situation in
Santa Terezinha (see Appendix 4 for questions and top
ics utilized and Appendix 2 for complementary infor
mation on relatives).


212
Santa Terezinha area as follows:
It is the "erapreiteiro" (contractor) who has
the contract. . The workers themselves can
not read and have no individual written agree
ments as to what is expected of them and what
they may expect. Thus, it is very common for
workers to be lured from their homelands by
'empreiteiros' promising a situation quite dif
ferent from the one the worker will actually
encounter. Such was the case in Santa Tere
zinha. Some of the workers had been promised
a daily salary of 3,00 cruzeiros, in addition
to food, shelter, and tools, which were to be
supplied by the company. They were told that
medical attention would be provided for them
free of charge. Thus, many left work in their
own state of Maranho in the hopes of finding
something better in Santa Terezinha. What
they actually found was something a good deal
worse: out of this daily wage of 3,00 cru
zeiros (a little over a dollar) was to come not
only the price of food, but that of the very
tools given to the men to do the company's work.
No shelters were provided; peons slept out in
the open, hanging their hammocks from trees
along the banks of rivers and in abandoned gar
dens. And the only medical attention for miles
around was provided by the priest's nurse. The
peons were encouraged to buy on credit from the
company store.. . Thus, most found that,
rather than earning money, they were becoming
progressively indebted to the company. . .
Even the settlers of Santa Terezinha, themselves
extremely poor and accustomed to a difficult
life, were moved by the spectacle of misery, ex
haustion and undernourishment presented by these
peons.
Seeing that they had been misled by the "em
preiteiros," many peons tried to get away. . .
The peons, however, were not permitted to leave.
The company and the 'empreiteiros' claimed that
there were contracts which committed them to
work up until a certain date.. . The company
also claimed that the workers could not leave
since they were in debt to the company store,
which in many cases was true. . .


294
to produce brown sugar blocks called rapadura. Informants
stated that it was no longer worthwhile to produce rapadura.
People also used to collect the small coconuts of the
macauba palm and produce cooking oil; again they say that
low prices for the oil does not compensate for the labor in
volved. Many women continue to make their own soap from
cattle fat and lye. They stated, however, that most inhab
itants now prefer to purchase factory made scented soaps.
Many home produced products, such as rendered pig fat for
cooking, soap, benches and the like are manufactured ex
clusively for household use and are not sold at all.
A major way to raise money in a hurry was by games of
chance such as bingo, rife or by auction. In bingo people
usually play for a desirable prize such as a home-made ham
mock. In rife there is a special placard with covered
names, such as female names, with a winning name which re
mains covered until all chances are sold. The prize is of
ten something like a crocheted child's dress or a radio that
a family has decided to sell. This way, in a poor town with
marginal cash flow, people can sell commodities at a better
price. The auction method is used primarily to raise money
at community events for institutions such as the Catholic
Church, saint celebrations and the elementary school. Res
idents contribute desirable items, usually roasted chicken,
a coconut cake or a watermelon, to the event and these are
auctioned off to the highest bidder. Another method of


301
often exchanged between adult children and their parents.
In times of illness, adult children are expected to do all
they can for their parents. The reciprocity also works the
other way, as parents will provide many free services, pro
duce and even lodging to adult children and sometimes the
children's own families.
Especially within the frontier town the ties between
related households and especially in relation to the par
ents' households remains strong and active. One middle-
aged couple encountered was in the process of selling their
house and constructing a new one to reduce the distance be
tween themselves and their adult children from about 12 min
utes walk to three minutes walk. While the ideal of an ex
tended family of several generations working and living on
a farm homestead is becoming increasingly rare, the general
pattern is repeated by the alliances and constant exchanges
that occur between related households in the town. The fol
lowing example demonstrates continued links between related
households.
The backyard of Dona Luisa and Jos joins the backyard
of the house of their adult married son. This son, Manuel,
works with Jos periodically in the fields, pumps gas at
the town airstrip, works odd jobs and generally makes bricks
in the summer. His wife, Nadi, spent a good deal of time
in Dona Luisa's house, exchanging chores and child care with
her mother-in-law and often the two women were company for


285
Table 8
Estimated Monthly Cash Income for Household Heads
and Spouses, Santa Terezinha (1978-1979)
Monthly Cash Income
(in US dollars)
# Males
# Females
Nothing
2
30
2 to 25
2
5
26 to 50
3
5
51 to 100
7
2
101 to 150
6
2
151 to 250
4
0
Over 250
3
0
Unknown
17
0
TOTAL
44
44


355
survival of the unit. Migration was analyzed as a survival
strategy used by families and persons in situations of se
vere economic constraints. Push factors, such as eviction,
inability to pay land taxes, or lack of sufficient employ
ment to satisfy cash needs, were found to be the most crit
ical variable involved in the intra-rural migration proc
ess. Pull factors were found to be less important although
migrants clearly tried to select destinations where their
chances of success were maximized. Many select destina
tions where they already have kin so that they will have an
immediately available mutual aid network in the new location.
The major conclusion was that the migratory process was, in
Ernest Feder's (1971: 37) words, not a "search for better
jobs than the ones they havethey just look for jobs."
Most settlers, however, were small farmers whose major goal
had been the acquisition of land for the establishment of
a farm homestead. Most immigrants, and particularly those
who had entered the region more recently, had been unable
to acquire land or access to land.
A second survival strategy utilized by most frontier
households is the diversification and intensification of
household livelihood activities. Household members are in
creasingly engaged in a series of remunerative activities,
usually temporary, periodic or seasonal, in order to aug
ment the household income. Activities such as brick making,
washing laundry, sewing, yard work and odd jobs, have become


337
just fashion and this leads to some dissatisfactions and
complaints. The effort to have the health clinic and the
agricultural cooperative function as autonomous community
run organizations has not been particularly successful.
Many initially enthusiastic members became discouraged and
frustrated when the self-help organizations did not meet
their expectations. The health clinic, designed to pro
vide some basic health care and low cost medications, like
the agricultural cooperative, operates with some serious
constraints. Because of the rising costs of drugs and
transportation, a low profit margin, and an overworked
staff, the clinic, according to many informants, has con
tinued to raise membership dues annually while the quantity
and quality of its services has fallen. For example, while
previously the payment of membership dues entitled a family
to up to four free home visits from the clinic nurse, the
number of free visits had been cut to one and people com
plained that it was increasingly difficult to get the staff
to actually come to peoples' homes. The health clinic,
which still sells medications at close to cost and extends
credit, continues to have more members than any other commu
nity or regional organization. One-fourth of the sampled
households belonged to the health clinic; four households
were encountered which had previously belonged but had left
because of dissatisfaction. All members are eligible to
come to policy and planning meetings, however, most meetings


45
suggestions and comments were incorporated into the final
version. The schedule is included in Appendix 4. It was
applied to 12% (44) of the households with a plan to expand
the sample to 24%, however; time and physical constraints
did not permit this expansion. Each application of the
questionnaire took between two to four hours and the re
sults represent about one month's work. No research assis
tants were available locally. Since a number of questions
were repeated on both surveys, the sample base for certain
key questions can be extended to 26% (99) of the town's
households.
End Notes
One hundred kilometers on both sides of any federal road,
built or merely projected, is automatically transferred
to the federal domain and is administered by INCRA.
2
See Wood and Schmink (1978) for a more complete analysis
of the tendency to blame the victim in terms of the con
text of Amazon colonization programs.
3
Some of the observors and analysts are Cardoso and Mul
ler, 1978; Davis, 1977; Feder, 1971; Ianni, 1978; Mahar,
1979; Martins, 1975; Pompermeier, 1979; Sawyer, 1977;
Schmink, 1977 and 1980; Velho, 1972; Wagley, 1974; Wood
and Schmink, 1978.
4
The definition of small farm used here refers to land
holdings of 100 ha or less and includes ownership by
title or usufruct.
5What is meant by the mode of production is based on Long's
(1977: 96) clarification of the Marxist term and is de
fined as the forces of production (technological rules,
resources, tools and labor power) plus the social rela
tions of production which refer to the ownership and/or
control over the means of production and the disposition
of the value of the commodities produced.


174
landowners with tenants seemed most interested in provid
ing staples for their families rather than sale. This ori
entation is clearly related to the fragility of the market
for local commodities. Prices for local agricultural prod
ucts remain very low while all other prices (of imported
commodities) rise almost daily. In particular, the already
mentioned seasonal fluctuations in rice prices discourage
most people from investing in expanded rice production.
In the survey of 12% of the town households (44) only
25 homes provided detailed information on the recent sale
of agricultural products. Almost half (12 households)
claimed that they sold next to nothing and were producing
for home consumption only. Five families stated that they
engaged in periodic sales of products "on the street" and
eight households mentioned that they had sold products to
local stores or the cooperative.
Most of the local stores are basically uninterested
in buying local agricultural products. Santa Terezinha
commercial establishments receive their stock from outside
the region. Even items such as beans, coffee, onions, gar
lic, rice and farinha are imported into the region. Sev
eral of the larger stores in town do occasionally buy
farinha from local farmers but most do not choose to sell
farinha, the main staple food, at all. Farmers sell farinha
to local stores at a price which is slightly below the cur
rent "street value" and the stores resell it at a price


216
son, his parents sent him at age 13 to live with some rel
atives who had migrated to the city of Sao Paulo. Between
1950 and 1969 Manuel lived in the Sao Paulo area and worked
in factories and at other low-level jobs. In 1970, Manuel
took his savings and returned to visit his family in Piaui.
He decided to stay, and invested his savings in his father's
farm, hiring additional workers, making new fences, buying
seeds and the like. The drought which hit the Northeast
that year ruined the fields and the animals died. Every
thing Manuel had invested in his father's place was lost.
Ashamed to return to Sao Paul broke and defeated, Manuel
decided to go to Mato Grosso where he had heard people say
that one could earn well at the ranch-companies. His plan
was to earn enough so as to be able to save up another small
stake to make another start in life.
But as a peon Manuel found that he could never get
ahead. His description of the situation he encountered in
Mato Grosso follows:
[(During the times of the droughts in the
Northeast)], the old people said let's go, let's
go to the forests to the west where there is
rain. But the ranches took everything. Mato
Grosso and Par are all closed, all fenced up.
The poor person has no choice but to be a peon
where most frequently he receives no saldo (re
maining pay) at the end of a job, sometimes
none at all; And many times the peon at the end
of a job is still in debt to the company.
You understand that there is no place for
these people who came here to farm the forests
to go, so they become peons. The men have to


281
transportation for hauling the bricks away from the produc
tion site.
The researcher calculated costs and benefits for two
brick makers working together. Twelve full days of labor
and $105 (fuel) were required to produce 20,000 bricks which
were sold for a total of $500. When production costs are
subtracted, each man earned $16.45 a day. This is clearly
an excellent daily income for the frontier town. One must
remember, however, that brick making, as are a number of
other activities, is dependent on good weather. An unsea
sonable and unexpected rain during production can completely
ruin days of labor. Not all men can incorporate full-time
brick making into their schedules, and more importantly,
many cannot afford the necessary capital investment for
fuel. The reason for describing in detail the brick making
enterprise, an economic activity available only four months
a year, is not purely ethnographic, but is included to dem
onstrate how productive some of the unmentioned and un
counted sideline activities can be. Despite the relatively
good profit, the researcher counted only eight brick sites
in the clay area north of town. This may be related to the
fact that the dry season is the time of year of optimal em
ployment opportunities, requirements for field clearing, and
that the local demand for fired bricks will not support more
3
brick producers.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Judith Lisansky was born in 1950, in New Haven, Con
necticut. In 1967, she moved to Puerto Rico and graduated
from Commonwealth High School in Hato Rey. From 1968 until
1972, she attended the University of Michigan where she ma
jored in political science and minored in history.
In 1974, Ms. Lisansky moved to Gainesville, Florida,
to begin graduate work in anthropology at the University of
Florida. The master's degree was awarded in March, 1976,
and that summer Ms. Lisansky made her first field trip to
to the Amazon region. During 1977, she was an adjunct pro
fessor for the School for International Training in Brattle
boro, Vermont and Director of the Brazil Program. From
March, 1978, until March, 1979, Ms. Lisansky conducted dis
sertation research in Central Brazil. She completed the re
quirements for the Ph.D. degree in August, 1980.
393


282
There are also a number of money making activities
which men, for cultural and economic reasons, will not do.
No adult male will work for less than about $2 a day, where
as women will, and frequently do. Women, as might be ex
pected, tend to predominate in the lower earning types of
enterprises and occupations, and their economic activities
tend to be those which they can more easily combine with
their regular domestic duties.
Women's and even children's contributions to household
subsistence are more difficult to ascertain and measure than
are men's, in part, because so often the activities are not
considered as economic contributions. Their cash earning
activities are often informal and periodic, and cultural
values place a premium on presenting an image of the wife
as a homemaker rather than as a breadwinner. Women's work
within the home is considered desirable, whereas women work
ing outside the home for wages or running a business is com
mon yet culturally downplayed. Many households do appar
ently depend on female generated income, either partially
or completely, and there are a number of relatively success
ful female entrepreneurs in the town. The ideal is, how
ever, that women remain within the domestic sphere. This
constitutes a gap between ideal values and reality, where
economic realities are eroding the strength of cultural
preferences and values. Together, the aforementioned


163
Farmers said that they require a "cooler climate with cooler
soils"; they are also better suited for intensive mechanized
production because they are harvested all at once.
Sweet potatoes are also grown in northern Mato Grosso
but the production is extremely small. Farmers stated that
they were having problems with insects ruining their pota
toes. During the entire nine months the researcher resided
in Santa Terezinha, sweet potatoes were seen in households
only three times. Most potatoes eaten are the white pota
toes imported from southern Brazil. At almost a dollar a
kilo, white potatoes were considered a luxury food by most
families and are served primarily on special occasions, such
as birthday parties.
Manioc (cassava; Manihot, sp.) is a crop of central im
portance in Santa Terezinha as it is for the entire north
of Brazil. This starchy tuber formed the mainstay of the
diet of the indigenous populations of the Amazon Basin, and
today it is a basic staple for most Brazilians (Moran, 1974;
Wagley, 1976). Manioc is extremely well-suited to tropical
conditions and soils and the sturdy plant requires no pro
tective insecticides or fertilizers. It is planted by tak
ing cuttings from the stalks of other manioc plants. Ma
ture tubers are ready for harvesting in about six months,
and can be left in the ground for long periods of time al
though after as many as four years the tubers become too
fibrous. Therefore, tubers can be harvested as needed.


128
agricultural cooperative, which had been started in 1962,
so that the town and farmers would have a corporate insti
tution to represent their legal claim to the place. By
1967, Shapiro (1967) reports that about 92 families had
joined the cooperative.
The Tapirap tribe was also under pressure from the
Tapiraguaia Company to leave their village and gardens.
In 1967, FUNAI, under increasing pressure from Brazilian
and foreign anthropologists, museums, agencies and the
Catholic Church, initiated negotiations with the cattle com
pany. After several years of discussion, the Tapiraguaia
Company finally "donated" 9,000 ha at the mouth of the
Tapirap River to the tribe. This land, however, is insuf
ficient for the needs of the growing Indian population and
much of it is composed of marshy and grassy areas unsuitable
for agriculture. The Tapirap have continued to negotiate
for more land, but as late as 1979, this issue had not been
resolved.
Meanwhile, the tension of the escalating conflict be
tween the Codeara Company and the Santa Terezinha farmers
was about to erupt into violence. Shapiro (1967: 8) de
scribes the situation in 1967:
The company has the complete support of the
state in its attempts to dispossess the set
tlers. The Secretary of Justice of the State
of Mato Grosso had led the farmers to believe
that they have no rights in the matter, pre
senting them with the ultimatum of either


265
analyses of Brazilian agrarian structure and development
policies, such as those of Cardoso and Muller (1978), Davis
(1977), and Feder (1971), it appears that the migrants'
evaluations of the situation in the countryside are valid
and accurate. The hundreds of individual and mostly tragic
stories collected during fieldwork add up to an overall com
posite picture of a relatively powerless people reacting to
severe economic constraints and oppression.
Informants also made positive statements regarding the
selection of destinations. Such pull factors, however, have
been interpreted broadly so that any statement which is not
clearly negative or clearly neutral was classified as pos
itive. While 27% of the informants mentioned the desire
and/or goal of trying to improve their economic situation,
many were quite vague as to the specific idea, opportunity
or plan for obtaining an improvement. For example, eight
reasons given were that the people were "seeking betterment,"
two stated that they thought that the places of destination
would have more opportunities (unspecified) and hence be
easier to make a living in, and two statements mentioned
the desire to find a job of any kind. This kind of orienta
tion appears to be what Feder (1971: 37) is referring to
when he stated that "farm people do not wanter around in
search of better jobs than the ones they havethey just
look for jobs ..." The fact that many households have
reached a point of desperation in which they are oriented


15
enterprises has contributed to a rapid decrease in small
farming and a growing emigration from the region.
Theoretical Discussion
Within the context of the aforementioned frontier dy
namics, an appropriate focus of anthropological research ap
pears to be an investigation of responses, changes and adap
tations made by the increasingly marginalized frontier in
habitants to the intensifying socio-economic constraints
generated by this type of development. Terms used to refer
to this type of research include Larissa Lomnitz's (1976:
141) call to investigate the "survival strategies used by
marginals"; Bryan Robert's (1976: 114) stress on the impor
tance of understanding the "informal economy;' and Anbal
Quijano's (1970: 18) statement regarding the usefulness of
examining the "survival structures." The term used in this
dissertation will be survival strategies. This implies an
investigation of the social and economic organization of
the increasingly marginalized households within the context
of the frontier community. Survival strategies include not
only the major livelihood options available in the frontier
zone, but also all the behaviors and actions of household
members which are designed to ensure survival of the unit.
Some major strategies observed and analyzed include immigra
tion, intensification and diversification of household labor,
various types of reciprocity, and emigration.


144
field planted with pasture grass. This variation, which
will be discussed under cattle raising, has important ef
fects on agricultural practices because areas to be planted
as pasture cannot be used for crops, such as manioc, which
produce for more than one year. The planting of large
areas with special pasture grass is leading to a general
reduction in manioc cultivation in the area and an increas
ing dependence on rice as a major crop and major item in
the diet.
The areas cleared for ropas by the farmers of Santa
Terezinha are relatively small and normally range from 1/2
ha to 1 1/2 ha. The trees and brush are cut and left to
dry in the sun a minimum of one month and usually longer.
The usual time for burning the fields is between late August
and early October. The timing of the burn must be gauged
fairly accurately because burning too early leaves a new
field open to a fast invasion of quick growing brush (most
commonly taboca, a form of bamboo) which then must also be
cleared. If the farmer delays burning too long it may be
difficult to get a good (complete) burn because of damp con
ditions from the rains. Ideally a farmer burns shortly be
fore the rains begin so that he can quickly plant and take
advantage of the rains which usually begin sometime between
late September and early October.
Weather changes in the Amazon Basin, over the last three
years (1976-1978) were reported by local farmers who stated


Figure 2
co
The Legal Amazon
Source: CNBB, Pastoral de Terra: Posse e Conflitos.


375
62. Is the pasture natural (savanna) or improved? Is the
pasture open or fenced?
63. Do you (plural) pay for the use of the pasture? How
do you (plural) pay? To whom?
64. Do you (plural) employ a cowboy? How do you pay him?
65. What problems do you (plural) have with cattle rais
ing here?
66. Do you (plural) sell cattle more here in the town, or
more to the men who transport them out of the region?
Commerce (#67 to #70: Ask if relevant)
67. Do you (plural) have a store or bar (any commercial
establishment)? More or less, how much do you earn
from it each month? (If they don't know, put down
the size of the establishment: Big / Medium / Small)
68. Do you own any other stores or bars? How many? Where?
69. How many employees do you (plural) have? How much do
you (plural) pay them?
70. How many years have you (plural) been involved in com
merce in Santa Terezinha?
71. Does the male household head have any other ways of
earning money? What?
72. What is the occupation of the female household head?
73. Does she also sew, make cakes, wash laundry, work as
a midwife or do other remunerative activities?
74. How much, more or less, does she earn per month?
75. How much (all activities) does the male household head
earn each month?
76. How many people contribute to the household expenses?
Who?
77. How much, more or less, is the total income entering
the house each month? (If they do not know, ask how
much they spend for household expenses each month,
approximately.)


309
fusion and fission of cooperating units which can more eas
ily respond to changing conditions.
Composite households in the frontier town were gener
ally some form of the extended family. In one survey nine
homes contained siblings of the heads of household, three
contained grandparents, two contained cousins and only two
contained friends and one had an employee. Frequently the
grandparents who live with adult children are single be
cause of the death of a spouse; living alone was consid
ered to be a terrible thing and there were no households
5
in town composed of one person. In the case of a widow,
widower or abandoned wife, children and/or other relatives
often move in on a temporary or permanent basis. Siblings,
cousins, nephews and the like who join family units are fre
quently from outside the town itself. Children of farm fam
ilies residing in the forest are frequently sent to live in
town with relatives so that they can attend the elementary
school. Siblings and other relatives may arrive from out
side the region and live for as long as several years with
relatives until they marry and/or become permanently estab
lished in their own home. Because the time, cost and ex
pertise involved in building a thatch or wattle-and-daub
house are minimal, and because a good deal of the land in
the town has not yet come entirely under the formal legal
control of the local government, most families can and do
construct and move into their own dwelling as soon as


Viana, Jairo Sherrer and Sergeant Manoel Omar Teixeira
Duarte.
My family also provided critical help and encourage
ment during my graduate studies and tolerated my long ab
sences from the United States. In particular I want to
thank my mother and step-father, Edith and Henry Gomberg,
and my father and step-mother, Milton and Sybil Lisansky.
Lastly, I must thank my friends and informants of
Santa Terezinha and other settlements along the Araguaia
River. Without their cooperation and gracious hospitality
this study would have never been possible. I want to es
pecially thank my good friends Dona Oda and Senhor Ben,
Dona Marcionilha and Senhor Felicissimo, Dona Luisa, Dona
Ana and Senhor Pedro, Senhor Aluisio, Dona Maria and Senhor
Albino, Dona Raimunda, Dona Tapuya, Senhor Procpio, Dona
Maria das Neves, Dona Delmina, Dona Nazar and Senhor Doca,
Dona Rosaria, Txawant and the memory of Dona Maria de
Joaquin. Ron and Darla Key of New Tribes Mission also de
serve special thanks for their wonderful kindness and
neighborliness.
It is probably impossible to thank the people of one's
community properly. The people of Santa Terezinha gave me
much more than the data required for research purposes.
They gave me a new perspective on the extent of human suf
fering and the meaning of human dignity. For this, and
many other things, I will always remember and feel indebted
vi


248
to tolerate a daughter's dishonor rather than condemn her
to a life in the cabaret. Community moral assessment of
one's character, particularly of females, however, contin
ues to carry weight and most suicides and suicide attempts
in the town are carried out by girls who have been shamed
or prostitutes who have been disappointed by lovers.
In summary, the goal of many households is to open a
business in Santa Terezinha although the majority of the
commercial establishments in town are hole-in-the-wall
places which rarely generate more than subsistence earn
ings. The failure rate of small businesses is quite high
thus to invest one's resources in one is a high risk ven
ture. Many of the marginal stores and bars in the town
represent only one of a number of sources of household in
come. Only households which have other, non-commercial
sources of income and/or foodstuffs can survive the fluc
tuations of the cash shortage season. Larger commercial
establishment owners also diversity their economic activ
ities as soon as possible.
In conclusion, this chapter demonstrates some critical
aspects of livelihood options in the frontier. The majority
of wage-labor opportunities are at ranch-companies through
out the region. Most workers participate as peons, tempo
rary lowly paid manual laborers with no job security and


69
The current political structure of Santa Terezinha is
relatively new. After 1973 the town was officially ceded
the land on which it was located, and in 1976 the governor
of the state declared Santa Terezinha a district (distrito)
within the municipality of Luciara. Luciara is the munic
ipal seat, runs the municipal government and controls the
revenue flow, a fact which is deeply resented by Santa Tere
zinha residents who are quick to point out that Santa Tere
zinha is bigger and contributes more revenue to the state
than Luciara and hence should be made into a separate and
autonomous municipality. Meanwhile the mayor of Luciara,
five out of the seven elected municipal councilmen and the
camara or legislative body are located in Luciara. Two
councilmen live in Santa Terezinha and the mayor assigns
an assistant mayor (sub prefeito) to the town. These of
ficials, however, have little impact on Santa Terezinha ex
cept for implementing the new policy regulating urban prop
erties. The assistant mayor sells the urban lots, but
spends most of his time transporting labor gangs and cargo
to a new ranch-company some 80 km from Santa Terezinha in
his truck. The delegado, a local man, is assigned by state
authorities to Santa Terezinha. The town also has in res
idence one sergeant and a few state troopers who are all
outsiders, and receive extra "hardship pay" for being as
signed to such a remote and uncomfortable spot. There are
no lawyers or judges of any kind, nor any registry offices


365
4.Children at Home:
How many children are still at home? What are their
sexes and ages? Whose children are they (exactly)? Do
they attend the elementary school? What grades are they
in currently? Do any of the children work outside the
home? What are their jobs and how much do they earn?
What is done with the money that they earn? Do the chil
dren do chores at home? Which chores? What do the chil
dren want to do when they grow up? Do you think that they
will want to follow the same livelihood as their parents?
Why, or why not? Do you want them to have the same kind
of life that you did? Do you have any children currently
being raised by someone else? Who are they, and who is
raising them? Do you provide any support for these chil
dren? Why are they living with someone else? Whose idea
was it to have them live somewhere else?
5.Children already out of the Home;
Where are your children who have already left home
or who are currently living away from home? What are
their sexes and ages? What are they doing (and working
at) in these other locations? Will they remain away per
manently or are they planning on returning to Santa Tere-
zinha (or home)? Do you visit them? Which ones do you
visit most? Do they come visit you? When, and how often?
Do they contribute to your support in any way? Do you con
tribute to their support in any way? How do you remain in
touch with your children who are located far away? When
was the last time you heard from them, and how? Do you have
any children from whom you have not heard in a long time?
Do you have any idea what happened to them?
6.Ritual Co-Parenthood:
How many people here are your compadres? Who are
they? Compadres of what? Which compadres are relatives,
which are friends and which are acquaintances? How long
have you been compadres with them? How long have you known
them? Do you see your compadres frequently, sometimes or
rarely? Do you also socialize with your compadres? How
often do you see your godchildren? Do you provide any
help or services for any of your godchildren? Do any of
your compadres provide help and/or support to you? Do you
help your compadres? What was the last service or gift you
received from a compadre? What was the last service or
gift that you provided to a compadre?


184
excessive flooding. Almost all families try to raise some
pigs and chickens, but production is extremely marginal,
in part, because of losses due to disease and inadequate
feed. Chickens are allowed to run free to find their own
food and there are frequently quarrels between neighbors
over accusations of theft of poultry or their eggs. Chicken
as food is usually reserved for special occasions, and most
poor families select to sell rather than eat them because
the scarcity drove the street price up from between $1.50
to $3.00 at the beginning of 1978 to $3.00 to $5.00 at the
end of the year. Fishing done by family members during
free time was a major source of protein for most house
holds; no households sell fish. Karaj Indians also sell
small quantities of fish in the town, most of which is
swiftly purchased by boarding house and cabaret owners.
Fish is eaten but is considered by most people to be less
desirable than meat. An elaborate folk taboo system also
eliminates a large portion of fish from consumption. There
are also taboos on certain species of wild game but the en
vironmental changes resulting from the presence of the
ranch-companies have all but eliminated wild animal food
sources.
During most of 1978 the local prices for fish, pork
and beef remained relatively lowapproximately $.75 to
$1.50 a kilobut even households with sufficient money
were most frequently unable to purchase it because of local


108
country. Most of the rubber collectors who came to the
Amazon during the latter portion of the 19th century were
from the Northeast. The reasons why people leave the North
east are clearly related to the conditions of acute rural
poverty which, in turn, are linked to the unequal structure
of land tenure (Feder, 1971). Massive emigration has also
accompanied the droughts which occur almost every ten years.
Since the 1930s the situation of small farmers and tenants
in the rural areas of the Northeast has become increasingly
more difficult. Some of the factors which have contrib
uted to the worsening situation are (1) a growing popula
tion and increasing fragmentation of already small plots
because of inheritance patterns, (2) increasing commercial
ization in marketing to supply growing urban centers which
has, in turn, led to increases in the size and mechanization
of food producing farms (Forman & Riegelhaupt, 1970), (3)
continued agricultural production for export and (4) the
changeover from family owned and managed plantations to man
ager-run corporations (usinas) which do not allow payment in
kind. Other problems such as land taxes and the ruin caused
by droughts have contributed to the heavy emigration.4
The migration data collected in Santa Terezinha demon
strates that the basic pattern of population movement was
a three step migration occurring over a period of approx
imately three generations. Families who migrated to north
ern Mato Grosso began moving west out of the Northeast at


85
The mission report points out that most Brazilians
who have settled on Bananal are attracted by its natural
pastures (the savanna). Most island inhabitants tend to
live on the edges of gallery forests where they make their
gardens, and nearby the campo (savanna) which is used for
grazing. The densest population concentration on Bananal
appears to be in the southeastern portion, and it is there
that two of the so-called urban nuclei are found. The
third settlement is Santa Isabel, an Indian post and for
merly headquarters of the Indian Park, on the western edge
of the island some 100 km south of Santa Terezinha and di
rectly across the Araguaia River from Sao Felix. The ma
jority of Bananal residents live scattered throughout the
island. No commerce or shops of any kind are found any
where on Bananal outside of the two villages mentioned on
the southeastern side. The denser population of the east
ern side of the island probably results from its proximity
to the Belm-Braslia Highway.
There have been a decrease of farming and cattle-rais
ing families in the northern third of the island because of
pressure brought to bear by the increasingly active agents
of the National Park Service (IBDF). Park regulations which
forbid agriculture, fishing and hunting have caused the sub
sistence farmers who also raise cattle to leave Bananal.
The agents have tried to enforce these regulations, at
times jailing and fining violators. The National Indian


269
however, when questioned, have ceased to discuss this topic
because the goal seems unobtainable. The evaluation of the
situation is so negative that many consider the goal of hav
ing their own land to be only a dream. The following frag
ments from indepth interviewing gives some common patterns
of migrant reasoning:
Question:
Where would you prefer to live?
Answer:
Here in Santa Terezinha will have to do.
The backlands (sertao) are better; there
one can raise animals better. But there
is no place to live that we could call our
own. Because the ranch (company) threw
out all the people.
Question:
Why did you move to Santa Terezinha?
Answer:
Vie came here because (there) where we were
was very bad and news arrived that here
was better. The only way is to try, to
keep trying, because really there aren't
any more places left to go! Every place
is full! Now my son Antonio is working
as a peon, doing clearing and weeding work.
We have no land to work in the backland
(sertao).
Question:
Where would you prefer to live?
Answer:
I'd prefer the wilderness (sertao) if we
had forest (mata) to work and live in.
We'd have our fields and chickens and pigs.
. . The wilderness (sertao) is definitely
better, but since we don't have any land
we have to stay here or any other place
that suffices.
The reasons, then, given for moves and selection of
destinations are more accurate as an assessment of how mi
grants view the realities of the situation than they are a


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Charles Wagley, Chairnfem X
Graduate Research Professor of
Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degp&e J}f Doctor of Philosophy.
if' v ^
olon T. Kimbal
Graduate Research Professor of
Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Yv\c>^, !>
Maxine L. Margolis Z)
Associate Professor of
Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
jZ
An-I
thony Oliver-
-Smitl
Associate Professor of Anthropology


159
frustration over the lost investment since in many cases
they were forced to move.
Land holdings, whether by title or posse, tend to be
generally about 100 ha but all 100 ha are not of equal val
ue to farmers since the types of terrain on holdings vary.
Some holdings contain only a relatively small percentage
of the forest land considered good for farming and pastures.
The farming system has already been described as one which
is land extensive, in that fresh fields must be made every
year and the fallow period is, of necessity, relatively
long. Farmers who have continued to create new areas of
pasture each year are effectively eliminating these portions
of their land from future agricultural production and making
a calculation that cattle production, in the long run, will
provide a more secure livelihood. One highly market ori
ented and somewhat exceptional farmer interviewed reported
that he had 60 out of 100 ha already planted with pasture
grasses. When asked about the possibility of running out
of land to farm, he looked incredulous, waved his arm in an
arc through the air and said: "There will always be more
land out there." With the increasing difficulty of access
to land, rising land prices and the few remaining squatter
areas currently threatened by the arrival of more companies,
this optimistic assessment seems somewhat unrealistic.
Harvesting begins in December, when some of the culti
vated fruits, water melons, mangoes and pineapples, begin


133
Thirdly, goods and services in the frontier zone are gen
erally more costly than in other areas of Brazil and, thus,
the difference in prices absorbs much of the "extra" earn
ing power. Lastly, the wages paid to company workers do
not include any payment in kind and workers are generally
not allowed to grow their own crops or raise animals.
Real income, when the workers must purchase all their ba
sic supplies, goes down because they previously depended
on their own production for part of their subsistence.


373
31. How much education did the female household head re
ceive? How long did she study? Can she read and
write?
32. What religion are you (plural)? (Household heads)
33. Are you (plural) a member of any organization or so
ciety, such as the agricultural cooperative, the union,
the health clinic, or a club?
34. What is the occupation of the male household head?
Where? (If the answers "driver" or "pilot" given,
ask if he owns the vehicle or drives for someone else.)
35. Does he also work at other things, for example, brick
making, driving, part-time work at the companies or
other jobs?
Ranch-Companies (#36 to #40: Ask if relevant)
36. What type of work does he do at the companies?
37. Does he have a worker identification card? Does he
work by contract (as a peon) or is he a labor con
tractor, or both?
38. How much does he generally earn per month?
39. How many years has he worked for the companies?
40. At which ranch-company is he currently working, or
which was the last company where he worked?
Farming (#41 to #58: Ask if relevant)
41. Do you (plural) farm?
42. Do you (plural) have land, or do you (plural) work on
someone else's land?
43. If the land belongs to someone else, whose land is it?
Are they your relatives, friends or what?
44. Where is the land located, and how much land is there?
45. Was this land distributed by INCRA, bought, or is it
owned by squatters' rights?
46. If the land was purchased, how much was paid for it?


75
other small islands of farm homesteads located within the
ranch itself. The exact locations of these "donated lots"
was difficult to determine with precision because both
INCRA and Codeara stated that survey maps were unavailable
5
or missing. No maps were available in Santa Terezinha.
Hence, the details of the location and extent of the land
distribution has been reconstructed from informants' ac
counts and travel into the countryside.
From 1973 to 1976 the Codeara company distributed
about 110- 100 ha lots to local farmers. INCRA sent per
sonnel to Santa Terezinha to conduct surveys and evalua
tions, and to supervise the land distribution. INCRA uses
certain stipulated criteria to determine which farmers are
eligible for a lot and which farmers are not. They eval
uate the farmers in terms of the length of residency at a
homestead and the number of improvements and fields they
have made. Minimum residency to qualify for an INCRA lot
is one year and one day. The object is to eliminate from
consideration any newcomers who try to acquire land under
false pretenses. The process of evaluation looks reason
able and fair on paper but there are always inequities
which enter into the actual distribution of free land.
Some small farmers felt that they had been given a bad deal
A number of farmers who had had fields nearby the town were
assigned virgin areas at a much greater distance. The clos
est lots ended up assigned to members of the local elite


192
Table 5.
Monthly Expenditures of a Typical
Farming Household* in Santa Terezinha
ITEM
PRICE (in US dollars)**
Cleaned rice (1 kilo)
.50
Sugar (8 kilos)
4.00
Beef (about 9 kilos)
13.50
Green coffee beans 1 1/4 kilo)
6.00
Beans (2 kilos)
1.85
Lettuce
.60
Milk (2 liters)
.70
Salt
.45
Tomato paste (1 can)
.30
Black pepper
.20
Kerosine (12 liters)
5.50
Soap
1.25
Cloth
24.25
Scouring pads
.75
Matches
.20
Gifts
5.50
Total Spent on Foodstuffs
28.10
Total Household Maintenance
32.00
TOTAL EXPENDITURES
65.60
*The household was composed of only two people, a husband
and a wife, and the prices were recorded in October, 1978.
**Prices are to the nearest cruzeiro or .05 US dollars.


119
decades. The regional dependence on trade with Conceipao
do Araguaia was broken with the completion of the Belern-
Brasilia Highway. The former village of Mato Verde became
the town of Luciara and seat of the new municipality of the
same name.
Another event which occurred during the 1950s which
had serious consequences in the region was the arrival of
Forest Park guards who were sent to protect the environ
ment of the Bananal Forest Preserve. The first Park agents
arrived in 1958, sent by the Institute for the Development
of Forestry (IBDF) in Brasilia. The northern third of
Bananal had been declared a national biological reserve
several years previously but no one in Santa Terezinha knew
anything about it until the first guards arrived. The south
ern two-thirds of Bananal had been declared an Indian reser
vation for the Karaj. The Forest Park Service, in an ef
fort to stop exploitation of the environment and to encour
age the squatters to leave, passed a series of new regula
tions regarding the legal use of the natural habitat of the
park. They forbade hunting and fishing (except to Indians)
and banned agricultural activities, the cutting of trees
and the construction of permanent buildings. Many small
farmers with herds on Bananal decided to leave the park at
that point. Many had purchased the squatters' rights to
the homesteads where they lived. There was talk of the
agency paying a compensation to the evicted farmers, but


221
behavior of the members. Temporary residents have less
vested interest in their public images. By the mere fact
of being identified as peons they are automatically judged
as somewhat morally deficient. It logically follows that
the more temporary households are more apt to be accused
of chicken stealing or other antisocial behavior, and that
the neighbors are less apt to offer help to a person or per
sons who may disappear tomorrow. Local people, who may
share access to land with their neighbors, are usually un
willing to allow "strangers" to work on their land. Local
people are also loathe to sell land, either by deed or
squatters' rights, to people considered to be outsiders.
Local people do not always clearly distinguish between
the various levels of ranch-company employees, and they
tend to call any low-level employee a peon. The image of
peons and ranch-company employees generally is negative.
Wage workers are considered locally to be spendthrifts who
live for today and neglect family responsibilities. Local
families are always worried that their daughters will marry
a peon. Peons, it is thought, make unsteady irresponsible
husbands. They fear that either the son-in-law will leave
on a job, never to return again, or that their daughter
will leave with her husband for a life of constant roaming
and abject misery on the ranches. Another point against
many young peons is that although they may have come from
farm families, many times they have had little experience


115
As happens to most of the Araguaia settlements,
however, the yearly floods trap the new dwell
ings on the Tapirap River, so that here too,
for months on end, the canoe replaces the horse
for visits to neighbors. Naturally, in such
an environment, the cultivation of the soil re
mains quite restricted, and this, incidentally,
suits the nomadic bent of these small herders
of cattle, who tend to exploit the soil exten
sively rather than intensively. This type of
frontiersman . calls serto bruto (raw wil
derness) the land which is not yet familiar to
him and his fellows, and when he settles upon
it, he regards it as his without any qualms.
The connection to outside markets, via Conceipo do
Araguaia and Belem, was clearly a sporadic and marginal one.
Profits from trading were not particularly lucrative, and
one older woman interviewed, who had worked on the river
with her trader husband since the mid-1930s, stated that
they eventually decided to settle down in Furo de Pedra
and raise cattle and farm. Young adults, seeking a differ
ent and better life, sometimes left to work in the quartz
crystal or diamond mining camps of Gois and southern Mato
Grosso; they rarely accumulated any wealth, however, and
usually returned to Furo de Pedra after a few years away.
Exact population figures for the region during this
period are impossible to obtain, but it seems clear that
the pioneer population was rather sparse and spread-out.
Furo de Pedra, in 1939, probably contained 300 persons at
most, and Wagley (1977) estimates that the population of
the forest homesteads surrounding any given village was ap
proximately three times that of the village population.


329
Thus, it is frequently the case that subordinates cul
tivate patron-client relationships but that the superiors
discourage them and many needs, favors and so forth of the
poorer families remain unsatisfied. Clearly, the more re
cent arrivals and those that have few or no kin or friends
in the area tend to have the most acute problems with both
horizontal and vertical exchange relationships. It is not
surprising then, that many of the worst off arriving fam
ilies often decide to leave the town. Whenever the re
searcher visited all the streets of the town conducting in
terviews with a random sample, she found that a significant
portion of the most desperate families were gone when re
visits were conducted. Thus, data on the most marginalized
and uprooted of the frontier migrants were the most diffi
cult to obtain because of the difficulty of maintaining
continued contact.
Despite the general reluctance of the local elite to
engage in patron-client relationships, many do actually
provide some important commodities and services for their
less fortunate neighbors. Help from superiorssuch as
typing up a document or giving a ride in a truck or plane
is either "sold" or "given" although the former is certainly
far more common in the frontier, especially within the con
text of vertical relationships. In horizontal relation
ships noneconomic exchanges predominate and in vertical re
lationships economic exchanges, especially payment in cash,


255
such as land pressure or cash requirements, and they func
tion to help maintain the old order and status quo.
Transformational migration, however, is linked to eco
nomic and social changes in a region or country and, as the
name implies, tends to radically transform both the distri
bution of persons and their traditional livelihoods. Trans
formational migration tends to have a more recent origin,
and is less regularized and institutionalized than tradi
tional migration. Clearly, the analytical border separat
ing the two types of migration contains an ambiguous inter
face zone, as traditional or seasonal migrations may change
over time and with changing circumstances become transfor
mational migrations. Transformational migration implies a
change from one form, or way of life, to another.
Evidence that the massive intra-rural population move
ments in Brazil constitute transformation migration can be
derived from a number of sources. Agricultural economist
Ernest Feder (1971: 35-38) states:
One of the telling manifestations of rural
unemployment is the forced geographic mobil
ity of the peasantry^ This is the outward
sign of a deep-seated malaise in rural Latin
America, rather than evidence of a dynamic
peasantry attempting to improve its economic
and social status. By and large, farm people
do not wander around in search of better jobs
than the ones they havethey just look for
jobs. . But not all migration within rural
areas is seasonal. A good sized proportion of
the labor force is constantly moving from farm
to farm, as "professional migrants." Their
numbers are probably not recorded in any census


214
arrive at a location in the forests where he remembers that
there was nothing, not even crude shelters. Soon the men
found out that they were indebted and could not leave. He
recalled that many times they were not paid at all, and
that hired gunmen kept them in line and hunted down workers
who tried to escape. Many of his fellow workers died, pri
marily from malaria. The worst abuses, he said, occurred
between 1965, when he arrived, and 1970 when he stated that
an investigation was made by the Federal government into al
legations against the ranch-companies. When asked why he
had never returned to southern Brazil, the peon stated that
he could never manage to save enough money for the trip and
that anyway, he is too ashamed to go south and face his rel
atives and have them know that he is a "broken man."
When interviewed in 1978, this peon and his wife had
recently returned from working at the ranch-company Porto
Velho (see Figure 5 ) where they stated that working condi
tions were very bad. Workers there, they reported, were
given broken-down shacks with no roofs to live in and all
basic supplies had to be purchased at the company store.
The wages at Porto Velho were $40 a month for light work
and $50 a month for heavy work. This peon and his wife
were tentatively planning to start farming with their Santa
Terezinha relatives, the wife's sister and her husband. But
the relatives were futilely trying to press a claim to get
back to their old homestead on Codeara land which they had


315
likely, be unable to help them in major ways. Another
facet of such close relationships stressed by informants
was that good friends and/or compadres would not have to
be asked for help but they would perceive that help was
required and provide it if possible. Generally, people
view direct requests for help as humiliating, expecially
when the request is addressed to an equal. Requests to
"superiors" are also considered humiliating, but less so
because it appears more justifiable to ask a "wealthy per
son" to help the poor than to further pressure a poor per
son to do something that might hurt him/herself and/or fam
ily.
Observations demonstrated that the flows of mutually
exchanged goods and services between close friends and/or
compadres often resembled the exchanges between relatives
already described. As previously stated, people tend to
avoid rigid definitions about such mutual obligations and
instead favor a more flexible and shifting series of ex
change configurations. One such "favor" between compadres
was observed in a household. A male neighbor stopped by
and placed about four kilos of fresh beef on the woman's
table. It turned out that the man was a compadre who was
periodically hired to butcher meat and who had taken advan
tage of his access to the meat (which was rare in town) to
get a supply for his own family and the family of his


321
peasants enter or begin working on company land. One in
formant summarized the situation in the following words:
"What we need here are men with conditions
(resources) to notice us. Here the rich take
from the poor and do not help us."
Similar to the Brazilian police who are routinely ro
tated to new locations every few years to make sure that
the officers do not have time to develop vested interests
in a place, most company management do not spend more than
about five years in a location. In addition, they are im
bued with an ideological perspective that regional inhab
itants and migrants are worthless, backward peasants who
are periodically stirred up by radical agitators to organ
ize, invade and steal from the companies. Company manage
ment then, pursues a policy of avoidance. One example will
illustrate this.
A middle-aged couple arrived in Santa Terezinha from
another river town (60 km to the north) stating that they
hoped to return to their former farm nearby which they had
fled six years previously during the conflict between com
pany and local farmers. The husband went to Codeara Ranch
headquarters one day and managed to talk with a man on the
board of directors of the company who was spending a week
in the region. This official, perhaps a kindly man, lis
tened to the old farmer's story and "promised" him that the
family could have its old homestead back. The official then


21
of the culture of poverty notion is that the
social adaptation of the poor to conditions of
poverty would fall apart if these conditions
were altered.
The emphasis on adaptive strategies will, hopefully, con
tribute to a more objective and realistic view of the Bra
zilian rural poor in the frontier areas of the Amazon.
The present research attempts to come to grips with
what are perceived to be some extremely important and press
ing issues of social and economic welfare in Latin America
as illustrated by Brazil. The rural sector of the Third
World accounts for some 70% of the national populations and
approximately two-thirds of the poorest income categories
in these countries (Long, 1977). Within Latin America, with
a total population of some 300 million persons, almost 50%
of the population make their living from agricultural activ
ities and more than 40% work directly in agriculture (Staven-
hagen, 1974). Almost all studies of the agrarian structure
in Latin America, including the well-known CIDA (1966)
study of seven Latin American countries, conclude that the
land tenure systems are characterized by the latifndio-
minifndio complex, which means that very few possess or
control the majority of land and other productive resources
in the countryside while the great majority of rural inhab
itants "... live a miserable existence, either as own
ers or tillers of dwarf holdings from which they can not ob
tain sufficient income to subsist, as landless workers


293
Only one woman produced wooden implements, and only one
woman was known to be producing water pots. More tradi
tional crafts such as spinning, weaving, hammock making and
lace making (the fringe for hammocks) are dying arts in the
frontier zone. Only a few of the older women still know
these crafts and they are producing less and less because
they have difficulty selling the products at a decent price.
A skilled lace maker, for example, can produce approximately
a meter a day for which she can command about $1 in payment.
A shortage of locally produced cotton, and the time and ef
fort involved in spinning, has caused most weavers to turn
to factory produced thread. When the cost of factory pro
duced thread doubled in 1978, the subsequent cost of the
hand woven hammocks also went up. A weaver needs to sell a
hammock with fringe for between $150 and $200 in order to
make a reasonable profit. One of the only women still pro
ducing hammocks in Santa Terezinha found that the only way
she could sell her work was to sell bingo chances. Since
even at inflated frontier prices an industrially produced
hammock still only costs about $35, most weavers do not con
tinue to practice their craft.
The same process of substitution of industrial goods
for home produced ones has occurred in relation to a number
of other products. Almost all farmers grow some sugar cane
and in the early days of the settlement of the region they
pressed cane in wooden hand presses, and cooked the liquid


211
today earns about $2.50 to $3.00 a day, which comes to a
figure of approximately $78 a month. The actual income is
usually much lower because the workers are frequently
charged for various items, transportation, medicine, etc.
and often encouraged to run up bills of credit with the
"cat" or company store. The saldo, or remaining salary
after debts and charges are subtracted, is always much lower
than anticipated, according to informants' accounts. Labor
contractors, of course, vary in their honesty and their
treatment of peons and the better ones become known and
have an easier time recruiting workers. Sometimes, both
in the past and at present, labor contractors renege en
tirely on payment owed to workers. This may happen when a
company delays its payments to the labor contractor, or
when a labor contractor miscalculates and spends most of the
contract money. A peon waiting for payment, or cheated out
of payment, has very little recourse.
In the early days of the arrival of the companies in
northern Mato Grosso, during the 1960s and early 1970s, the
abuses of the empreiteiro system reached scandalous propor
tions. The relatively low population density of the region
and local farmers' antipathy toward the companies compelled
companies to import labor from other regions of Brazil.
This was carried out by contractors who promised good work
ing conditions and high wages to workers recruited else
where. Shapiro (1967: 9-11) describes conditions in the


42
regulations of these activities. Stavenhagen (1974: ISO-
131) also concludes that "structural marginalization" leads
to the "lowest levels of consumption and saving, chronic
underemployment, low levels of job training combined with
high rates of turnover in employment and a multiplicity of
inconsequential, low-paying jobs." In other words, the ex
pansion of capitalism and its dominance must be combined
with an examination of the variety of responses to struc
tural marginalization.
The discussion, then, has come full circle and returned
to the focus on survival strategies and the usefulness of
investigating them. Within the larger framework of depen
dent development, the current research will contribute to
the analysis of differential responses and variations of
frontier expansion.
Methodology
This dissertation is based on data collected during
two research trips to Brazil, the first between June and
August, 1976, and the second between March 1978 and March
1979. A total of 42 weeks was spent in the Araguaia River
Valley. The methodology used for data gathering included
participant observation, key informant and other types of
semi-formal and informal interviews, the application of two
different survey-questionnaire instruments, and the use of


180
productivity. The relative lack of local, regional or
larger markets for locally produced commodities retards all
impetus toward agricultural expansion. Small farmers are
frequently forced out of agriculture altogether when there
is a disaster or emergency such as a serious illness.
Small farmers respond to fluctuations in the local market,
such as the rice shortages discussed, but cannot usually
benefit from such responses. Since previous money making
activities in the region, such as the sale of pelts, dried
fish and cattle grazed on natural savannas, are increas
ingly unavailable to subsistence farmers, they must, of
necessity, turn to other activities.
Two major cash-earning alternatives perceived by re
gional inhabitants are (1) wage labor at ranch-companies,
and (2) attempts to create improved pastures for cattle
raising. The implications and results of the changeover
to improved pastures have already been discussed, and the
implications of wage labor will be treated in the following
chapter. Although the general trend of loss of access to
land and natural productive resources is a primary root
cause of the failure of small farmers in frontier regions
and contributes directly to the intra-rural migration pat
terns and situation of rural poverty, we can see from the
Santa Terezinha case that even the palliative of a small-
scale land distribution is not enough to tip the scales in
favor of the small farmers in a region dominated by corpor
ate cattle ranches.


372
15. How long has the female household head lived in
Santa Terezinha?
16. When you came here, did you come with your parents,
alone, or with a friend? Was there someone in Santa
Terezinha who called you to come here? Who?
17. How many children are living at home? (Name / Sex /
Age / Level at school / Employment).
18. Which of your children live outside your home? Where
do they live? (Name / Sex / Age / Place where they
live / Occupation [males])?
19. Do you have anyone else living with you in your house?
Who? Relatives or friends? What are their occupa
tions?
20. Where were the parents of the male household head
born? (State and more specific location, if possible)
21. Where are they (the parents) living today?
22. What was the occupation of the father of your husband?
(If he was a farmer, ask if he owned the land or was
a tenant. If he was a cowboy, ask if it was for his
own cattle, a private ranch, or a company.)
23. Where were the parents of the female household head
born? (State and more specific location, if possible)
24. Where do they (the parents) live today?
25. What was the occupation of the wife's father? (Re
peat #22) .
26. Where was the informant born? (state and place) Was
this a big city, medium sized city, a town or village,
or homestead in the forest?
27. What places have you lived in? (Place / Time in Res
idence / Occupation in that place / Reason for leaving
that place).
28. Where was your husband/wife born? (Repeat #26). Note
sex.
29. What places did he/she live before (Repeat #27).
30. How much education did the male household head receive
How long did he study? Can he read and write?


CHAPTER VI
SURVIVAL STRATEGIES
This chapter will examine what Lomnitz (1976: 141)
has called the "survival mechanisms used by marginals."
This is not to say that the behaviors and strategies of the
majority of the population can be evaluated as successful
but only that despite tremendous obstacles and a general
feeling of despair, frontier households continue to try to
better their situation. Often, the result of such efforts
provides little more than the basic minimum for physical
survival and that is why the term survival strategies is
employed instead of a word with more positive connotations
such as adaptations. The term strategy also implies both
constant evaluation and continual adjustments in a situa
tion of flux. The situation in the frontier is one char
acterized by rapidly changing variables. Critical factors
in the equation of basic survival can change as rapidly as
overnight. An eviction notice, a delayed payment of wages,
a new fence blocking previously available grazing land, rap
id changes in the selling price of rice, and other such
events can radically alter a household's resources, options
and plans.
A basic assumption about human nature, supported by
fieldwork observations, is that no matter how dismal the
252


290
raise of about a dollar or slightly more. A highly dis
gruntled laundress will terminate doing business with a
household which she does not like.
Laundry women in the frontier town are usually treated
by all with respect. Their customers often ask them to
stop and have some coffee and/or a snack, and will period
ically give them presents of cloth, cooking oil or medica
tions. One reason for the respect is that a commonly held
opinion in the town is that washing clothes is the most
onerous occupation possible. In repeated questions to in
formants about livelihood preferences, laundry work was al
most always mentioned as the most tiring and least reward
ing. Many women will cease doing laundry work as soon as
the economic situation of their household improves, so
there are never too many laundresses for the demand in town.
Generally the laundresses were the same women who were or
still are peasant farmers; they lack the skills necessary
to become employed as clerks or seamstresses where younger,
more "modern" women predominate. In the predominantly
peasant subculture of the town, the older hard working farm
women who wash clothes for money are awarded a certain mea
sure of respect. This respect, however, does not make the
job more desirable or better paid.
Women have developed a number of other ways of contrib
uting to household subsistence in the frontier town. Many
of these activities, while marginally remunerative, are


146
low-lying or higher land. Many farmers, fearing a delay
in the arrival of the rain, planted in the lowest-lying
parts of their fields where the new plantings would bene
fit from the dampness of nearby streams and be flooded soon
est when the rains did start. However, this strategy was
not always successful when the rains finally did arrive,
again heavier than usual, and many lost plants because of
the excessive flooding. No irrigation or dike works are
utilized in this region.
The usual months for planting the fields are September
to January and almost all cultigens except for rice and pas
ture grass are planted between September and November. Ma
jor cultigens include sweet and bitter manioc, corn, sev
eral varieties of beans, sweet potatoes, two varieties of
pineapples, several varieties of squashes, sugar cane, and
water melons. Rice, manioc flour (farinha) and beans are
the main components of the population's diet. Corn is eaten
green (fresh) in season but is grown mainly in small quan
tities as an animal food. Other useful trees and plants are
cultivated and a list of the more important ones would in
clude several varieties of bananas, mangoes, papayas, sev
eral varieties of oranges, lemons, limas (sweet limes), sev
eral varieties of passion fruit (maracuj), cotton, hot pep
pers, gourds, avocadoes, guava, castor oil beans and ata
(sugarapple). A small number of farmers are currently ex
perimenting with coffee and tobacco, but since these crops


253
situation may appear, human beings continue to try and eval
uate the consequences of different choices and make deci
sions about behaviors which they perceive to be in their
best interest. Many people interviewed expressed profound
feelings of despair and hopelessness about improving their
economic situations. One saying heard in the town was
"tudo bom e nada presta," which can be translated as "every
thing's fine, but nothing works out." Yet, persons and fam
ilies continue to try and work things out, seeking in vari
ous ways, a betterment of their situations which they often
suspect is unobtainable. Sometimes this involves the sac
rifice of short-term benefits for a more desirable long
term goal. This was the case of a farmer who had abandoned
his usufruct-owned homestead, located some 40 km to the
north of town, to move to Santa Terezinha and work as a
peon so that his children could attend elementary school
there. More often than not, however, pressing subsistence
requirements compel families to favor short-term benefits.
Whatever strategies are followed, it became clear during
fieldwork that persons and households constantly evaluate
available information and try to make the best decisions
possible regarding their course of action.
The focus here is primarily on the majority of the
frontier population, the small farmer migrants, and not on
the much smaller number of relatively successful entrepre
neurs. An analysis of the local elite would reveal that


271
as anywhere else. It is nor surprising that about one-
fourth of the responses were evasive since many of the con
cerns of families are considered private and it is consid
ered improper to tell a relative stranger about the prob
lems and crises of a household.
In summary, repeated migration can be viewed as a sur
vival strategy because it is an adaptive response to socio
economic marginalization. Households and individuals leave
places judged as having insufficient livelihood opportuni
ties and try to select destinations where their livelihood
chances are increased. The fact that the strategy fre
quently does not work is more related to conditions in the
countryside than it is to faulty evaluation. Given the
educational and skills background of the peasant farmers
and their expressed preference for self-employed agricul
tural activities in the rural zones, it seems reasonable
that their own negative assessment of their chances in ur
ban areas is an accurate one. But the "positive" evalua
tion of pull factors in the frontier should not be misin
terpreted. The farmers' objective of finding unclaimed
land in the frontier is becoming increasingly more unlikely,
leaving only a more vague goal of economic betterment which,
for the majority of the migrants, is an unrealized aspira
tion.


367
Do you now wash laundry, sew, make bread or engage
in other remunerative activities? Who helps you with this?
How long have you been doing it? How many (regular) cus
tomers do you have? Who are your regular customers? How
do you sell what you produce? Who sells it? How much do
you generally charge? How much do you generally earn? If
you stopped working, would your family have enough to live
on? Have you ever stopped working before? When, and why?
Do you plan to continue these activities or stop soon? Do
you plan to begin any other (commercial ventures) activ
ities to earn money in the future? How many hours do you
generally work a day in these activities? Do you generally
receive presents from your customers? What kinds of pres
ents? Which customers generally give you presents?
Do you think it's a good thing for women to work and
make additional money? What do you do with the money that
you earn? Who decides how it will be spent? Which family
member generally pays the bills at the stores? Does your
husband mind that you are working? Would he prefer that
you stop?
11. Church Activities:
What religions are the various members of your house
hold? Does anyone from your house attend a church regu
larly? Which church? Does anyone attend a church period
ically? Which church? This month, how many times did you
attend church services?
Do you have friends in your church? Do the various
church members visit each other? Does the church help
members? How? Do you pay anything to your church? What?
Have you ever helped in the fund raising activities of
your church? Do you belong to any church committees or
groups?
Did you used to belong to another church? Which one?
For how long? What made you decide to change your reli
gion? What do you think of the other churches here? What
do you think of the Santa Terezinha Catholic Mission? Do
you receive the diocese newsletter? Has the Catholic Mis
sion here ever helped you or anyone in your family? Have
you participated recently in any saint celebrations? Have
you recently fulfilled any vows? Have you ever been a
sponsor to a saint celebration or hosted a prayer session?
With whom did you work when planning and carrying out the
celebration?


40
response to changing socio-economic conditions. Long (1977:
73) states clearly his conception of an important goal of
anthropological research:
It is the task of the anthropologist or so
ciologist interested in these matters to an
alyze the social mechanisms by which these
relationships and structural imbalances are
maintained . more specifically the way
the capitalist modes of production articu
lates with various non-capitalist modes and
how structures of underdevelopment are per
petuated .
Roberts (1976) provides a partial answer and a clue in
his discussion of the centralization of Latin American econ
omies. He notes that an important distinction to make is
between the fact of capitalist domination and the actual or
ganization of economic activities. He concludes that the ex
pansion of capitalist enterprises in Latin America is "ac
companied by a low detailing of economic organization"
(1976: 101). In other words, the capitalist enterprises,
particularly in frontier zones, exercise an incomplete con
trol or dominance. Their control derives from their access
to capital and technology and their monopolization of the
means of production. But they do not necessarily organize
the lower levels of local economic activities which can and
do change in response to the presence of the large enter
prises. Provincial urban places, Roberts notes, can experi
ence a short-term stimulation as they adjust their function
to be a service center/labor pool for the large firms.


8
Plan issued in 1974, called the Five Year Poloamazonia Pro
gram, clearly considers the Amazon primarily as a "resource
frontier." The new program selects certain locations des
ignated as "growth poles" and is designed "to stimulate in
vestment in key sectors and areas for development purposes"
(Schmink, 1980: 4). Colonization and settlement programs
have been drastically cut back and the government is cur
rently encouraging private colonization projects to be
funded and organized by big firms. Spontaneous coloniza
tion in frontier areas, as in the past, is largely ignored
by government planners. Thus, the current national develop
ment policies in Brazil are giving increasing support to
large corporate development projects in the Amazon.
Brazilian sociologist Jos de Souza Martins (1975) has
provided labels for the two types of frontier expansion oc
curring in the Amazon which he calls the "demographic fron
tier" and the "economic frontier." The demographic frontier
refers to the movement into and settlement of frontier areas
by petty commodity producersprimarily small farmers and
artisansand commercial middlemen. The majority of these
pioneers have been moving spontaneously to the Amazon since
the 1930s. The economic frontier refers to the entrance of
capitalist enterprises, primarily southern Brazilian and
multinational companies, into the Amazon. The two types of
frontiers inevitably generate tensions and conflicts because
the sine qua non of capitalist enterprises is the appropria
tion and control of the means of production.


61
of the Ra do Campo. Fewer residents on this side of town
are old-timers; many, in fact, are new arrivals.
Like Ra do Campo, the businesses and better houses
are concentrated along the main street and also in the
Cabaret. Most of the commerce consists of medium sized
or small stores or bars. Aside from the school, which the
State constructed, none of the community organizations or
churches are located here. It was said by informants that
a form of spiritism, called teric, which involved mediums,
drinking and drumming, was performed in several locations
in Rua da Palha but that the chief of police had driven
away the leaders. No teric center appeared to be operat
ing during 1978-1979, although they may have become clan
destine. The Cabaret, also, adds movimento and life to
Rua da Palha. Respectable women and girls do not walk
through this area if they can avoid it. During the day
most of the bars there are closed and the women who work
there sleep late; it is at night that things get lively.
The Cabaret's most active and lucrative times coincide with
ranch paydays when men with money will spend days carous
ing there. Local men and teenagers sometimes visit the
Cabaret, and Indian males also go, though they do more
watching than participating since the law prohibits the
sale of alcohol to Indians. Tales of robberies, fights,
stabbings and shootings that occur in the Cabaret filter
out to the rest of the town.


117
centers, development projects and migration patterns. The
highway, which passed through the middle of the State of
Gois and the western portion of Maranhao, spurred land
speculation and investments in these states. The "open
ing" of Gois and western Maranhao exerted a strong "push"
effect on small farmers living there. The effect of the
road on Santa Terezinha was two-fold. First, many small
farmers decided to leave Gois and Maranhao and move to
northern Mato Grosso. Secondly, the supply lines and routes
to northern Mato Grosso changed radically. No longer were
goods brought from Belem to Conceipo to Santa Terezinha.
Rather, goods were purchased in Goiania or Anapolis and
sent north on the paved road to Paraiso do Norte where they
were trucked over a dirt road to Cazeara on the Araguaia
and sent by barge to Santa Terezinha.
The new programs and policies of the federal govern
ment resulted in increased land speculation and investment
by national and multinational companies in the Amazon. Un
known to the Indians and farmers of the middle Araguaia,
much of the land that they considered their own was being
sold by the State of Mato Grosso to real estate companies.
In the rush to sell land, many areas sold were not surveyed
or properly registered and some lots were sold several times
to several different parties. Companies hired lawyers to
press their claims and to obtain definitive title to pur
chased land. People in Santa Terezinha did not become


215
fled some eight years previously during the times of vio
lent confrontations between the company and local inhab
itants. It did not appear likely that the couple would
succeed in getting back their land since the position of
Codeara is that it has already "given away" all the land
that they intended to distribute. The farmer and his wife
started planting at their old homestead anyway. Several
months after the interviews, the researcher learned that
the brother-in-law peon and his wife had left town for a
job at another ranch-company.
Another peon, Manuel, aged 41, was interviewed one day
as he lay shivering from a malaria attack in a hammock hung
in the living room of another Santa Terezinha family. Man
uel had just finished a stint for a contractor at the
Servap Ranch some 80 km to the west of Santa Terezinha,
and the contractor, although considered to be a good one,
had been unable to pay the workers so Manuel, though he had
a credit slip, had no money for accommodations or medicine.
His friends, an elderly landless farming couple who were
concerned that day about how they would find some money to
buy rice for a meal that night, allowed Manuel to sleep un
der their roof. Sick as he was, Manuel was scheduled to
leave the next day to join a work gang at the Borden Com
pany Ranch some 300 km to the south.
Manuel was born in Piaui in 1937. His family were
peasant farmers. Hoping for more opportunities for their


29
1963) and George Foster (1965). Redfield's rural-urban
dichotomy is the weaker of the two because although he as
signs the urban sector (city) the role of the major source
of change, he tends to ignore important aspects of types
of production, marketing, technology, and his concepts
lack operational precision. Much empirical data gathered
subsequently have directly challenged Redfield's early model
Foster's (1965) work also has a clear tendency to
"blame the victim" and not the system for the problems of
underdevelopment in rural areas of Latin America. Foster
focused his attention on the cognitive orientation of peas
ants and he claimed that they tend to view all good things
in this world as existing in limited supply. The so-called
peasant characteristics of individualism, competitiveness,
atomization and inability to cooperate and organize effec
tively, Foster (1965) linked to this dominant peasant world
view which he called "the image of limited good." Self-im
provement, cooperation and the expansion of economic enter
prises were, according to Foster, blocked by the peasants'
belief that the best things in life were sharply limited
and the need to avoid arousing the jealousy and envy of
one's neighbors. The avoidance of risk taking was also
linked to this mental orientation. The connection between
attributing the underdevelopment of rural areas primarily
to peasants' attitudes and the vulgarized versions of the
culture of poverty notion is clear.


210
HEAVY MACHINERY
Chief
Subordinates
IMPROVED PASTURE
MAINTENANCE
Chief
Subordinates
(Direct Employees) (Direct Employees) (Indirect Employees)
Figure 6. Organizational Chart of the Codeara Ranch Com
pany, Santa Terezinha, 1978-1979


320
which will continue to be a low-cost factor in production.
They do not acknowledge responsibilities and obligations
to workers (outside of those stipulated by law which are
often side-stepped), the local community or the region.
This "factory mentality" is far removed from the patterns
of the semi-feudal plantation system where the landowner
operated as patron and was intimately caught up in various
levels of mutual obligations with the peasant population.
This aloof attitude on the part of company officials con
fuses and distresses the small farmers who do not understand
how the rich can refuse to acknowledge their responsibil
ities or at least allow the peasants a small share of stra
tegic resources in order to ensure basic survival. There
is no noblisse oblige in the frontier. Relationships are
fundamentally "economically rational." For example, any
wife of a company employee discovered to be either selling
. 7
or giving company beef to noncompany persons (a common
but secret practice) will cause the immediate firing of her
husband from his job. The really powerful figures on the
frontier, company owners, managers, labor contractors and
even various government officials passing through, do their
best to side-step any attempts by local people to initiate
patron-client relationships. The once common arrangement
of large landowners allowing tenants to farm parts of their
lands is not done in the frontier where companies actually
patrol their lands and boundaries to make sure that no


165
As already mentioned, the cuttings of manioc to plant can
be obtained for free from any farmer. It is considered
best to cut the entire stalk and leave it in the shade for
about five days for the "milk" to develop after which the
stalk is cut into 20 mm segments and planted. It is be
lieved that this "milk" which develops helps in the forma
tion of new roots. Manioc which is planted directly after
being cut is believed to grow more slowly. Manioc stalks
can be planted up to 15 days after being cut; after 15 days
they are too old to plant. The farmers stated that manioc
does better in somwehat drier ground. Although the manioc
is planted in mixed fields, together with other plants, the
farmers noted that manioc does best when planted separately
from rice. Manioc is not planted in areas destined to be
come pasture. The best harvest of tubers occurs in the
first two years after planting but tubers from older plants
are utilized for an additional two years after which they
become too tough and fibrous.
There is no one harvest time for manioc. Throughout
the year farmers spend time, usually at least a week at a
time, harvesting and processing the manioc tubers. Manioc
flour is made whenever the household needs more or wants to
sell some. There are two kinds of manioc flour produced
from the poisonous variety: farinha branca (white manioc
flour) and farinha puba (water processed or "putrid" manioc
flour). Puba is most commonly produced and consumed.


259
Another problem with ascertaining patterns in the mi
grations is that there were clear deficiencies in the ac
curate reporting of the migration histories.'*' For analyt
ical purposes, only 33 out of 81 migration histories col
lected were sufficiently complete and detailed to allow
reasonable comparability. The tabulations on these 33 his
tories show that 72% (24) households moved on the average
of from four to six times within their lifetimes. Since
one can still reasonably assume that moves are underre
ported, especially moves within a region, the actual aver
age number of moves per household is probably somewhat
higher than the data suggest.
A particularly clear pattern emerges regarding the
movement of households into the State of Gois and from
there to northern Mato Grosso. While only 27% of the
/
sample were born in the State of Goias, 78% had resided in
Gois. The average number of years spent by informants in
Goias was 13.8 years. As mentioned previously, the inter
fluvial island of Bananal attracted many migrants. Twenty-
seven percent of the sample reported living, farming and
tending cattle on Bananal. The average period of residence
on Bananal was six and a half years.
The migration histories also support Feder's charac
terization of the intra-rural migrants as primarily small
farmers. Ninety-seven percent of the sample had engaged in
small farming at some time in their lives, usually in more


330
predominate. Sometimes superiors "give" an essential com
modity or service, usually because they are relatively per
manent community members and want to cultivate a good pub
lic image.
In summary, the more traditional form of patron-client
relationships appears to be quite attenuated in the fron
tier. Lack of choice, lack of consumer power, and the very
frequent great need of persons/households, facilitate the
circumvention of the social and personal aspects of ex
changes on the part of local officials and merchants. Loy
alty and favors are not desired as much as hard cash. Most
customers/clients are not so valuable that they have to be
"courted." The local elite, in turn, try to "court" the
ranch-companies, but are also generally unsuccessful in es
tablishing ongoing contracts or commitments. Therefore,
horizontal (symmetrical) exchanges between persons/house
holds that are relatively equal socio-economically tend to
predominate in the frontier. And, constellations and un
spoken rules of these relationships are, like other sur
vival strategies described, increasingly flexible to accom
modate changing circumstances and frequent migration. The
increasing importance of informal and deritualized friend
ship over the more formal and ritualized godparenthood re
lationship illustrates this phenomenon. While economic
marginalization operates to undercut some of the more tra
ditional horizontal and vertical relationships previously


175
slightly above the current "street value." The advantages
of bulk sales to the farmer are that he saves the time which
would have been expended in many petty sales from his home,
and he usually receives a lump sum of cash. The stores of
Santa Terezinha, however, market the majority of their stock
at prices which range from 30 to 100% mark-up from current
prices in southern Brazil. They cannot, however, mark up
the farinha in similar fashion because of the informal mar
ket price and general accessibility, therefore; the profit
margin is extremely small and stores are generally uninter
ested in marketing farinha.
There are only two commercial establishments in the
town which purchase rice on a fairly regular basis from lo
cal producers. These are the agricultural cooperative and
the Planta. Both of these establishments have rice-clean
ing machines and facilities for storage. Most other mer
chants in town do not even handle rice although some do im
port and sell rice during the last months of the rainy sea
son when there is a shortage of local rice and the price
is high. Local rice is considered to be inferior in qual
ity to rice grown elsewhere in Brazil and local producers
are considered to be unreliable suppliers. Low harvest
time prices also mean that local merchants would have to
store rice for long periods of time in order to sell it
during the high price season.


324
relatives and friends. Still, the relatively powerless
frontier people cannot always provide what is needed. Ob
viously, the frontier families often do not have the eco
nomic resources necessary to provide the necessary aid.
Thus, many households must depend on significant others
for certain important goods and services.
A number of factors, however, work against success in
establishing viable vertical relationships in the frontier.
Foremost is the fact that many persons/households in bet-
ter-than-average circumstances are not interested and often
actively discourage the formation of patron-client relation
ships. Because of the marginal financial situation of most
frontier households and the transience of many, the major
ity of merchants do not perceive much advantage in develop
ing more personal relationships that would encourage a
steady and loyal clientele. A good portion of the commer
cial turn-over in the town is the direct or indirect result
of ranch-companies' activities. Because so many of the
more successful local merchants have already diversified
into agriculture and cattle raising, they do not need to
receive these commodities from potential "clients" either
in trade or as presents. Filling local labor requirements
for store clerks, cowboys or tenantsposes no problems.
In other words, the local elite generally do not need what
frontier people have to offer by way of exchange--for


316
compadres before the butcher began selling it and the rush
of persons wanting beef descended on the butcher shop.
The relationship of friendship is contributed to by
the parties in the form and style which best suits their
circumstances. The researcher, over the period of a year,
developed a number of close friendships and while she con
tributed commodities and services such as store-bought
goods and medical information, she received in exchange
commodities and services that frontier families could pro
vide such as a few eggs, corn, avocadoes and, of course,
the time and patience of informants for research purposes.
Even in such a relatively asymmetrical relationship as this
most persons were careful not to make excessive demands
with which the researcher could not comply and they often
waited for the researcher to figure out what was needed
and then to provide help.
In the realm of agricultural activities and access to
land, the same generalizations hold true as were made for
other types of mutual aid. The persons/households given
free access to land, participating in the trading of work
days or working in farinha making or rice harvesting for a
percentage of the produce, tend to be first the nuclear fam
ily, then relatives, and then good friends and/or compadres
Clearly, in many cases there is a crucial element of time,
the time necessary to get to know and trust one's neighbors
and acquaintances in order to establish friendship and


335
commenced construction of a large and permanent church.
The Pentecostals, composed primarily of a group of four
better off families have a stable membership of about 30
persons including children. Their church, with its strict
rules, attracts many though few remain permanently. Pen
tecostals pay a tithe to the church and provide some ser
vices to permanent members. Most of the members' free
time, activities and projects center on the church rather
than on the rest of the community or politics.
The Vovo Rosa sect is a kind of fundamentalist branch
of Catholicism, preached over the radio from Sao Paulo. In
Santa Terezinha it has 15 converts, primarily laundry wom
en. It also forbids drinking, dancing, smoking, etc. and
requires modest clothing and other rather puritanical behav
ior. The converts are not yet organized, although they oc
casionally meet in one person's house to listen to the radio
sermons together, and sometimes small groups plan trips to
Cazeara and other cities where they will attend services
run by ministers of this new religion. None of these re
ligious groups confront socio-economic problems head-on as
does the Catholic Mission, but rather tend to stress accep
tance, hard work, self sacrifice, and support for the status
quo. The smaller groups cannot, as yet, provide much con
crete aid to members.
The great appeal and popularity of these and other re
ligious movements and groups in the frontier is a complex


274
survival strategies utilized by frontier households is best
summarized by two words: flexibility and multiplicity.
Flexibility to adjust to constantly changing conditions and
options, and a multifaceted approach to livelihood where
ones' "eggs are always in several baskets at one time."
The majority of frontier households encountered,
whether they have access to land or not, engage in diver
sified economic activities. Almost all farm families, for
example, contain members who work periodically at the ranch-
companies. Often the young adult members of many farm
households will frequently try to pursue other occupations
full-time. Female members of households may become maids,
domestics at the companies, do laundry work, or, if liter
ate, become store and office clerks. Generally all income
is used for household subsistence. The removal of labor
from agricultural activities to wage earning activities of
ten puts a severe strain on the labor requirements of farm
ing. The decision to diversify, however, appears to be max
imally adaptive given the economic constraints described
and the constant changes in the frontier situation. Al
though many farm families dislike the fact that many mem
bers of their household are often away working at companies
they do not deny the importance of this additional cash in
come. Given the insecurities of agriculture on the fron
tier, the primary goal of farm families is to produce house
hold provisions rather than to create surplus for the market.


104
a far slower pace. Instead of a rapid influx followed by
an equally rapid emigration, Santa Terezinha experienced a
slow but steadily increasing immigration of small farmers
primarily from the Northeast.
The first settlers arrived in the Santa Terezinha area
at approximately the turn of the century. By the 1930s
there were five small Brazilian settlements along the mid
dle reaches of the Araguaia River. One of these was a lep
er colony on Bananal run by Scottish missionaries. The
largest settlement in the region was called Furo de Pedra.
Furo de Pedra was a small village located 20 km to the
north of the present site of Santa Terezinha. Wagley (1977
10-11), who visited the town in 1939, described the fore
runner of Santa Terezinha as follows:
In 1939 Furo de Pedra was one of the largest
non-Indian settlements in the middle Araguaia
River region. It contained about 35-40 illit
erate frontier families who made a living from
grazing a few cattle on the semi-flooded grass
lands back from the river and from subsistence
gardens. There were two miserably stocked
stores which served more as trading posts, re
ceiving hides and skins ... as well as products
such as salted pirarucu (large fresh-water fish)
in exchange for manufactured good and tinned
food . there was a perennial shortage of
cloth, agricultural implements, and other more
basic items . [the people] . had seen
few foreigners except for a Dominican priest
who lived over 200 miles downriver at Conceiqao
do Araguaia and the Scottish missionaries who
maintained a ranch at Macauba, not many miles
away, as a refuge for lepers.


191
wife work six days a week. Dona Luisa picks up dirty laun
dry at dawn and can be found most evenings ironing (with
a charcoal heated iron) in her livingroom. It is only
their constant work which allows them a certain leeway in
terms of an emergency or surplus fund which they use in
times of illness, to help their children, and for special
expenditures like buying a radio or to make a religious
pilgrimage. For example, in 1977 Dona Luisa traveled to
a church in Sao Paulo at a cost of $50. She estimates that
together with income lost from non-working days her reli
gious commitment cost her approximately $100 that year.
Dona Luisa and Jos feel that they cannot afford most
of the "luxury items" desired by frontier households such
as a gas stove, a kerosene refrigerator or a gas lantern.
Table 5 shows cash spent by this household during a one-
month period (October, 1978) and also gives some idea of
consumption patterns (e.g., 8 kg of sugar!) that are repre
sentative of the majority of households. It is important
to note that apart from clothing (and food and household
supplies), there were no major expenditures during this
month, such as for new work tools. The estimated monthly
income from farm activities ($60) was used entirely for
basic household expenses. Included as well are gifts given
by the household to others.
It seems clear that the income level of farming house
holds is highly precarious, even, as we have seen, a


35
statements such as Thompson's is to seriously distort the
actual situation of both land and labor in the frontier.
Another model sometimes applied to frontier zones is
central place theory which, again, tends to focus on market
ing and distances to markets. Central place theory posits
a hierarchical and integrated system of market places which
are arranged spatially according to the costs of distribu
tion of goods and the demand for the goods. Places are
linked into each other and progressively larger markets to
form a hexogonal pattern in space. Goods and services move
in both directions between places.
Bryan Roberts (1976) provides a strong, well-documented
argument against the application of central place theory to
current conditions in the Latin American countryside. He
notes that central place theory, like other modernization
theories, was developed to understand transformations which
occurred in Europe. In Latin America, however, Roberts
points out that the penetration of foreign capital has led
to the increasing centralization of national economies. He
considers the development of Latin American economies as
dependent development, initially as colonies and later in
terms of control by and responses to external powers. He
concludes by criticizing assumptions of both central place
theory and Frank's (1969) chain of metropoles and satel
lites, and states that urban places play a marginal role in


232
and some bars there shut down. Store-keepers begin to re
mind customers about their over-due accounts and stop ex
tending credit as freely as they do during the dry season.
Some store-keepers even give children who are sent out to
shop with cash some free candy to encourage the children
to return to the same store. There is a local saying:
"Cash here has its seasons, just like oranges and mangoes."
The small farmers of the region never provided much
of an impetus to commercial development. The relatively
small population of farmers with minimal cash to spend was
serviced instead by itinerant river traders and a very few
small shops. The lack of success of the agricultural co
operative in Santa Terezinha testifies to the extremely
low level of economic transactions in the agricultural sec
tor. Originally designed to provide lower cost manufac
tured commodities than the high priced river traders the
cooperative today can not compete with the more efficient
Planta which, often has lower prices on certain items than
the cooperative. The small farmers of Santa Terezinha, as
will be explained in the following chapter, are peripheral
customers for most commercial establishments who prefer to
operate on a cash-and-carry basis. Most persons and house
holds in the town, including more or less permanent resi
dents, do not exclusively patronize one store with whom
they establish an ongoing relationship. To the contrary,
most people shop at various stores and try to take advantage
of some competitive pricing on selected items.


43
institutional documents and archives in Brazil and the
United States. The majority of the residential research
time was spent in the frontier community of Santa Tere-
zinha, although a number of trips and visits to other set-
9
tlements, farms, Indian villages and "ranch-companies,"
were also made.
Informal interviewing can be divided into six differ
ent types. The first type was the unplanned interview,
conducted spontaneously to take advantage of the opportu
nities presented. The second type was a topic specific in
terview in which a particular topic, such as local farming
practices, was explored. The third and related type were
informant-specific interviews. This includes work with key
informants and interviews designed specifically for persons
with special knowledge such as a midwife or a ranch-company
administrator. An example is provided in Appendix 6.
The last three types of interviews are interrelated.
The fourth type was life history interviewing. The fifth
type was the geneological interview. The formats of both
types are included in Appendices 1 and 2. In both these
types of interviews particular attention was given to migra
tion histories, kinship networks, economic activities, land
tenure and household composition. The sixth type of inter
view, called the survival strategy interview, included a
list of topics and questions, both real and hypothetical,
designed to uncover aspects of decision-making, priorities,


237
operations on Bananal; he was paying no taxes and planting
fields which are expressly prohibited by Fork Park regula
tions. Sr. Sebastiao also owns the largest of the three
electrical generators in Santa Terezinha and sells ice pro
duced in his freezer. He owns a truck and a motor-boat
which are used for his business enterprises and for gen
erating additional income.
As one of the two town councilmen Sr. Sebastiao cul
tivates contracts in the state capital and municipal seat.
By means of his position he has managed to purchase a large
number of the prime town land lots and properties, and to
receive a construction contract for a state-funded build
ing. He is currently trying to secure a lucrative posi
tion for himself as a state appointed notary public so
that he could make deeds and legal documents for the lo
cal population for payments. Sr. Sebastiao utilizes al
most any opportunity available for making additional money
and he has few scruples about taking advantage of other
residents who are less knowledgeable. One example that be
came known to the researcher was that he let it be known in
town that he would mail letters in urban centers for a fee
of $1. Postal stamps were then $.10 and a common courtesy
of almost all travelers in the interior was carrying and
posting letters for free. It was difficult to determine
the full extent and details of Sr. Sebastiao's business en
terprises because he refused to discuss them. Some of his


262
perceived advantages, preferences or other reasons. Neu
tral statements were defined as those statements showing
either lack of knowledge (e.g., when the informant was re
calling childhood moves) or purely evasive responses such
as "I don't know" or "I just wanted to."
Push statements were mainly of three types: economic,
environmental or familial instability. Economic reasons
given for moves included eviction by landowners, companies
or government agencies (such as the Park Service or the
Indian Service), problems with employment such as losing a
job, inability to find jobs and/or low pay, and failed en
terprises of various kinds. Inability to pay taxes was
also cited as a reason for leaving a place. Ten percent of
the families had experienced eviction at least once in
their lifetime. Environmental reasons cited most often
were droughts (in the Northeast) and flooding (in the Ama
zon Basin); 17% left locations because of environmental
problems. Many moves were apparently generated by familial
instability, such as the death of parent (s) and the subse
quent breakup of families, or the breakup of marriages with
subsequent redistribution of the children. A strong case
can be made that many of the reasons for the frequently
cited familial instability are actually related to condi
tions of poverty, malnutrition, poor health, lack of med
ical care, and the economic pressures working against stable
marriages such as when the husband leaves to find employment


an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to work
with him. I would also like to thank the rest of my doc
toral committee, Dr. Solon T. Kimball, Dr. Maxine Margolis,
Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith and Dr. Charles Wood, for their
help and stimulating comments. Other staff who provided en
couragement during my graduate career are Dr. Marianne
Schmink, Dr. Elizabeth Eddy, Dr. Paul Doughty, Dr. Theron
Nunez, Dr. Alexander Moore, Dr. Alfred Hower and Dr. Joseph
Foweraker. I would like to extend special thanks to Dr.
Russell Bernard, Chairman of the Department of Anthropology,
and to Mrs. Lydia Deakin and Mrs. Vivian Nolan for their
help and their special talents for coping with the univer
sity bureaucracy.
I would like to extend warm thanks to my patient and
understanding friends in Gainesville and Ann Arbor for many
years of comradeship and intellectual exchange. Apart from
those previously mentioned, I want to thank Kenneth and
Elaine Konyha, Debra Picchi, Ulli Pfeil, Jaquie Resnick,
Lawrence Carpenter, Catherine Hagen, Anabela Viana, William
Goodwin, Samuel and Elisa Sa, Sandra Russo, Michael Gruen-
waldt, Margrit Eisenmann, Sandra Powers, Elizabeth Higgs,
Larry Hunter, and Nassero and Betinha Nasser.
Research in Brazil was facilitated by many people and
institutions. The Ncleo de Altos Estudos Amaznicos of
the Universidade Federal do Par provided an institutional
base. I would like to thank Dr. Jos Marcelino Monteiro da
IV


CHAPTER IV
THE SMALL FARMERS OF SANTA TEREZINHA
It's so difficult! The ranch has money and
can do jobs of any type in any way and a poor
person doesn't have any money. Many people here
are without land. People get upset and they sell
out. There are people living here and there,
all screwed up, without a place to live.
Santa Terezinha Resident
The poor work too hard. The poor try to
obtain something for themselves but they can't
and remain without any way out of the dilemma.
A person sweats so much just to end up with
others taking it away from him. It's hard. We
don't say anything because we don't know any
thing.
Santa Terezinha Resident
(The land conflict) is complicated. The
people here do not understand it well. The
sharks take the land. They only plant grass
for cattle. Those who can get all the land.
If a poor person gets a small piece they do
everything they can to take it away from him.
Santa Terezinha Resident
It is the land sharks who are taking
everything! The poor people will be left on
the moon with their hands on their hands. All
this here belongs to Codeara, and we will end
up her tenants . What we need is our own
land; that's all we need. I am of the forest.
With land we could muster our force and raise
cows, pigs, chickens, make a pasture. With
our own land we could make an abundance.
Santa Terezinha Resident
134


137
Table 3.
Types of Land Ownership and Land Use
in Santa Terezinha
TYPE OF ACCESS
NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS
TYPE OF OWNERSHIP:
INCRA title land
10
Squatters' rights to land (posse)
8
Own no land
81
TOTAL
99
OTHER TYPES OF ACCESS:
Use INCRA lot of relatives
8
Use posse lot of relatives
3
Sharecrop on other INCRA lot
8
Sharecrop on other posse lot
1
No reported access to land
61
TOTAL
81


114
the lives of the early pioneers. Most transfers of prop
erty or rights were not even written down.
The economy of the region during this time was one of
subsistence agriculture and some extraction of the products
of the forests and rivers. Many families owned a few head
of cattle. Cattle, then and today, were the main form of
accumulated savings. The sale of a head or two to a local
merchant or travelling cattle buyer would be used to gener
ate the money needed for buying land rights, an emergency
or a move. Items such as dried fish, animal pelts and the
like were bartered or sold for cash needed to buy manufac
tured products. Although there were river traders who
brought in merchandise on credit from Conceipo do Araguaia
and who may have extended credit to local farmers, the avia-
mento system with its direct cohersion of labor, did not op
erate in Santa Terezinha because there were no "boom" prod
ucts in the area.
The farmers grew manioc, some rice, sweet potatoes,
corn, squash, cotton, sugar cane, beans and some fruits.
Brown sugar (rapadura) was produced from sugar cane. Cot
ton was spun and woven into hammocks. Cooking oil was made
from rendered pig fat or the nuts of the macauba palm and
if there was a dearth of kerosene, lights were made from
castor oil or bees wax. Herbert Baldus (1948/1960b: 4) com
ments on the local economy in 1947:


334
extremely unpopular and criticism was organized by means
of the diocese regional newsletter. One councilman, Sr.
Sebastiao, used political connections to secure lucrative
building contracts. The submajor is best known for his con
stant trucking of peons to various ranch-companies. Aside
from a very few sinecures and some control over access to
free military flights out of the region, such officials
are viewed locally as unable and/or unwilling to provide
either community or individual aid. It is far more likely
that a person or family trying to process retirement bene
fits (few succeed), a deed, seeking vaccines or help for
other problems will go to the Mission directly or to Mis
sion related organizations. During the heavy flooding of
1978, for example, about ten families arrived in Santa Tere
zinha after fleeing their flooded homes and the Mission pro
vided temporary housing for these families.
Other religious groups present in the town include
the Pentecostals, the Baptists and Vovo Rosa. The Baptist
church was founded in 1979 by a minister from Cazeara and
since he infrequently visits Santa Terezinha, two American
missionaries from New Tribes Mission hold services in a
small wattle-and-daub hut; interest is small and potential
new members included about three adults and ten children.
The Pentecostals, (Assembly of God) have been present in
the frontier town for about 20 years. In 1979 the congre
gation received its first minister from the outside and


52
Figure 3. Santa Terezinha


220
encountered the families of peons who were living in Santa
Terezinha while their menfolk were away on a job. Most of
these families had almost identical backgrounds and his
tories to the majority of town residents, but they had lost
access to land, usually by eviction, and were on a constant
round of travel from one company job to the next. Left
alone in town, the wives found it extremely difficult to
integrate themselves into their neighborhood and town life.
Most commented that they couldn't get any credit at local
stores, that they were paying too much rent for houses, and
that Santa Terezinha inhabitants were unfriendly people.
Attempts by the researcher to revisit these households al
most always found them gone. Sometimes even the next-door
neighbor did not know where they had gone.
Santa Terezinha inhabitants understand the desperation
and misery of these uprooted families but they are also rel
atively suspicious of temporary residents. Since, from
time to time, whole families who have run up debts at local
stores disappear during the night, merchants are reluctant
to extend credit to unknown individuals. Temporary res
idents are also somewhat removed from the coercive power of
public opinion and gossip. Gossip and issues of honor and
shame are of critical importance to local families; behavior
is shaped by the intense desire that one's neighbors and the
townspeople, in general, have a high opinion of one's moral
qualities. Families, of course, are judged in part by the


304
devotes himself to it full-time and works in the fields
alone most of the time. The adult children farm or partic
ipate sporadically in the farming, and they receive some
agricultural commodities and opportunities to make farinha
or harvest rice in their father's fields. The older couple
are not sure what will happen to their land when they die.
Depending on the success of their adult children, some day
Jos and Dona Luisa may be able to "retire" with some se
curity, although Dona Luisa, the pessimist, thinks it is
more probable that she and Jos will be hard at work until
the day they die.
Clearly, in terms of quantity and frequency, the most
mutual aid and reciprocal exchanges occur within and be
tween two or more related households, especially with re
gard to parent-child links. The help that relatives can
expect and receive from other relatives, however, must be
within the realm of logical possibility given the precari
ous financial situations of most frontier households. As
one of the examples from the previous section illustrated,
families are sometimes forced by limited resources to make
painful decisions about what kinds and to whom they will
extend aid. As predicted by generalizations ventured here,
the family in question did choose to help a parent in favor
of an indigent sister when aid to both was out of the ques
tion. The bond between parents and adult children, and par
ticularly to the mother, often endures a lifetime, and


2
still is occurring in other locations in this vast region.
This town of 3,000 people was selected because it reflects
many aspects of the dynamics of frontier expansion in the
Amazon and because previous anthropological studies pro
vided a diachronic data base for comprehending socio-eco
nomic changes over time.
The framework and direction of recent renewed efforts
to exploit and settle the Amazon have been determined, to
a great extent, by national development policies of the
Brazilian government and its planning and development agen
cies. Interest in exploiting the Amazon has been longstand
ing in Brazil, but little was actually done until the late
1950s. In the 1950s the government decided to move the fed
eral capital from Rio de Janeiro to the new location of Bra
silia in the central plateau of the State of Gois. This
was done as part of the effort to move the population and
economic activities away from the coast and into the vast
and "empty" interior. The construction of the Belem-Brasilia
Highway, completed in 1960, provided the first overland
transportation link between southern and northern Brazil.
In the 1960s, and particularly after the military coup
of 1964, the government responded to pressing social and
economic problems by creating new national development plans
and regional development agencies. The acute problems of
the rural poor in the backlands of the drought-stricken and
densely populated Northeast prompted the creation of the


158
which have no edible fruit. Finally, and perhaps most im
portantly, a field which has been planted as pasture cannot
be returned to agricultural production. Even neglected, it
remains in grasses and does not return to the secondary
growth necessary for future cultivation. So lands that
have been turned into improved pastures are no longer po
tential farming areas. Since cattle require a minimum of
15 tons of fodder per head per year (Strickon, 1965: 233),
it is necessary to create extensive areas of pasture to sup
port the animals.
The creation of pastures is too expensive for most
Santa Terezinha farmers, and even men who have other sources
of income, such as store keepers, find it difficult to car
ry out their plans. Many peasant farmers expressed serious
doubts about the enterprise, saying that it was too expen
sive for them and that their neighbors who were planting
grasses were "foolish." It is increasingly common that ten
ants must pay for the right to use land by leaving the field
planted in pasture grasses rather than delivering half of
the harvest to the owner.
Land owners with definitive titles are usually the ones
who are most interested in the creation of improved pastures.
Only people who feel relatively secure about their ownership
of the land tend to begin this process of investment for the
future. Some farmers who had created pastures in the past
on land held by posse expressed great bitterness and


307
the kin network, a new home will be found for children who
need care.
Such adopted children are sometimes called crianpas de
criapo (adopted children). While many middle and upper
class Brazilian families tend to treat adopted children as
servants, the frontier households are not motivated by the
goal of obtaining cheap domestic labor. Permanently adopted
children are usually treated almost identically with biolog
ical children. It was even frequently difficult to get in
formants to specify the exact nature of their relationships
to children in their households. Only with further ques
tioning would informants explain that the children in ques
tion were really their nephews or grandchildren or what
ever. In most cases, children move through the consanquin-
eal or affinal kin network and are not given to friends or
strangers. Giving a child to an acquaintance or stranger
would be viewed only as a last resort of a desperate person.
In line with the value accorded the care of children
and the nature of reciprocal exchanges in the town, both rel
atives and neighboring women frequently provide child care
for one another. Child care, whether for a few hours, a
week or on a more regular basis, is not a service for which
payment is expected. If a woman cannot find a relative near
enough and/or available for child care, she will frequently
depend on either her comadres (ritual co-parents) and/or
more trusted female neighbors. As might be expected, a


38
countryside causes socio-economic changes so that previously
existing features of rural areas which are incompatible with
capitalist production will eventually be eliminated. One
example of this phenomenon in Brazil is the rapid change
over in the more advanced frontier zones from more mixed
types of land tenure (usufruct, private property and a be
wildering variety of semi-legal and legal documents, deeds
and titles) to a clear dominance of legally processed pri
vate property with definitive titles held by capitalist en
terprises .
A second assumption or proposition of dependency the
orists, again based on massive evidence, is that in most
cases the economic "growth" generated by large-scale enter
prises has not led to a narrowing of the gap between rich
and poor, but rather to a widening gap and increasing rural
impoverishment. In other words, it is somewhat irrelevant
to focus a discussion of impediments to small farmer agri
cultural expansion on factors such as peasants' attitudes
toward agricultural expansion when the major obstacles con
sist of the establishment of extensive tracts of privately
owned and vigorously guarded land such as has been the case
for northern Mato Grosso. In Santa Terezinha and elsewhere,
the establishment of the large cattle companies has meant a
loss of access to land and only a short-term and marginal
increase in wage labor opportunities. The major labor re
quirements of cattle ranches, as Crist and Nissly (1973)


131
jobs. Although the town remained cutoff in many respects
poor roads, no postal service and the likethe presence of
the companies brought significant changes to the region.
The following chapters analyze the socio-economic con
ditions in Santa Terezinha between 1978 and 1979. Despite
the land distribution, small farming is clearly declining.
The regional population is increasingly dependent on both
wage labor positions and tertiary sector activities. There
is currently a process of increasing proletarianization of
the local population. At the same time, certain future
trends and changes are clear. The cattle companies are al
ready beginning to reduce their labor force. Already estab
lished improved pastures and increasing mechanization are
contributing to a decrease in company jobs. The new road
under construction, BR 158, will also alter the transporta
tion and supply routes in the region. The future of Santa
Terezinha is still far from secure.
End Notes
The Legal Amazon is a designation used in Brazil to refer
to the Amazon Basin and some surrounding transitional ter
ritory. The Legal Amazon encompasses 59% of the national
territory of Brazil which is considered the Amazon region.
The area demarcated includes the north of Gois and Mato
Grosso. Some government agencies, however, use a defini
tion of the Amazon region which only includes 42% of the
national territory which is generally called the north re
gion. These agencies usually classify the States of Gois
and Mato Grosso as belonging to the central-west region of


289
rainy season the work becomes ten times more difficult
since the hike to the river is through the flooded areas.
During the rainy months, women stay out all day in the rain
and/or drizzle and run back and forth to put the clothes
out to dry when the sun is out and collect them when it be-
begins to pour again. During the rainy season almost every
one in town suffers from various festering ulcers such as
acutely infected hangnails which make the entire finger
swell up and ooze painfully, and laundresses suffer the
most since they spend so much time wet.
Laundry women usually charge a household between $8
and $15 a month, depending on the size of the household
and whether or not the customer provides soap and bleach.
A laundress usually does a household's laundry two times
a week. One laundress who had a contract to do a boarding
house's laundry 26 days a month was paid only $25 for this
service. People who hire laundresses on a temporary basis
pay a much higher per piece rate. Although laundresses can
make more money on piecework they tend to favor the lower
paid arrangements with steady customers, probably because
this provides regular work and a dependable income, and
also because regular customers usually provide the laundry
woman with some small presents and favors. If a steady
customer's laundry bundle becomes unduly large, laundry
women will complain and bring pressure on the customer to
pay more. Usually they can get the customer to give a


19
evaluation of generalizations about the nature and direc
tion of socio-economic changes in rural areas, and provide
empirical data for the analysis of variations and differ
ential responses to changing conditions in different rural
zones.
A third and related reason for studying survival strat
egies is to provide empirical data which support or dis
pute the propositions regarding socio-economic change set
forth by theorists of the historical structuralist school.
The satellite-metropole model of Andre Gunder Frank (1969),
for example, has been criticized both theoretically (Leclau,
1979) and empirically (Long, 1977). One problem with
Frank's assumptions is that he posits change in the country
side as dependent on forces emanating from both interna
tional and national metropoles. Similar to the dualistic
models of modernization theory which posit most change as
deriving from a modern industrial and urban sector moving
into and transforming an archaic, traditional rural sector,
this formulation tends to deny any dynamic role at all to
the so-called satellites. Another problem with the models
of Frank (1969) and other theorists is that their hypoth
eses do not explain why certain non-capitalist (traditional)
forms of production continue to exist in the countryside
when their model appears to predict their total demise.
They do not adequately confront the question of how appar
ently contradictory systems of production and marketing can


25
not necessarily mutually exclusive. While the historical
structural approach seems to provide the most productive
and appropriate models for the present research, this is
not to refute the fact that both approaches can and have
contributed significantly to the advance of explanation in
social science. In many instances there has been a proc
ess of cross-fertilization that polemicists, clearly, would
deny.
The modernization approach, in political science, so
ciology and anthropology,^ is clearly linked to a theory of
economic dualism. The dualistic model generally assumes
that developing countries contain two radically different
and separate sectors. The dynamic sector is called the mod
ern sector and is characterized as capitalist, industrial
and urban. The modern sector is assumed to be receptive to
change, market oriented and clearly involved in profit max
imization. The other sector is often called the traditional,
archaic or non-modern sector and is characterized by non
capitalist activities, is predominantly agricultural, and
is supposedly typical of most rural areas. Its economic
characteristics include subsistence agriculture with little
marketable surplus, little interest in profit maximization,
and high preference for leisure or idleness. Assumptions
generally made by modernization theorists are that this
traditional sector is internally homogenous, and largely
resistant to innovation and change. While the modern sector


109
the turn of the century. National political upheaval,
droughts and the advice of the popularly sainted Padre
5
Cicero during the 1930s also contributed to westward move
ment. Many families only moved, however, as far as western
Maranho and northern Goias, which in the 1930s and 1940s
were still rather remote frontier areas. The small farm
ers could settle in locations of their own choice and make
it "their own" by squatters' rights. Land already fenced
and worked would be bought and sold in terms of posse or
usufruct; in most locations deeds and land taxes were un
known. The land was considered to be "common." During the
1950s and 1960s the remote areas of Maranho and Gois were
"opened" by the construction of the Belem-Brasilia highway
which passed through these two states. Land speculation
and the processing of titles increased and many small farm
ers then moved farther west, to Bananal, northern Mato Gros
so and southern Para.
The movement westward can be seen in Table 1 which
shows the birthplaces by state for three generations of
frontier people: (1) Santa Terezinha elementary school
children, (2) Santa Terezinha household heads and their
spouses, and (3) the parents of Santa Terezinha household
heads (grandparents). The oldest generation show birth
places clustering in the Northeastern states, including
Maranhao and a small percentage in Goias. The movement
westward is demonstrated by their children (household heads)


305
children take their obligations to their parents quite se
riously .
Primarily single male peons, prostitutes and newly ar
rived migrants are the ones who may have no kin in the area
although a certain percentage of newly arrived migrants do
come because of kin in the region. Persons without rel
atives often mentioned that this is a severe disadvantage
in the frontier town. The importance of the help received
via a kinship network can be measured against the acute dis
comfort of persons who are deprived of this type of network
Newly arrived migrants with no relatives in the town would
frequently make statements such as, "People in this town
are the strangest I have ever encountered" or "No one helps
each other in this town" and other similar statements.
One recently arrived family interviewed was composed
of a husband and wife and three small children who had just
been evicted from their farm in the Porto Alegre area of
northern Mato Grosso. When encountered, they have been in
town in a rented house for about a week, and were rapidly
spending the compensation money which they had been paid by
the company during the process of eviction. The husband
was looking for work and wanted to farm on someone's land.
When asked about how he planned to arrange this, he stated:
"I have relatives everywhere because I know how to make
friends fast." Several weeks later, when the researcher
came to visit, the family was gone, and neighbors stated


to them. Because of the oppression and exploitation which
I witnessed, I will never again be the same as I was before
I lived among these people. I hope very much that my life
and work will contribute to improving the situation of the
inhabitants of the Amazon region.
Several people assisted greatly in the preparation of
this manuscript. Dr. Charles Wagley, Dr. Maxine Margolis
and Dr. Georg Vollweiler spent many hours editing and im
proving the manuscript. Sandra Powers gave me important
feedback during the initial writing period which is so often
a lonely time. Nassero Nasser checked the Portuguese and
Elizabeth Higgs prepared the tables. Eric Pedersen drew the
maps and gave warm moral support during the trying final
hours of preparation. Lois Rudloff not only typed the final
manuscript but was calm and patient throughout. Any errors
and faults in this study, however, are entirely my own re
sponsibility.
Vll


261
than one location. Despite the shame involved for many
people in admitting that they had worked for ranch-compa
nies, 67% mentioned periods of employment at such places.
Table 7 shows the decades in which the sampled households
were last engaged in farming. The 1960s were the initial
years of the establishment of many of the ranch-companies
in the region and the most direct violence against squat
ters. Therefore, it is nor surprising to find that almost
one-third of the sample ceased farming during the 1960s.
The rate declines slightly in the 1970s, perhaps because
of the stabilization of the land situation due to the INCRA
land distribution.
Informants were asked to provide evaluative data on
the reasons for each move and the reasons for the selection
of destinations. Together, the two surveys (n = 99 house
holds) generated 151 statements regarding the decision mak
ing process. The accuracy of the analysis of these state
ments is further supported by non-quantifiable data from
intensive interviews and participant observation. The eval
uative statements were divided by the researcher into three
categories: (1) push statements, (2) pull statements, and
(3) neutral statements. Push statements were defined as
negative factors in the place(s) of origin which either
forced a household to move or were perceived by the house
hold as forcing them to move. Pull statements were positive
factors mentioned regarding place(s) of destination,


12
dominant in each stage. The model further takes into con
sideration the fact that a number of quite different, though
interconnected types of production, can coexist simultane
ously.
The first stage, non-capitalist, is the earliest phase
when the regional economy is relatively isolated and largely
extractive. The sphere of exchange of the market is quite
limited, with perhaps only one or two products sent out to
the national market. Relations of production are mainly
servile, with direct coercion of labor as in aviamento, al
though some relatively independent petty commodity producers
(subsistence farmers) can also coexist. Otavio Velho (1972)
and others have pointed out the interstitial nature of the
rural poor who became collectors or laborers during "boom"
periods and returned to agriculture during "bust" phases.
The second stage, pre-capitalist, sees an intensifica
tion of extractive activities, increased immigration and the
buying and selling of land with the emergence of institu
tionalized private property. Capitalist enterprises begin
to appropriate land and conflicts, often violent, occur.
In this stage capitalism is not yet the dominant form, and
the relations of production are mixed and may include both
servile relations and the beginnings of wage labor. The
links to the outside market are strengthened by fairly reg
ular commodity production by capitalist enterprises and
petty commodity producers. To give a simplified example,


328
wife of the other merchant so fictive kinship had been es
tablished with these most trusted friends. The three fam
ilies were very close and exchanges of goods, services and
information went on daily. One of the merchants had orig
inally made the loan necessary to purchase the boarding
house which generated the capital for cattle investment
with which they eventually paid off the loan one year when
80 head were sold. Dona Clara and Joaquin had been instru
mental in the start of the other merchant who had only been
in town for four years; he, in turn often provided them
with transportation in his truck and so forth. The list
of exchanges would be very long. Dona Clara and Joaquin
also maintain other exchange networks with a series of
"useful" people in town such as one of the butchers who al
ways reserved a large portion of the best cuts of meat for
Dona Clara's boarding house whenever he slaughtered a steer
They also maintained socializing relationships to other "ira
portant people" in town, some of whom were their political
opponents such as a delegado and his family, the state tax
collector and the family of the director of the elementary
school. The researcher once saw Dona Clara run next door
to a neighboring merchant's house (not one of the best
friends) and borrow $100 cash from the merchant's wife
which she, Dona Clara, needed to send her daughter on a
plane trip for an eye examination in Gurupi. Needless to
say, Dona Clara's credit and trustworthiness were beyond
doubt.


Ill
who were born primarily in Gois. The youngest generation
(children) were born further west, primarily in Mato Grosso
and to a lesser extent in Gois. The general westwart pat
tern of migration is clearly illustrated by the shift in
the birthplaces over three generations.
Table 2 shows the arrival dates of 196 persons in the
town of Santa Terezinha or the nearby forests or settlements.
The researcher found no informants who remembered arriving
in the region before 1920, but this may be a function of
the relatively short life spans of the frontier people in
general. The major influx of migrants have entered the re
gion since the 1960s. The reasons for the increasing immi
gration during the last 15 years will be examined in a sub
sequent section. Between the turn of the century and the
late 1950s, however, the expansion of the demographic fron
tier into the region proceeded relatively slowly.
During the 1930s and 1940s the region was populated
primarily by small farmers who often raised a few head of
cattle on the savannas. Some small shop keepers and trad
ers lived in the settlements but most trade was carried out
by river traders utilizing both barter and cash. Lucio da
Luz and the various missionaries were probably the wealthi
est inhabitants of the region. Subsistence farmers sold
small amounts of surplus, dried fish and animal pelts to
traders who carried them to Conceipio do Araguaia and from
there to Belem. There were no direct conflicts over land


24
Feeler's predictions for the future results of such
trends are (1) the increasing proletarianization and mar
ginalization of the peasantry in the 1970s, (2) the forced
geographic mobility of the peasantry with increased immi
gration to frontier zones which offer short-term advantages,
and (3) a shift to non-rural occupations and other remuner
ative activities in the countryside. He further points out
that constant migration functions to keep local labor cheap
and submissive and that the constant disruption of continual
migration contributes to the inability of the rural poor to
organize effectively, as, for example, in labor unions. All
of these conclusions are supported by the data from Santa
Terezinha.
There are basically two major theoretical positions or
schools of thought with respect to the development and change
issues already raised. These can be labeled the moderniza
tion school and the historical structuralist school. The
framework selected for this dissertation falls within the
historical structuralist school. A critique of moderniza
tion theory and some of its major implications will be pre
sented briefly. It should be stated that the polarization
of the two schools of thought is more a function of the de
bate necessary for progress rather than a claim that only
one approach is valid. Each theoretical approach contains
explicit and implicit assumptions and attacks the problems
from a somewhat different point of view, although they are


APPENDIX 4
SURVEY 2: OUTLINE OF QUESTIONS
1.
Note if the structure is a residence or a residence
combined with a commercial enterprise. If the struc
ture is only a commercial establishment (residence
elsewhere) stop and continue to next household in
sample.
2.
Note the type of house construction: floors, walls,
roofing material.
3.
Did you make this house, buy it, are renting it, or
are you borrowing it (for free) from someone?
4.
If the house was purchased, how much was paid? If
the house is rented, how much rent is paid monthly?
5.
Do you or members of your family have other "urban"
properties? Lots or houses? How many?
6.
Do you cook on a fire, a gas stove, or both?
7.
Do you have a refrigerator?
8.
Do you have a radio?
9.
Do you have any type of transportation? What?
10.
What is the name of the male household head''" (dono)
and how old is he? If he is dead, or missing, how
many years has he been dead or missing?
11.
What is the name of the female household head (dona de
casa) and how old is she?
12.
What type of marriage do you currently have? (Civil,
Church, Common-law, Of the Fire2)?
13.
The male has been "married" how many times? The fe
male has been "married" how many times?
14.
How long has the male household head lived in Santa
Terezinha?
371


238
illegal practices caught up with him, however, because in
1978-1979 he was being investigated for federal tax evasion.
Sr. Sebastio maintains a house in Goiania where his
children live. He supports his children in the city where
they are full-time students. Two of his children were about
to take college entrance examinations. Although Sr. Sebas-
tio has few relatives in the region, his wife comes from a
large local family. Many of her siblings lost their inher
itance (cattle) and have fallen upon hard times. Sr.
Sebastio carefully limits the help he gives to relatives
and he often uses relatives' children as servants in his
home or as clerks in his enterprises. Payment is primarily
in the form of room and board. He always tells everyone
that he is one of the most generous men in town, and that
everyone tries to take advantage of him. However, even his
step-mother had unkind words to say about his well-adver
tised generosity. When her husband (Sr. Sebastiao's father)
died, Sr. Sebastiao brought his step-mother from Maranho
to Bananal and put her to work at his ranch.
One reason for Sr. Sebastiao's success in the frontier
town is that he was fortunate enough to have sufficient be
ginning capital. He is also conniving, alert, and indus
trious. He has few scruples about taking advantage of the
local people and he drives very hard bargains. He is always
aware of opportunities to make more money. When backyard
vegetable gardening started to become popular in Santa


5
designed for the Northeast, were extended to apply to the
Amazon as early as 1963. These incentives included a 50%
reduction of corporate income taxes destined for Amazonian
investment, full tax exemption for approved projects up to
1982, exemption from import duties for raw materials and
exemption from export duties for certain commodities, spe
cial credit arrangements and matched funding (Kleinpenning,
1977: 301; Panagides & Magalhaes, 1974: 249). Shelton
Davis (1977: 114) has documented that by the end of 1970,
"the amount of fiscal incentives invested in these two coun
ties [Luciara and Barra do Garpa] alone totaled nearly 300
million Brazilian cruzeiros." In short, while the govern
ment was supporting the colonization program designed to
create successful small farmers, it was also providing the
framework for corporate investment projects in the Amazon.
Charles Wagley's (1977: 9-10) summary of the situation in
1974 was:
In common parlance, the Brazilian government
seems to be playing both ends against the mid
dle; at the same time, it is supporting a gran
diose scheme to encourage individual colonists
and providing favorable conditions for large
capitalistic enterprises which want to enter
the game.
Brazilian development policies for the Amazon until
1974 have been analyzed by Panagides and Magalhaes (1974)
who point out some of the contradictions implicit in the
policies. They explain that government planners assumed


198
In short, the expansion of the economic frontier in
northern Mato Grosso with its government sponsored corpo
rate development projects have contributed to the increas
ing socio-economic marginalization of the migrant popula
tion of the region. The small farm option is swiftly ceas
ing to be an alternative. Therefore, we must now examine
the other major livelihood alternatives in the frontier to
complete the assessment of the impact of this type of de
velopment policy.
End Notes
^The minimum rural module stipulated by law for Mato Grosso
is 100 ha or approximately 250 acres.
2
The only exception is the agricultural cooperative which
does not really function as a central market-place.
3
The term "horticulture" is the more technically correct
term for this type of farming system, but the term "agri
culture" will be used throughout the chapter because it
is the more commonly used term.
4
About 40 families did not receive their INCRA land until
as late as 1976.
^Planting and harvesting in accordance with the phases of
the moon is a common phenomenon among agricultural peo
ples the world over, including some rural areas of the
United States.
g
See Chapter Two for a discussion of the areas still avail
able to squatters in the region.
7
Other figures on the consumption of manioc flour in the
Amazon by Wagley (1976) and quoted by Moran (1974) to sim
ilar conclusions. Wagley calculated that a family of five
consumes over 2 kg of manioc flour daily, or more than
730 kg a year. The somewhat smaller amount consumed in


7
2
The tendency to blame the victims, that is, attribut
ing the cause of rural poverty, constant migration and the
instability of frontier settlement patterns to the migrants
themselves is clearly demonstrated in the above passage.
The implication is that uneducated and culturally differ
ent (perhaps economically irrational!) migrants were un
suitable and incapable of creating permanent settlements.
The emphasis on official colonization, then, is clearly re
lated to a modernization approach which assumes that the
colonists' own attitudes and customs are one of the main ob
stacles to socio-economic development.
Since the mid-1960s, mining, forestry and cattle com
panies have expanded into the Amazon with increasing rapid
ity. Cattle raising projects have been especially popular
and Panagides and Magalhes (1974: 258) estimate that "80
to 100 million tons of beef will be exported from the Ama
zon region by 1977." They also note that this type of de
velopment strategy, that is, large-scale enterprises, will
result in the development of "economic enclaves" within re
gions, that is, the labor absorption of the large enter
prises will be minimal and "they will tend to remain en
claves with minor linkages with the region."
Since 1974, Brazilian development policy for the Ama
zon has shifted away from official colonization and toward
increasing support for corporate investment projects (Davis
1977; Kleinpenning, 1977). The second National Integration


246
influxes of paid workers a large amount of cash moves
through the district. Among the people interviewed who
operated business in the red-light district was a woman
who ran a small bar and store whose husband had abandoned
her, a woman who ran a bar whose husband worked as a cow
boy at the ranch-companies, and a man who ran a brothel
whose family were landless tenant farmers who had arrived in
the region too late to qualify for any land in the INCRA
distribution. Another man, an elderly farmer who had re
ceived a land lot, decided to open a small bar there to
augment his income from agriculture. He had recently en
tered into a common-law marriage with a former prostitute
some 30 years his junior and she worked in the bar into
which the old farmer had invested his savings.
The prostitutes in town are usually younger women be
tween 15 to 30 years old. Frequently, reputed loss of vir
ginity at an early age and subsequent rejection by their
families has caused them to enter "the free life." From
the relatively small number interviewed, it appears that
the women spend between six months to a year in various
towns and cities, and are constantly on the move between
red-light districts in the states of Maranhao, Par, Gois
and Mato Grosso. In the frontier town of Santa Terezinha,
prostitutes either lived in the cabaret or in their own
houses in the residential areas. In the red-light district
the women are apparently primarily utilized by the male


386
Gross, Daniel and Barbara A. Underwood
1971
Technological Change and Caloric Costs: Sisal
Agriculture in Northeastern Brazil. American
Anthropologist 73:725-737.
Harris, Marvin
1971
Town and Country in Brazil. New York: W.W.
Norton.
Hutchinson, Harry W.
1957 Village and Plantation Life in Northeastern
Brazil. Seattle: University of Washington
Press.
Ianni, Octavio
1978
A Luta Pela Terra. Petropolis: Vozes.
IBDF/MEC
1978
Atlas da Fauna Brasileira. Sao Paulo: In
stituto Brasileiro de Desenvolvimento Flores
tal, and Ministerio de Educapao e Cultura.
IBGE
1977
Geografia do BrazilRegido Centro-Oeste.
Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Brasileiro de
Geografia e Estatistica.
INCRA
1978
Transcript of Interviews Conducted at INCRA,
Brasilia headquarters. (author's private
file) .
Johnson, Allen W.
1971
Sharecroppers of the Serto: Economics and
Dependence on a Brazilian Plantation. Stan
ford: Stanford University Press.
Kleinpenning, J.M.G.
1977 An Evaluation of the Brazilian Policy for the
Integration of the Amazon Region. Journal of
Economic and Social Geography 67 (5):345-
360 (Netherlands).
Krause, Fritz
1966
In the Wilderness of Brazil: Report and Re
sults of the Leipzig Araguaia Expedition of
1908. New Haven: Human Relations Area File
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Leclau, Ernesto
1979
Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory. Lon
don: Verso Editions.


227
Table 6.
Monthly Wages at the
Codeara Ranch Company
TYPE OF WORKER
MONTHLY WAGES (in US dollars)*
ADMINISTRATION:
Manager (Agronomist)
3,500
Manager (Veterinarian)
1,500
Resident Manager
1,000
Accountant
800
SKILLED AND UNSKILLED LABOR:
Auto Mechanic 250
Heavy Machine Operator 175
Skilled Saw Mill Operator 150
Driver 120
Experienced Cowboy 87
Manual Laborer (direct) 67
Domestic Worker 50
Office Worker 40
*Wages are listed to the nearest cruzeiro or .05 US dollars.


195
In summary, there are a number of interlocking factors
which contribute to the inability of the small farmer to
compete under current conditions in the frontier. Most
basic is the monopolization of land and natural resources
by the ranch-companies in northern Mato Grosso.' The INCRA
distribution of land has clearly not resolved the fundamen
tal situation of increasing concentration of land holdings.
The majority of migrants to Santa Terezinha were unable to
obtain a titled lot, and even families that received titled
land remain in an increasingly marginalized economic situa
tion which has been described and analyzed in this chapter.
Farmers on land held as posse (squatters' rights) are in
an even more precarious position. The map on page 74 in
Chapter Two shows that most areas of squatters within the
interior of Santa Terezinha are currently or about-to-be un
der eviction pressure because of the establishment of cap
italist firms.
The relationship of the region to wider markets has
reached stage three where there are established links to
national markets. The main links, however, are those struc
tured by the economic activities of the ranch-companies
which import equipment and foodstuffs into the region, and
export beef cattle (on the hoof) to northern and southern
Brazilian urban centers. This dynamic expansion has not


CHAPTER III
HISTORY
Over a period of about 60 years, Santa Terezinha was
transformed from a small and isolated rural village to an
expanding frontier town. This chapter reviews the history
of the community in terms of the three stages of frontier
expansion already described: (1) non-capitalist, (2) pre
capitalist, and (3) capitalist.
The early history of the town, from the turn of the
century until the late 1950s, clearly reflects the predom
inance of the expansion of the demographic frontier as small
farmers and traders immigrated to the area. The second
stage begins when Brazilian development policies began to
shift in the late 1950s and large companies began to ac
quire vast land holdings in Mato Grosso. The 1960s saw the
implementation of the large cattle raising projects and a
violent confrontation between corporations intent on estab
lishing the dominance of private property and small farmers
whose land was held by squatters' rights. This period saw
the initial expansion of the economic frontier into north
ern Mato Grosso and set the stage for the rapid changes
which followed the establishment of the ranch-companies.
The growing dominance of the capitalist enterprises in the
1970s signals the beginning of the third stage of frontier
94


302
each other when their men were gone. Nadi could, by ask
ing, receive free child care and various agricultural prod
ucts from her in-laws. The second son, Pedro, lived in a
house ten minutes away from his parents. He had previously
worked with his father in the fields, and his wife Maria
also visited and exchanged with her in-laws. Since Maria's
parents and adult siblings also lived in town, she spent
more time and exchanged more often with her own family, and
her husband started to work on his father-in-law's land
rather than his own father's. This bothered Jos somewhat
and the researcher heard him one day admonishing Pedro to
carefully separate the gardens after clearing work was com
pleted so that the father-in-law would not make unjust
claims on the produce of Pedro's fields. Delmina, the
daughter of Luisa and Jos, lived with her husband about
five minutes away from her parents. Delmina worked with
her mother every day washing clothing at the river. Their
customers were different but they would help each other out,
picking up laundry for each other or even doing the other's
wash during times of illness. Delmina's husband, Carlos,
also worked in Jose's fields, and he worked at the compa
nies and did odd jobs. Delmina's adolescent children would
often be recruited to do chores for the two women, usually
to carry wet laundry on their bicycles or to run errands to
get firewood or travel to Jose's fields to get agricultural
produce or manioc tubers to feed the pigs.


41
Robert's (1976: 106) description of the rural responses
to the establishment of capitalist enterprises could be a
description of Santa Terezinha:
It is [an interest] in liberating local popu
lations from restrictions on their mobility
. . or from restrictions on productive ac
tivities arising from traditional obligations
. . it is a situation in which, in the ab
sence of a large market for agricultural prod
ucts, early developments occur through the di
versification of a household's activities
rather than through an intensification and
rationalization of agricultural production.
The opportunities for wage labor in the mines
and plantations impose a further restriction
on intensifying agricultural production by
diminishing the available labor pool. In
this stage of development, towns are innova
tive elements in their hinterlands; there
are no necessary conflicts of interest between
townspeople and countryfolk, since their re
sources are complementary and not in competi
tion.
It is precisely because of the complexity of the inter
actions between various production systems and the fact that
the capitalist enterprises' domination is incomplete, that
Roberts (1976: 112-116) calls for an investigation of "in
formal economies" which he defines with the following char
acteristics: (1) more intensive use of labor often in
highly complex ways, (2) the importance of "noneconomic"
relationships, such as kinship, in household economic cal
culations, (3) a large volume of ad hoc acts of exchange,
(4) the combination, individually or within households, of
a variety of economic activities (roles) which may or may
not complement each other, and (5) the absence of any formal


236
INCRA distribution of land (usually squatters' rights).
Almost all have tenant-farmers on their land, and cowboys
tending their herds on Bananal. They are the owners of
most of the local transport, both boats and vehicles. Mer
chants also generally invest profits in other commercial
ventures in town, opening additional bars and second stores,
or buying and renting urban lots and houses.
Sr. Sebastiao is an old timer in the region and one of
the most successful merchants in town. He is originally
from the Northeast and has lived and worked in many places
throughout Mato Grosso and Para, as a farmer, tenant, nut
gatherer and miner. A man of enterprise and energy, he be
gan small business ventures a number of times, but his
really big start came when he married Dona Delma whose par
ents had left each child an inheritance of several hundred
head of cattle. Sr. Sebastiao used the cattle to capital
ize his commercial ventures in Santa Terezinha. He was one
of the first of the local merchants to realize that shop
ping directly in Goiania and supervising the transportation
of the goods back to Mato Grosso facilitated the quality
and quantity of stock and lowered its cost.
Sr. Sebastiao today owns the largest dry goods store
in town, a bar, and a large dance hall which he rents. His
cattle raising enterprises are located on Bananal where his
cowboy manages a herd of several hundred head. Although he
would not admit it directly, it was fairly clear that Sr.
Sebastiao was evading legal requirements placed on


276
Another household, composed of a man and his wife and
their eight children, used slightly different strategies.
The wife's mother had had 100 ha of land (via the distribu
tion) where she and her daughters' families had farmed.
Shortly before the mother's death, however, she decided to
sell the land because she thought that her children's lack
of documents (birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc.)
would prevent them from inheriting it. The daughter's hus
band then began to pursue a number of occupations, such as
construction work, odd jobs in town and work at the compa
nies. The wife began to do laundry several days a week for
ranch-company personnel. She also augmented her backyard
garden. The older children began to peddle greens and fried
batter cakes in the streets of town. She placed her eldest
daughter as a maid in the home of a local airplane pilot.
She also began to learn how to crochet and was trying to
augment her flock of chickens. When a traveling rodeo came
to town, she and her husband rented a space inside the rodeo
compound (for $10) where they set up a table and sold drinks
and snacks.
By means of cordial relations with a neighborhood store
keeper, this family had relatively dependable credit and can
run up debts as high as $30 at any one time and pay it off
when they are able. By means of their local network of
friends, relatives and compadres (ritual co-parents) they
are often able to harvest produce in other peoples' fields


161
collect it for sale to other families in town. Buriti palm
fibers, as well as a few other types of fibers, are used by
Brazilians and Indians in the manufacture of baskets. A
shorter type of bamboo, called taboca (Guadua sp.) is cut
and used for fences and house walls.
Three types of beans are cultivated by the farmers of
northern Mato Grosso, fava (broad beans; Vicia faba), "trepa
pau" (climbing beans, probably feijo de espanha; Phoseolus
multiflora) and and (a pigeon pea; Cajanus cajan). Fava
and trepa-pau beans have an advantage in that they can be
harvested continuously. Rather than cutting and drying
the whole plant (as is necessary for some varieties of
beans), the farmer merely picks dry pods off the plant
which continue to grow and produce more pods. Fava and
trepa-pau beans are ready for harvesting within 60 days,
and trepa-pau has an added advantage in that it can be
planted at almost any time of the year. The third type of
bean is called and in Mato Grosso and feijao madeira (wood
bean) in the Brazilian northeast. And is a sturdy tree
which is generally planted in the late rainy season and
which produces bean pods during the dry summer months; it
produces for two to three years rather than just annually.
Although and produces more reliably and is less affected
by weather changes and excessive rain, it is the least pop
ular because the small black beans are less tasty and re
quire a longer cooking time. Fava and trepa-pau beans are


11
corporate investment in the Amazon tried to encourage long
term projects rather than short-term "get rich quick" proj
ects more characteristic of short-lived "booms." While the
large-scale projects in timber, mining and beef cattle pro
duction have been characterized as economic enclaves within
regions, they are not typical of the predatory and rapidly
disintegrating structures of "boom" enterprises. The firms
now established in the Amazon, such as Volkswagen, Borden
or the Banco de Crdito Nacional, are a significantly dif
ferent order of organization of production than previous
forms described and analyzed for Latin America and Brazil,
such as the aviamento system during the rubber boom (Ianni,
1978; Wagley, 1968) or traditional plantation society
(Hutchinson, 1957; Wagley, 1976; Willems, 1975).
In conjunction with the conceptual classification of
frontier expansion into demographic and economic frontiers,
it is useful to arrange both types of expansion into stages.
Joseph Foweraker (1980) has developed a three stage scheme
for Brazilian frontier expansion which goes beyond the cyc
lical "boom-and-bust" model. The three stages are: (1)
non-capitalist, (2) pre-capitalist, and (3) capitalist.
The stages are heuristic concepts rather than precisely op
erationalized sequences which can be sharply separated one
from the other. The critical distinguishing feature of each
stage is not only the extent and nature of the links to out
side markets but, more importantly, the mode of production^


303
The third son, Jaime, had left town several years pre
viously. He had gone to Gois where he worked at various
jobs and eventually became the owner of a small ranch. When
rising property taxes compelled him to sell his ranch he
brought his herd of cattle to Bananal and bought some land
4
to the north of Santa Terezinha near his parents' land.
In 1979, Jaime asked his sister Delmina and her husband to
become caretakers for his herd on Bananal and they agreed.
They lent their Santa Terezinha house to another family
and left with their children to live on Bananal for an ex
tended period.
It is thus that many frontier families remain linked
together in terms of mutual aid and exchanges. Siblings,
as we see from the above example, cooperate although the
pivotal link is frequently the parental household. Despite
loyalties and exchanges, not all parties are satisfied.
Jos and Luisa were disappointed that their children did
not more fully participate in the farming enterprise and
most probably if their children could be persuaded to live
at the farm in the forest, the parents too would give up
town residence and live at the farm full-time. But it is
a stalemate, because the adult children prefer to remain
in the town pursuing other economic activities, close to
the school for their children and medical facilities, and
Dona Luisa cannot face the idea of living at the farm "alone."
So the commuting farm work continues, mainly because Jos


233
The growth of the town, from 40 houses in 1940, 140
houses in 1967, and 380 houses in 1978, is causally linked
to the presence of the cattle projects. Migrants, evicted
from locations within the region by companies or the Park
Service, or arriving in the region seeking land and/or
jobs, continue to arrive although many are also leaving to
try their luck elsewhere. The services and facilities in
the townthe elementary school, health clinic and the
red light-districtare rudimentary but sill superior to
the complete lack of services on remote backland homesteads,
and they attract people to the town. The growth of the
town, in turn, helps support the commercial ventures. The
more people who can not grow food, the larger the number
who must purchase foodstuffs in the shops. Urban growth
also spawns the development of a whole series of marginal
economic activities.
Although many people begin small commercial ventures
in Santa Terezinhausually a tiny combination bar and store
with small stock of tinned food--most of these establish
ments are highly marginal operations with a tendency to fail.
The most common response to the question of where the money
had gone from the sale of some cattle or a piece of land
was: "We used the money to start a shop, but it failed."
For a number of reasons, it is not easy to develop a suc
cessful commercial establishment in Santa Terezinha.


206
company policy, as local people are well aware, forbids the
loan or sale of equipment, machine parts, or fuel to non
company persons. The companies justify this policy by stat
ing that they do not produce enough to be able to sell any
thing in the town and that, anyway, it is not profitable.
It is thus that the ironic situation of a six month beef
shortage in Santa Terezinha could have occurred in a region
dedicated to the production of beef cattle.
Most companies view Santa Terezinha as a dirty, dusty
and rowdy frontier town best known for its whore-houses and
its past history of open conflict with Codeara. Company
management uniformly view the Catholic Mission and anyone
known to be associated with it, as dangerous subversives
and "enemies of the companies." Management staff generally
try to avoid contact with the town or local people. They
are frequently unaware of local conditions and events. The
manager of Codeara, located less than 2 km away from Santa
Terezinha, did not know the local price of beef until the
researcher informed him of this fact! At the same time,
companies are actively involved in fencing and guarding
their borders against penetration by squatters. The com
panies and the town constitute two almost entirely separate
worlds. The major point of intersection, aside from direct
conflicts over land, is because of the labor requirements of
the cattle projects.


74
Figure 4. Cattle Ranches and Farming Settlements of the
Middle Araguaia.


129
working for the company or leaving their lands.
The farmers were told . that [the] squat
ters' rights provisions had been done away with
in the new constitution . the state govern
ment had provided the company with a permanent
police force to overcome resistance to the com
pany on the part of the local population. . .
The position of the company in Santa Terezinha
is like that of an occupying army: the local
inhabitants, rather than being incorporated in
to its activities, are considered enemies to be
subdued.
In 1972 the confrontation between Santa Terezinha and
the Codeara Company came to a head. A number of company
men entered the town and destroyed the construction site of
the new health clinic, ramming the walls with a tractor and
demolishing the well, the garden and a large supply of
costly construction material (Davis, 1977). Padre Jentel
and the group building the clinic began again. The Codeara
men were sent a second time to halt construction but some
local men decided instead to fight and opened fire on the
ranch representatives. According to the information gath
ered by Davis (1977: 125), "seven people were wounded in
this incident, and the town of Santa Terezinha was placed
under military control." The government considered Padre
Jentel responsible for the "attack," and Wagley (1977:
294-5) summarizes the events which followed:
The outcome was a sad one. Padre Francois Jen
tel was denounced to the Minister of the Inte
rior, to the Minister of Justice, and to vari
ous state authorities as a "communist agitator."
Despite the support of his bishop and other
Catholic authorities, he was tried and sentenced
to ten years in prison. He served part of this
term in a prison in Mato Grosso, and it was not


176
As stated previously, the price of rice fluctuates
during the year. At the beginning of the 1978 harvest 60
kg of uncleaned rice were selling for $7.50. Within a
matter of several weeks rice was up to $10, then $13 and
then $15 by June. Rice prices rose again during the plant
ing months of September through November, between $20 and
$25 and by January, 1979, when the rice shortage was becom
ing acute a sack of uncleaned rice was between $25 and $30
and imported cleaned (higher quality) rice was fluctuating
between $40 to $50. The price to the consumer, per kilo
of cleaned rice purchased, rose from $.45 at harvest time
to $.85 at the peak of the following year's preharvest
shortage.
Farmers frequently sell their rice at the low harvest
time price because they have very little choice. The last
months of the rainy season are a time of desperation for
many families. Money earned from dry season employment
and stored food supplies are used up. Paid employment at
ranch-companies is difficult to find since the companies
cease clearing operations during the rainy season. Odd
jobs in town become rare because the dwindling cash flow
into town makes payment difficult even for some of the more
well-to-do inhabitants. Cattle cannot be sold at this time
of year because they are weak, sickly and thin from inade
quate feeding during the rainy season. Households pile
up debts at local stores until, as happens in many cases,


346
and infrastructural changes, unless the fundamentally di
chotomized structure of frontier expansion is confronted
head-on.
End Notes
^The collecting of migration histories tended to be a long
involved process during which it often became clear that
informants had forgotten some of the moves, were confused
about details of dates, times and locations, or were even
occasionally not mentioning certain time periods of their
lives. Unfortunately for the analysis, the households
with the most extended and complicated migration histories
were frequently the ones who were unable to give a com
plete account.
2
The cost of renting a house in Santa Terezinha was rela
tively low and houses were usually rented for between $7
to $15 a month. This was probably so because almost all
residents had the necessary skills to construct a simple
house. The "fanciest" houses in town, with plastered and
painted walls, tile roofs and cement floors, rented for
as much as $40 a month. Even these nicer houses, however,
had no electricity or plumbing.
3
Since most people make houses from mud, clay or thatch,
there is not a large demand for the more expensive
baked bricks. Most families, however, would prefer to
live in a brick house if they can afford it. The ranch-
companies generally build with lumber produced in their
saw-mills, and they never buy bricks from local manufac
turers .
4
The land which Jaime purchased near Santa Terezinha was
part of a 100 ha lot distributed by INCRA to a local fam
ily. Many families have already sold part of, or all of
the land that they received from INCRA. There will be
problems later over this land, however, because most deeds
processed by INCRA stipulate that the land is not to be
sold for a certain period of time, usually ten to 15 years.
Local farmers are not aware of these regulations. When
they sell parts of the INCRA lots, it is unclear if either
buyer or seller actually does the legal paperwork neces
sary for a legal transfer of the title. In 1979, there
were already rumors circulating in Santa Terezinha that


95
expansion which Santa Terezinha and the region is just now
entering.
The dynamics of frontier expansion in the Amazon fol
low a general pattern but vary somewhat from place to place
depending on factors such as the availability of extract-
able natural resources, legal disputes over the jurisdic
tion of the land and natural resources, and the potential
infrastructural linkages to outside markets. Other critical
factors, such as world demand for particular products, have
also played a critical role in Amazonian history. The his
tory of Santa Terezinha will be examined both as represen
tative of general trends of frontier expansion in the Ama
zon, and in terms of its own slightly different and unique
features. Since with the exception of some marginal babacu
nut extraction, the area never underwent a more typical
"boom-and bust" cycle so characteristic of the Amazonian
economy, the intense extractivism generally associated with
the first stage is lacking. Nonetheless, as the data pre
sented will demonstrate, the history of Santa Terezinha does
follow the general patterns of Amazonian history and is par
ticularly representative of events and trends occurring dur
ing the last 15 years.
Geography
The middle reaches of the Araguaia River Valley do not
fall within the heart of the Amazon Basin although it is


APPENDIX 3
SURVIVAL STRATEGIES: OUTLINE OF TOPICS
AND QUESTIONS
1,Material Possessions:
Note type of house construction (walls, floor and
roof). Note the type of furniture present in the house.
Note type of cooking facilities. Note method of water
storage. Note special possessions such as a radio, re
frigerator, sewing machine, bicycle or car. Note the dis
tance of the home from a main street. Note lighting source
in the home. Note any special equipment present for crafts,
such as a loom. Note storage areas and what is stored in
them. Note if there are commercial activities carried out
in the home, such as a small bar. Ask if the house was
made by the owners, was bought, is rented or borrowed from
someone else. Was the lot purchased? Do they own any
other urban properties?
2.Kinship Information:
(See Geneological Interview, Appendix 2).
3.Relatives in the Town and in the Area:
Who do you visit regularly? Who visits you regularly?
To whom do you give presents? Who gives presents to you?
Do you receive or give agricultural products to any of your
relatives? With which relatives do you trade child care?
Are you raising any of the children of your relatives? Do
you provide child care for any of your relatives on a reg
ular basis?
With which relatives do you work? What kinds of work?
What kinds of help could you expect to receive from your
relatives? What help have you already received from them?
From which relatives could you borrow money or equipment?
Have you lent any of your relatives money or equipment
lately? Do any of your relatives farm on your land or do
you farm on their land? What arrangements are made for
the agricultural work? What kind of payment is made for
the use of the land?
364


160
to mature. The rainy season is the time of fruits, both
cultivated and wild. Almost all Santa Terezinha households,
whether farmers or not, consume wild fruits. Some families
even use the opportunity to collect the fruits and sell
them door-to-door on the street. Some of the most impor
tant wild fruits collected are the palm fruits buriti (Mau-
ritia vinifera Mart.), buritirana (Mauritia martiana Spruce)
and bacaba (Oenocarpus distichus Mart.); murici (Byrosonima
crassifolia (L) Kunth) and pequi (Caryocar sp.) are also im
portant. Jenipapo fruit (Genipa americana L.) are also
found in this region but are utilized less.
Collecting is an important subsidiary activity for most
households. Families collect not only wild fruits but
fruits planted and abandoned by human beings. During the
rainy season people make trips to former settlements such
as the former site of Furo de Pedra and abandoned homesteads
to collect fruits. If the tree or place has no "owner" any
one can pick the fruit. Even old cultivated fields are
sometimes picked over for the few legumes which remain.
Besides fruits, people also utilize other naturally
occurring products in the environment. Two kinds of palm
thatch are cut for roofing material although the more desir
able type, the piassava palm (Attalea funifera), which makes
a stronger and longer lasting roof, is harder and harder to
find because of the expansion of pasture areas of the big
companies. People also collect fire-wood, and some cut and


113
between Indians and frontiersmen because there was enough
land for everyone. Indians and pioneers hunted wild game
in the forests and fished in the rivers. The Karaj and
Tapirap population continued to decline from diseases such
as colds, whooping cough and measles. In 1947, the one re
maining Tapirap village was attacked and burned during a
summer raid by the Kayap and the surviving Tapirap moved
to nearby settlements for several years.
Both Indians and Brazilian pioneers used the forests
for slash-and-burn horticulture. Nothing was surveyed, and
no one held titles or deeds to the land. The land worked
by an individual was considered to be his by squatters'
rights. If a person sold his farm, he was really selling
"the rights" to use (usufruct) the place and the improve
mentsfences, fruit trees or buildingsmade there. A
claim to a given piece of land was established by the first
person who worked on it, and subsequent "owners" based their
claim on their "purchase from the original owner." The pio
neers considered the land to be "common" or terra devoluta
(land belonging to the federal government). The small farm
ers were relatively unaware of the exact provisions for
squatters' rights which were codified in Brazilian land law
since the 1950s. As late as 1978, informants interviewed
did not know the legal stipulations for establishing squat
ters' rights. Deeds, registries and taxes played no part in



PAGE 1

SANTA TEREZINHA: LIFE IN A BRAZILIAN FRONTIER TOWN BY JUDITH MATILDA LISANSKY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1980

PAGE 2

This dissertation is dedicated with love to the two women who made it possible. To my mother, whose love, friendship and wisdom supported me in bright and dark hours and whose life is an example of a goal to work toward, Edith Silverglied Lisansky Gomberg And to my Bahian friend who taught me to love Brazil and who inspired me with courage and faith to try to become a better human being. Marisbela Vaitsman

PAGE 3

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My interest in Brazil and the Amazon region began in 1974 when I entered graduate school in anthropology at the University of Florida. Courses with Dr. Charles Wagley and long discussions with fellow students, particularly Anthony Stocks, Mercio Gomes, Darrel and Linda Miller, Georg Vollweiler, Susan Poats, Arlene Kelly, Richard LaPrade and others sparked my interest in conducting field research in South America. A fellowship from the Tropical South America Program at the University of Florida funded my first research trip to the Araguaia River Valley in the summer of 1976. The following year I became director of the Semester in Brazil Program for The Experiment in International Living which gave me another chance to live for six months in Brazil. I would like to thank a number of Bahianos who encouraged my attempt to continue research in Brazil, particularly Julio, Marisbela and Pessia Bina Vaitsman, Thales de Azevedo, Pedro Agostinho da Silva and Cid Texeira. In 1978 a dissertation research grant from Fulbright-Hays enabled me to return for a third time to Brazil to conduct the extended field work upon which this dissertation is based. Throughout my career Dr. Charles Wagley has been a constant source of support and encouragement. It has been both iii

PAGE 4

an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to work with him. I would also like to thank the rest of my doctoral committee. Dr. Solon T. Kimball, Dr. Maxine Margolis, Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith and Dr. Charles Wood, for their help and stimulating comments. Other staff who provided encouragement during my graduate career are Dr. Marianne Schmink, Dr. Elizabeth Eddy, Dr. Paul Doughty, Dr. Theron Nunez, Dr. Alexander Moore, Dr. Alfred Hower and Dr. Joseph Foweraker. I would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Russell Bernard, Chairman of the Department of Anthropology, and to Mrs. Lydia Deakin and Mrs. Vivian Nolan for their help and their special talents for coping with the university bureaucracy. I would like to extend warm thanks to my patient and understanding friends in Gainesville and Ann Arbor for many years of comradeship and intellectual exchange. Apart from those previously mentioned, I want to thank Kenneth and Elaine Konyha Debra Picchi, Ulli Pfeil, Jaquie Resnick, Lawrence Carpenter, Catherine Hagen, Anabela Viana, William Goodwin, Samuel and Elisa Sa, Sandra Russo, Michael Gruenwaldt, Margrit Eisenmann, Sandra Powers, Elizabeth Higgs, Larry Hunter, and Nassero and Betinha Nasser. Research in Brazil was facilitated by many people and institutions. The Nucleo de Altos Estudos Amazonicos of the Universidade Federal do Par^ provided an institutional base. I would like to thank Dr. Jos^ Marcelino Monteiro da iv

PAGE 5

Costa, Director of the Nucleo, Carlos Cardoso da Cunha Coimbra, Coordinator of Research, and staff members Dr. Stephen Bunker and Eugene Parker. The Museu Goeldi, under the direction of Dr. Miguel Scaff, provided research facilities. The Viana family of Belem also deserves special thanks for their help and hospitality to North American researchers which earned their house the joking title of "the second American consulate in Belem." Lastly, I would like to honor the memory of Dr. Eduardo Galvao of the Museu Goeldi, one of the pioneers of Amazonian research. Dr. George Zarur, of the Centre Nacional de Referenda Cultural in Brasilia, provided a number of contacts and useful suggestions. I would also like to thank Dr. Raimundo Mussi and his staff at the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologia, Dr. Delvair Melatti and her staff at the Fundapao Nacional do Indio, and Mr. Harold Midkiff and his staff at the Fulbright Comission in Brasilia. Dr. Mary Karasche, Fulbright Professor of History at the Universidade Federal de Brasilia, also provided much help, comfort and lodging in 1978. Other people and institutions in Brazil, too numerous to name, were helpful. Most gave graciously of their time and expertise. I want to especially thank the Brazilian Air Force for providing transportation in the interior, in particular Majors Paulo Roberto Pereira Lima, Ademir Siqueira V

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Viana, Jairo Sherrer and Sergeant Manoel Omar Teixeira Duarte My family also provided critical help and encouragement during my graduate studies and tolerated my long absences from the United States. In particular I want to thank my mother and step-father, Edith and Henry Gomberg, and my father and step-mother, Milton and Sybil Lisansky. Lastly, I must thank my friends and informants of Santa Terezinha and other settlements along the Araguaia River. Without their cooperation and gracious hospitality this study would have never been possible. I want to especially thank my good friends Dona Oda and Senhor Ben, Dona Marcionilha and Senhor Felicissimo, Dona Luisa, Dona Ana and Senhor Pedro, Senhor Aluisio, Dona Maria and Senhor Albino, Dona Raimunda, Dona Tapuya, Senhor Procopio, Dona Maria das Neves, Dona Delmina, Dona Nazare and Senhor Doca, Dona Rosaria, Txawan^te and the memory of Dona Maria de Joaquin. Ron and Darla Key of New Tribes Mission also deserve special thanks for their wonderful kindness and neighborliness It is probably impossible to thank the people of one's community properly. The people of Santa Terezinha gave me much more than the data required for research purposes. They gave me a new perspective on the extent of human suffering and the meaning of human dignity. For this, and many other things, I will always remember and feel indebted vi

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to them. Because of the oppression and exploitation which I witnessed, I will never again be the same as I was before I lived among these people. I hope very much that my life and work will contribute to improving the situation of the inhabitants of the Amazon region. Several people assisted greatly in the preparation of this manuscript. Dr. Charles Wagley, Dr. Maxine Margolis and Dr. Georg Vollweiler spent many hours editing and improving the manuscript. Sandra Powers gave me important feedback during the initial writing period which is so often a lonely time. Nassero Nasser checked the Portuguese and Elizabeth Higgs prepared the tables. Eric Pedersen drew the maps and gave warm moral support during the trying final hours of preparation. Lois Rudloff not only typed the final manuscript but was calm and patient throughout. Any errors and faults in this study, however, are entirely my own responsibility. vii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii LIST OF TABLES X LIST OF FIGURES xi ABSTRACT xii CHAPTER I THE RESEARCH PROBLEM 1 Background 1 Theoretical Discussion 15 Methodology 42 End Notes 45 II THE COMMUNITY AND THE REGION 49 The Town 49 The Region 72 End Notes 91 III HISTORY 94 Geography 95 Stage One: Early History 97 Stage Two: The 1950s and 1960s 116 Transition to Stage Three: Recent History 130 End Notes 131 IV THE SMALL FARMERS OF SANTA TEREZINHA ... 134 Production 139 Marketing 171 Consumption 181 End Notes 198 V WAGE LABOR AND COMMERCE 200 Wage Labor 204 Commerce 230 End Notes 250 viii

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Page CHAPTER VI SURVIVAL STRATEGIES 252 Migration as a Survival Strategy 254 Diversification and Intensification .... 272 Mutual Aid and Patron-Client Relationships 297 Institutions and Organizations 331 Emigration 339 End Notes 348 VII CONCLUSIONS 348 APPENDICES 1 LIFE HISTORY INTERVIEW 361 2 GENEALOGICAL INTERVIEW 363 3 SURVIVAL STRATEGIES: OUTLINE OF QUESTIONS 364 4 SURVEY 2: OUTLINE OF QUESTIONS 371 End Notes 5 SURVEY 1: QUESTIONS 378 6 INFORMANT SPECIFIC INTERVIEW 380 End Notes 382 BIBLIOGRAPHY 383 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 393 ix

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LIST OF TABLES Page Table 1 Birthplaces by State of Three Generations in Santa Terezinha 110 2 Date of Migration to Santa Terezinha by Decade 112 3 Types of Land Ownership and Land Use in Santa Terezinha 137 4 Prices of Some Essential Commodities in Santa Terezinha 183 5 Monthly Expenditures of a Typical Farming Household in Santa Terezinha 192 6 Monthly Wages at the Codeara Ranch Company 227 7 Decades in which Farm Families Ceased Farming 260 8 Estimated Monthly Cash Income for Household Heads and Spouses, Santa Terezinha (1978-1979) 285 X

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LIST OF FIGURES Page Figures 1 Brazil "^"7 2 The Legal Amazon 48 3 Santa Terezinha 52 4 Cattle Ranches and Farming Settlements of the Middle Araguaia 74 5 Northern Mato Grosso 124 6 Organizational Chart of the Codeara Ranch Company, Santa Terezinha, 1978-1979 210 xi

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy SANTA TEREZINHA: LIFE IN A BRAZILIAN FRONTIER TOWN By Judith Matilda Lisansky August, 1980 Chairman: Charles Wagley Major Department: Anthropology This study examines the impact of large cattle companies on the river town of Santa Terezinha which is located along the middle Araguaia River in the State of Mato Grosso. During the 1960s the Brazilian government began a renewed effort to encourage occupation and exploitation of the Amazon region. Vast areas of land in Mato Grosso were sold to corporations planning investments in beef cattle production in accordance with the governmental incentives program. The establishment of these capitalist enterprises had significant effects on this formerly semi-isolated frontier settlement. Data were collected during 42 weeks of field research in the Araguaia Valley using primarily participant observation and household surveys. Santa Terezinha was selected xii

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because it is representative of conditions and dynamics extant in the Brazilian Amazon today and because it represents unplanned intra-rural migration of a small farmer population. Initially, the neighboring cattle company tried to evict the local squatter farmers. A violent confrontation in 1972 led to the intervention of a federal agency which arranged a modest land distribution. Despite the land distribution, local farming activities have continued to decline. The cattle companies maintain a monopoly over most of the land and other productive resources in the countryside. Small farm expansion is also impeded by archaic technology, lack of credit, lack of infrastructure and the absence of a market. The major employment opportunities for local inhabitants are temporary jobs at cattle companies. Most men are hired indirectly by labor contractors and receive low wages and no employee benefits. Once companies establish improved pastures, they radically reduce their labor force. The town's recent commercial "boom" is clearly linked to the presence of the companies in the region. Town commerce functions to retail imported goods and provide temporary accommodations to rural migrants. The town's role as a regional center derives from the continued importance of river transportation. A new road currently under construction 100 km to the west will undermine Santa Terezinha' commerce in the future xiii

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Most frontier families are impoverished rural migrants seeking land in the frontier. Constraints on major livelihood options compel households to develop varied methods of obtaining basic subsistence. Survival strategies include immigration, diversification and intensification of household labor, mutual aid, exchange relationships and emigration. Most frontier survival strategies emphasize shortterm and flexible reciprocal arrangements between persons or households of equal socio-economic status. The future of Santa Terezinha does not appear promising. Small farming will probably continue to decline and wage labor opportunities will decrease. The completion of the new road will change regional and interstate transportation routes and eventually threaten Santa Terezinha commerce. It is predicted that the establishment of cattle ranches in northern Mato Grosso will result in a gradual depopulation of the region. Emigration has already begun. Most frontier families will emigrate to other frontier zones which are still in earlier stages of frontier expansion where the entire process will be repeated once again. xiv

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CHAPTER I THE RESEARCH PROBLEM Background The Brazilian Amazon is one of the world's last major frontiers. The region encompasses some 5 million square kilometers, more than the land mass of Western Europe or approximately the same amount of land as one half of the United States. Although the Legal Amazon comprises almost 60% of the national territory of Brazil, it contains only about 8% of the nation's population. Painted by writers through history alternately as either a "green hell" or a "tropical paradise," the exploitation and settlement of the Amazon has long been a Brazilian goal. Since the late 1950s government policies have supported an increasingly rapid expansion into frontier areas. The nature of this expansion and its impact on the regional inhabitants is the subject of this dissertation. Field work was carried out primarily in the small town of Santa Terezinha, located on the Araguaia River in the State of Ma to Grosso. Events which have occurred there over the past 60 years--the decimation of the Indians, the immigration of small farmers, and the implementation of corporate cattle raising projects — are similar to what has and 1

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2 still is occurring in other locations in this vast region. This town of 3,000 people was selected because it reflects many aspects of the dynamics of frontier expansion in the Amazon and because previous anthropological studies provided a diachronic data base for comprehending socio-economic changes over time. The framework and direction of recent renewed efforts to exploit and settle the Amazon have been determined, to a great extent, by national development policies of the Brazilian government and its planning and development agencies. Interest in exploiting the Amazon has been longstanding in Brazil, but little was actually done until the late 1950s. In the 1950s the government decided to move the federal capital from Rio de Janeiro to the new location of Brasilia in the central plateau of the State of Goias This was done as part of the effort to move the population and economic activities away from the coast and into the vast and "empty" interior. The construction of the Bele'm-Brasilia Highway, completed in 1960, provided the first overland transportation link between southern and northern Brazil. In the 1960s, and particularly after the military coup of 1964, the government responded to pressing social and economic problems by creating new national development plans and regional development agencies. The acute problems of the rural poor in the backlands of the drought-stricken and densely populated Northeast prompted the creation of the

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3 regional development agency, the Superintendencia de Desenvolvimento do Nordeste (SUDENE) The government issued another reformulation of national land laws in 1964, called the Estatuto da Terra which was ostensibly aimed at the elimination of the latif undio minif undio complex and which reiterated the rights of squatters on the land. At the same time, a previous Amazon development agency (SPVEA) was reorganized to become the Superintendencia de Desenvolvimento da Amazonia (SUDAM) SUDAM, with headquarters in Belem, began to approve corporate development projects for the Amazon, including the authorization of 66 agribusiness projects between 1966 and 1970 in the municipalities of Luciara and Barro do Gar9a in Mato Grosso (Davis, 1977: 144). Santa Terezinha is located in Luciara. The 1970 drought in the Northeast marked a turning point in Brazilian national development policies. The current President of Brazil (Medici) visited some of the hardest hit drought areas and, moved by the suffering he saw, vowed to "take a people without land to a land without people." Thus, the first National Integration Plan (Piano de Integrapao Nacional/ PIN) was launched. One of the major goals of this plan was a renewed effort to develop, exploit and settle the Amazon region. To accomplish this end, the government commenced the construction of an extensive road network across the Amazon, beginning with the Transamazon Highway. A second aspect of the plan was a large-scale colonization scheme

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4 designed to resettle thousands of landless Northeastern farmers in agricultural communities along the 100 km strips of land on either side of the federal highway.""" The previous agency for agrarian reform was reorganized to take charge of these efforts and renamed the Institute de Colonizapao e Reforma Agraria, better known as INCRA (Panagides & Magalhaes 1974) The new roads together with the government sponsored colonization were designed to (1) provide a safety valve for emigration from the densely populated Northeast, and (2) to increase agricultural production by small farmers for the benefit of the Amazon and the nation as a whole (Moran, 1975: 145) Despite massive financial investments and involvement of numerous government agencies coordinated by INCRA, the colonization program was evaluated within the next few years as poorly implemented and basically a failure. The implementation of the colonization became snarled in bureaucratic delays and confusion, credit and marketing plans back-fired, and far fewer than the anticipated numbers of colonists were settled (Bunker, 1979; Kleinpenning 1977; Moran, 1975; Poats, 1975; Schmink, 1977; Wood & Schmink, 1978) At the same tim.e the Brazilian government continued to grant "a series of large concessions of land to Brazilian and foreign corporations or business groups" (Wagley, 1974: 8). Fiscal incentives for corporate investment, initially

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designed for the Northeast, were extended to apply to the Amazon as early as 1963. These incentives included a 50% reduction of corporate income taxes destined for Amazonian investment, full tax exemption for approved projects up to 19 82, exemption from import duties for raw materials and exemption from export duties for certain commodities, special credit arrangements and matched funding (Kleinpenning, 1977: 301; Panagides & Magalhaes, 1974: 249). Shelton Davis (1977: 114) has documented that by the end of 1970, "the amount of fiscal incentives invested in these two counties [Luciara and Barra do Garpa] alone totaled nearly 300 million Brazilian cruzeiros." In short, while the government was supporting the colonization program designed to create successful small farmers, it was also providing the framework for corporate investment projects in the Amazon. Charles Wagley's (1977: 9-10) summary of the situation in 1974 was: In common parlance, the Brazilian government seems to be playing both ends against the middle; at the same time, it is supporting a grandiose scheme to encourage individual colonists and providing favorable conditions for large capitalistic enterprises which want to enter the game Brazilian development policies for the Amazon until 1974 have been analyzed by Panagides and Magalhaes (1974) who point out some of the contradictions implicit in the policies. They explain that government planners assumed

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6 that in the long-run it would be spontaneous colonization which would be the prime mover in Amazon settlement, but that the government considered "official colonization a necessary first step to spontaneous colonization." They note that spontaneous colonization, without governmental intervention, along the Belem-Brasi lia highway and in the State of Mato Grosso did not improve rural conditions but rather led to the increasing proletarianization of farmers who went to work for large establishments. The reason for selecting the model of official colonization (government supported) according to the analysts, was because spontaneous colonization was considered unsuitable for the development goals of the government. Panagides and Magalhaes (1974: 254-5) describe the government position and quote Van Es et al. (1968) on the characteristics of the migrants It is, however, doubtful that uncontrolled and unplanned spontaneous settlement will meet the economic and environmental objectives that are necessary for sustained and lasting Amazon development. Uncontrolled settlement leads to rapid destruction of soil fertility and to sharecropping and squatter land tenure arrangements seldom conducive to permanent settlement "rural migrants are of lower social and economic status. They have had the greatest problems of adjustment because they lack the resources and educational skills, as well as having cultural differences. Not having accumulated property and not having established strong community ties, they seek other opportunities as soon as they encounter the adversity of low crop yields.

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7 2 The tendency to blame the victims, that is, attributing the cause of rural poverty, constant migration and the instability of frontier settlement patterns to the migrants themselves is clearly demonstrated in the above passage. The implication is that uneducated and culturally different (perhaps economically irrational!) migrants were unsuitable and incapable of creating permanent settlements. The emphasis on official colonization, then, is clearly related to a modernization approach which assumes that the colonists' own attitudes and customs are one of the main ob stacles to socio-economic development. Since the mid-1960s, mining, forestry and cattle companies have expanded into the Amazon with increasing rapidity. Cattle raising projects have been especially popular and Panagides and Magalhaes (1974: 258) estimate that "80 to 100 million tons of beef will be exported from the Amazon region by 1977." They also note that this type of development strategy, that is, large-scale enterprises, will result in the development of "economic enclaves" within regions, that is, the labor absorption of the large enterprises will be minimal and "they will tend to remain enclaves with minor linkages with the region." Since 1974, Brazilian development policy for the Amazon has shifted away from official colonization and toward increasing support for corporate investment projects (Davis 1977; Kleinpenning, 1977). The second National Integration

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8 Plan issued in 1974, called the Five Year Poloamazonia Program, clearly considers the Amazon primarily as a "resource frontier." The new program selects certain locations designated as "growth poles" and is designed "to stimulate investment in key sectors and areas for development purposes" (Schmink, 1980: 4). Colonization and settlement programs have been drastically cut back and the government is currently encouraging private colonization projects to be funded and organized by big firms. Spontaneous colonization in frontier areas, as in the past, is largely ignored by government planners. Thus, the current national development policies in Brazil are giving increasing support to large corporate development projects in the Amazon. Brazilian sociologist Jose de Souza Martins (1975) has provided labels for the two types of frontier expansion occurring in the Amazon which he calls the "demographic frontier" and the "economic frontier." The demographic frontier refers to the movement into and settlement of frontier areas by petty commodity producers — primarily small farmers and artisans — and commercial middlemen. The majority of these pioneers have been moving spontaneously to the Amazon since the 1930s. The economic frontier refers to the entrance of capitalist enterprises, primarily southern Brazilian and multinational companies, into the Amazon. The two types of frontiers inevitably generate tensions and conflicts because the sine qua non of capitalist enterprises is the appropriation and control of the means of production.

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9 Most observers and analysts of frontier expansion in the Amazon have noted the intense conflicts over land occurring there. The formerly popular pioneer frontier theories of Frederick Jackson Turner (1891/1961) Leo H. Waibel (1955) and related theorists which tended to view frontier expansion as the movement of entrepreneurial pioneers into "empty" zones which they then transform has been criticized as deceptively simple and inappropriate on both a crosscultural basis (Thompson, 1973) and inapplicable to Latin America generally and Brazil specifically (Martins, 1975). The initial question of this dissertation research was whether or not the small farmer migrants who have and continue to migrate to such frontier areas, can survive and compete with the structures and changes generated by the corporate "development" projects currently being established there. The investigation of Santa Terezinha represents a case study, an examination of local conditions and the effects of rapidly expanding demographic and economic frontiers upon a selected community located within the Amazon Valley. This small, unplanned "urbanization" is surrounded 4 by approximately 170 small farms, large corporate cattle ranches, an Indian reservation and a National Forest Park. Although one might assume that the traditional anthropological investigation of one relatively small community does not meet strict requirements for representativeness, the data collected and correlated to other microand macro-level

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10 studies indicate that Santa Terezinha does adequately reflect many trends, conditions and conflicts extant in the Amazon today. The historical panorama of human exploitation and/or settlement of the Amazon is clearly quite complex and varied It is correct, however, to characterize the Amazonian economy prior to the 1950s within the framework of the "boomand-bust" cycles of the Brazilian economy in which one dominant natural resource or product, such as rubber, coupled with a strong but temporary demand on the world market, stimulated intensification of extractive activities within a region with concomitant immigration. When the world demand for the "boom" product falls and/or the Brazilian monopoly over the product is broken, the activities slow down or cease, people leave the area, and one has what has been called a "hollow frontier" (Cardoso & Muller, 1978; Margolis 1973/1977; Reis, 1974; Wagley, 1971). Since the 1950s the socio-economic policies and activities demonstrate some fundamental differences from the "boom-and-bust" cycles. A number of factors spurred on the immigration of rural poor to the Amazon. Two of the most important were the publicity surrounding the "programs of national integration" with its highway building, colonization and land distribution, and the repercussions of the new land laws which reiterated the rights of squatters on the land. At the same time, the government supports for

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11 corporate investment in the Amazon tried to encourage longterm projects rather than short-term "get rich quick" projects more characteristic of short-lived "booms." While the large-scale projects in timber, mining and beef cattle production have been characterized as economic enclaves within regions, they are not typical of the predatory and rapidly disintegrating structures of "boom" enterprises. The firms now established in the Amazon, such as Volkswagen, Borden or the Banco de Credito Nacional, are a significantly different order of organization of production than previous forms described and analyzed for Latin America and Brazil, such as the aviamento system during the rubber boom (lanni, 1978; Wagley, 1968) or traditional plantation society (Hutchinson, 1957; Wagley, 1976; Willems, 1975). In conjunction with the conceptual classification of frontier expansion into demographic and economic frontiers, it is useful to arrange both types of expansion into stages. Joseph Foweraker (1980) has developed a three stage scheme for Brazilian frontier expansion which goes beyond the cyclical "boom-and-bust" model. The three stages are: (1) non-capitalist, (2) pre-capitalist, and (3) capitalist. The stages are heuristic concepts rather than precisely operationalized sequences which can be sharply separated one from the other. The critical distinguishing feature of each stage is not only the extent and nature of the links to out5 side markets but, more importantly, the mode of production

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dominant in each stage. The model further takes into consideration the fact that a number of quite different, though interconnected types of production, can coexist simultaneously. The first stage, non-capitalist, is the earliest phase when the regional economy is relatively isolated and largely extractive. The sphere of exchange of the market is quite limited, with perhaps only one or two products sent out to the national market. Relations of production are mainly servile, with direct coercion of labor as in aviamento, although some relatively independent petty commodity producers (subsistence farmers) can also coexist. Otavio Velho (1972) and others have pointed out the interstitial nature of the rural poor who became collectors or laborers during "boom" periods and returned to agriculture during "bust" phases. The second stage, pre-capitalist, sees an intensification of extractive activities, increased immigration and the buying and selling of land with the emergence of institutionalized private property. Capitalist enterprises begin to appropriate land and conflicts, often violent, occur. In this stage capitalism is not yet the dominant form, and the relations of production are mixed and may include both servile relations and the beginnings of wage labor. The links to the outside market are strengthened by fairly regular commodity production by capitalist enterprises and petty commodity producers. To give a simplified example.

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13 one might find companies selling a product such as soy beans on the national market who retain a semi-servile labor force of tenant farmers while some minif undio farmers nearby simultaneously produce for their own subsistence, for sale to river traders and work for wages in seasonal employment at companies. This transitional stage is frequently heterogeneous and complex. The third stage, capitalist, is reached when the capitalist enterprises have become the dominant type of production. Land prices rise, private control over land is further institutionalized, and land ownership becomes increasingly concentrated. Population movement increases, depending in part on what types of commodities large enterprises are producing, and both immigration and emigration may increase as people enter the region looking for work or commercial opportunities, and farmers who have lost their land leave for other places. Relations of production are mainly characterized by the growth of a free labor market where workers are employed in wage labor. This stage does not, however, preclude other types of production, such as the continuation of some peasant farmers. Small farmers may be allowed to remain if, as Bryan Roberts (1976: 100) noted in his study of the Mantaro area of Peru, the large enterprises have periodic labor needs for which it is advantageous that "a substantial part of their labor needs should be temporary workers who continue to farm land." Lowly paid temporary

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14 workers who provide their own foodstuffs and remain nearby serve as a constant pool of available cheap labor. The data presented in this dissertation will demonstrate that Santa Terezinha is rapidly approaching this third stage of frontier expansion. Because the area had no "boom" product, its early history dating back to the turn of the century can be classified as the expansion of a demographic frontier. The early settlers were primarily small farmers, producing for subsistence and selling some cattle and pelts to river traders in exchange for manufactured goods. Stage two can be dated to the late 1950s and early 1960s when land development companies began to activate titles and the first cattle companies began operations in the region. Immigration intensified, and by the mid1960s a conflict situation had developed between the squatter farmers and the large enterprises establishing control over the land. The relationship between types of production in the region was dictated by the requirements of largescale cattle raising. Ranches are land extensive and have very low labor requirements except for the initial stages of implementation of improved pastures (Stricken, 1965) The cattle companies in northern Mato Grosso have not been interested in allowing small farmers to remain in the region, largely because the companies do not need the local people for labor nor do they need the farmers surplus agricultural products. Instead, the growing dominance of large-scale

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15 enterprises has contributed to a rapid decrease in small farming and a growing emigration from the region. Theoretical Discussion Within the context of the aforementioned frontier dynamics, an appropriate focus of anthropological research appears to be an investigation of responses, changes and adaptations made by the increasingly marginalized frontier inhabitants to the intensifying socio-economic constraints generated by this type of development. Terms used to refer to this type of research include Larissa Lomnitz's (1976: 141) call to investigate the "survival strategies used by marginals"; Bryan Robert's (1976: 114) stress on the importance of understanding the "informal economy;' and Anibal Quijano's (1970: 18) statement regarding the usefulness of examining the "survival structures." The term used in this dissertation will be survival strategies This implies an investigation of the social and economic organization of the increasingly marginalized households within the context of the frontier community. Survival strategies include not only the major livelihood options available in the frontier zone, but also all the behaviors and actions of household members which are designed to ensure survival of the unit. Some major strategies observed and analyzed include immigra tion, intensification and diversification of household labo various types of reciprocity, and emigration.

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16 Given the present conditions of capitalist expansion into the Brazilian Amazon, and specifically the situation of Santa Terezinha, a number of propositions regarding fron tier survival strategies will be suggested which are supported by evidence presented in this dissertation. These include : 1. Marginalized frontier households will tend to increasingly rely on symmetrical (horizontal) reciprocal exchanges rather than on assymetrical (vertical) exchange relationships (Lomnitz, 1976); 2. Because of economic constraints and frequent moves many frontier strategies and relationships will be characterized by a high degree of flexibility. This means that fewer parties will participate in relatively short-term arrangements which are struc tured more by informal rules and tacit understandings than they are by formal rules and ritualized relationships ; 3. The marginalized frontier households will, of necessity, tend to favor planning and organizational forms which are oriented toward short-term benefits and goals rather than long-term goals and planning ; 4. Hence, frontier survival strategies can be viewed as relatively dysfunctional and inappropriate for large scale organizations and certain types of more formalized cooperation and mutual aid; 5. Frontier survival strategies which appear to be economically irrational or otherwise incomprehensible are, however, both rational and logical if they are analyzed within the context of frontier socio-economic constraints. Such strategies are a logical and adaptive response to severely limited economic options. Decisions and choices are also conditioned by cultural preferences and values but are not solely determined by cultural factors. 6. The end result of various frontier survival strategies cannot be evaluated as particularly success ful in terms of socio-economic betterment or

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mobility. Structural marginalization traps households in a vicious cycle in which the final outcome of the frontier households' efforts is usually bare subsistence, i.e. a "holding action" rather than any kind of mobility or improvement in conditions. There are several important reasons why it is fruitful to concentrate on the analysis of survival strategies. One is the nature of anthropological research with its emphasis on a grassroots appraisal by means of participant observation of relatively small numbers of people. The tools and methods are clearly better suited to a more intermediate level of analysis than they are to the analysis of national and international level systems (Lomnitz, 1976; Steward, 1955) While neither anthropological theory nor method is especially well-designed for the analysis of national and international systems such as the operations of multinational companies, it is particularly well-suited for an investigation of the impact of these larger structures on the smaller units of the community and the household. The second reason for concentrating analysis on survival strategies and the informal economy is that it is critical to assess and attempt to explain the differential impact of forces of change on different types of rural zones and communities. A number of dependency theorists of the historical structuralist school have tended to overemphasize the larger structural forces and the impact of exogenous factors in their analyses of socio-economic change. As

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18 Norman Long (1977) pointed out in his recent book, An In troduction to the Sociology of Rural Development most theorists of the historical structuralist school have tended to downplay or even ignore internal factors — within countries, regions and communities — and the roles these play in the maintenance or change of systems. In his attempt to test empirically the validity of propositions and hypotheses set forth by Andre Gunder Frank (1969) and Julio Cotler (1976) Long concluded that they underestimate the impact of lower-level organizations on national and international structures, and they fail to comprehend the complexity of the local rural systems which they are describing. Macro-level generalizations, then, must be "tested" in specific rural settings. Long (1977: 91) states: later in the process the satellites themselves may come to play a determining role in the allocation of national and regional resources. This is documented for Latin America and Africa. Such an interpretation [referring to Frank] espouses an essentially static view of development and underestimates the part played by internal factors in promoting economic or social change or in contributing toward the maintenance of inequalities between sectors of the economy and society. It also, as Roberts (1976) has argued, overlooks "the significance of provincial developments in shaping the character of urban organization and runs the danger of giving an overdetermined view of the evolution of provincial society." The intermediate level of analysis of the anthropological community study can, then, provide crucial material for the

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19 evaluation of generalizations about the nature and direction of socio-economic changes in rural areas, and provide empirical data for the analysis of variations and differential responses to changing conditions in different rural zones A third and related reason for studying survival strategies is to provide empirical data which support or dispute the propositions regarding socio-economic change set forth by theorists of the historical structuralist school. The satellite-metropole model of Andre Gunder Frank (1969) for example, has been criticized both theoretically (Leclau, 1979) and empirically (Long, 1977) One problem with Frank's assumptions is that he posits change in the countryside as dependent on forces emanating from both international and national metropoles. Similar to the dualistic models of modernization theory which posit most change as deriving from a modern industrial and urban sector moving into and transforming an archaic, traditional rural sector, this formulation tends to deny any dynamic role at all to the so-called satellites. Another problem with the models of Frank (1969) and other theorists is that their hypotheses do not explain why certain non-capitalist (traditional) forms of production continue to exist in the countryside when their model appears to predict their total demise. They do not adequately confront the question of how apparently contradictory systems of production and marketing can

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20 continue to coexist or even, sometimes, interact, in the rural areas. Anthropological analysis, which has traditionally focused on livelihood activities and which usually investigates the spheres of informal exchange, marketing, production and consumption, can certainly play a role in analyzing the internal dynamics of satellites. The interconnections of various systems of marketing and production, for example, the links between wage labor in capitalist enterprises and peasant farming activities, can be fruitfully examined within the framework of traditional anthropolotical research paradigms. The fourth important reason for examining survival strategies is that it helps provide a scientific argument against social disintegrationalists and proponents of the vulgarized culture of poverty concept (Lomnitz, 1976). Few studies of Brazilian small farmers have emphasized either the adaptive strategies or the positive and creative responses to socio-economic marginalization Rather, the dominant trend has been to "blame the victim," and as Carol Stack (1975: 23) explained in reference to American Blacks: The culture of poverty has a fundamentally political nature. The complex forces that inhibit the poor from changing their economic situation are in sharp contrast to the explanations provided by the well-known culture of poverty concept. The culture of poverty notion explains the persistence of poverty in terms of presumed negative qualities within a culture: family disorganization, group disintegration, personal disorganization, resignation, and fatalism. An underlying assumption

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21 of the culture of poverty notion is that the social adaptation of the poor to conditions of poverty would fall apart if these conditions were altered. The emphasis on adaptive strategies will, hopefully, contribute to a more objective and realistic view of the Brazilian rural poor in the frontier areas of the Amazon. The present research attempts to come to grips with what are perceived to be some extremely important and pressing issues of social and economic welfare in Latin America as illustrated by Brazil. The rural sector of the Third World accounts for some 70% of the national populations and approximately two-thirds of the poorest income categories in these countries (Long, 1977). Within Latin America, with a total population of some 300 million persons, almost 50% of the population make their living from agricultural activities and more than 40% work directly in agriculture (Stavenhagen, 1974) Almost all studies of the agrarian structure in Latin America, including the well-known CIDA (1966) study of seven Latin American countries, conclude that the land tenure systems are characterized by the latif undio minif undio complex, which means that very few possess or control the majority of land and other productive resources in the countryside while the great majority of rural inhabitants "... live a miserable existence, either as owners or tillers of dwarf holdings from which they can not obtain sufficient income to subsist, as landless workers

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22 laboring on latif undios or as migrant workers at the mercy of unstable, insecure rural labor markets" (Stavenhagen, 1974: 127). Stavenhagen s conclusion is: This oppressed, exploited rural class, without legal or social protection, whose conditions of existence are analogous to those of the medieval European serf, represent between 60-90% of the agricultural populations in the countries studied (CIDA, 1966) Not only are their standards of living and levels of consumption low, but their high rate of disguised unemployment and the resulting waste of human resources reaches alarming proportions. Furthermore, their very position in the agrarian structure has excluded them from institutionalized political activity, only permitting them to express themselves in periodic uprisings, movements and peasant rebellions which in most cases have been violently suppressed by the powers ^,of the state (Stavenhagen, 1974: 127). Intra-rural migration has been found to be increasing worldwide. John Connell and his associates (1976: 201), in a worldwide study of intra-rural migration patterns, con eluded that the rural poor are primarily "pushed" rather than "pulled" to their new destinations, and that "intrarural inequality is at once the main cause, and a serious consequence of rural emigration." Stephen Thompson (1973), in his review of the literature on frontiers, mentions that Oscar Lewis suggested to him that "push" factors often appeared to be the "primary motivation" for migration to fron tier zones. Indeed, Foweraker (1980) and others have challenged the entire applicability of using the term "spontane our" to refer to frontier immigration which is so often

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23 clearly conditioned and determined by forces beyond the control of the migrants themselves. In reference to Latin America and Brazil, agricultural economist Ernest Feder (1971) points out that the monopolization of land and other essential factors of production by the few is the source of continuing income inequalities and concomitant socio-economic problems in the rural areas. In a country such as Brazil whose vast size might lead one to conclude that land is abundant, land is only abundant for large holders and is scarce for small holders even in Amazonia. Feder 's (1971) calculation for Latin America is that each big enterprise possesses or controls an average of 400 times more land than do small holders. In Brazil, including the Amazon region, there is an increasing concentration of land ownership in fewer and fewer hands. At the same time there has been an accelerating process of declining employment opportunities for the small holders and landless farmers at the big enterprises. Feder (1971: 35) states that as a general proposition it can be stated that in Brazil the contribution to new employment declines with the size of the farm." The reasons he gives for this are (1) a massive shift to extensive livestock operations beginning in the 1950s in both previously settled and frontier areas, (2) a larger percentage of permanent crops being planted which require less labor, and (3) increasing use of machinery and other capital-intensive methods.

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24 Feder's predictions for the future results of such trends are (1) the increasing proletarianization and marginalization of the peasantry in the 1970s, (2) the forced geographic mobility of the peasantry with increased inunigration to frontier zones which offer short-term advantages, and (3) a shift to non-rural occupations and other remunerative activities in the countryside. He further points out that constant migration functions to keep local labor cheap and submissive and that the constant disruption of continual migration contributes to the inability of the rural poor to organize effectively, as, for example, in labor unions. All of these conclusions are supported by the data from Santa Terezinha. There are basically two major theoretical positions or schools of thought with respect to the development and change issues already raised. These can be labeled the modernization school and the historical structuralist school. The framework selected for this dissertation falls within the historical structuralist school. A critique of modernization theory and some of its major implications will be presented briefly. It should be stated that the polarization of the two schools of thought is more a function of the debate necessary for progress rather than a claim that only one approach is valid. Each theoretical approach contains explicit and implicit assumptions and attacks the problems from a somewhat different point of view, although they are

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25 not necessarily mutually exclusive. While the historical structural approach seems to provide the most productive and appropriate models for the present research, this is not to refute the fact that both approaches can and have contributed significantly to the advance of explanation in social science. In many instances there has been a process of cross-fertilization that polemicists, clearly, would deny. The modernization approach, in political science, sociology and anthropology,^ is clearly linked to a theory of economic dualism. The dualistic model generally assiames that developing countries contain two radically different and separate sectors. The dynamic sector is called the modern sector and is characterized as capitalist, industrial and urban. The modern sector is assumed to be receptive to change, market oriented and clearly involved in profit maximization. The other sector is often called the traditional, archaic or non-modern sector and is characterized by noncapitalist activities, is predominantly agricultural, and is supposedly typical of most rural areas. Its economic characteristics include subsistence agriculture with little marketable surplus, little interest in profit maximization, and high preference for leisure or idleness. Assumptions generally made by modernization theorists are that this traditional sector is internally homogenous, and largely resistant to innovation and change. While the modern sector

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26 expands, the traditional sector stagnates. The major impetus for change — development and growth — in the countryside then, is generally viewed in terms of the flow of unemployed agricultural labor to urban areas (along with some surplus products) until labor becomes scarce in the countryside which "triggers" a rapid modernization of rural areas by means of modern technology capable of more efficient production (Long, 1977) There are many criticisms of the modernization school and the dualistic formulations of which only a few of the more important ones will be mentioned. The first criticism is that modernization theorists generally assume that the developmental sequences of Third World countries will proceed through the same stages as did the development of First World countries. The socio-historical and contemporary circumstances of Third World countries are, however, clearly quite different than those for industrialized nations. Long (1977) points out that many modernization theories were first developed to comprehend the effects of industrialization in Western Europe and they tend to make an "evolutionary" assumption that all subsequent development will occur with similar stages and dynamics. Secondly, modernization theories tend to view change as derived primarily from exogenous factors, i.e., the disturbance of traditional equilibrium by the impact of external modern forces. Although there is some validity to this

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27 view, the priority given to exogenous factors in promoting change tends to deny both the heterogeneity of the rural areas and their internal dynamics. Many anthropological studies have unwittingly contributed to this overly homogenized and static view of traditional rural life. An example of the application of the modernization approach to South American frontiers can be found in the work of geographers Raymond Crist and Charles Nissly (1973) in their book East from th e Andes: Pioneer Se ttlements in the South American Heartland As other modernization theorists, Crist and Nissly 's analysis concludes that the essential task for accomplishing development is to change the backward attitudes and customs of the traditional peasantry and to provide modern technology and adequate inf rastructural supports to encourage them to become more involved in marketing. They state: The crux of the whole problem of settlements is to convince pioneers that by accepting innovations and the winds of change, thus moving into new areas and with new technology, they will alter the pattern of their daily lives so to be able to live a more abundant life, spiritually as well as materially. (Crist and Nissly, 1973: 4) They actually appear to believe that the reason why the peasants and "rural proletariat" of Andean America live a marginalized life of poverty causally related to the peasants' "poverty mentality," their "scarcity economics" and their "culture of poverty." This appears to be another

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28 example of "blaming the victim." The essentially static and homogenized view of the rural population leads to statements such as the primitive hunting and gathering economy was largely frozen as found ..." (Crist and Nissly, 1973: 13) While they do acknowledge that there is a need to "modify rural social structure" and implement land reform, the major reason for doing so, according to Crist and Nissly, is to provide an incentive to a previously landless peasantry to expand production for market. Thus, they focus most of their attention on listing the necessary infrastructural improvements which would facilitate more modern farming and marketing, such as public services, better roads, clear titles to land, better credit and technical facilities and the like. In conclusion they state their belief that the most "rational" economic development strategy is to turn the tropical forests into improved pastures for cattle raising because the entrepreneur will require only minimal capital to hire the available unskilled labor for clearing in the initial stages. They fail to note that the usual results of this solution, demonstrated in every region already given over to cattle raising, are population decline, reduced labor requirements, unemployment and emigration (Margolis, 1973 : 9) Within anthropology, the two best known theorists who have utilized the dualistic model are Robert Redfield (1941:

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29 1963) and George Foster (1965). Redfield's rural-urban dichotomy is the weaker of the two because although he assigns the urban sector (city) the role of the major source of change, he tends to ignore important aspects of types of production, marketing, technology, and his concepts lack operational precision. Much empirical data gathered subsequently have directly challenged Redfield's early model Foster's (1965) work also has a clear tendency to "blame the victim" and not the system for the problems of underdevelopment in rural areas of Latin America. Foster focused his attention on the cognitive orientation of peasants and he claimed that they tend to view all good things in this world as existing in limited supply. The so-called peasant characteristics of individualism, competitiveness, atomization and inability to cooperate and organize effectively, Foster (1965) linked to this dominant peasant world view which he called "the image of limited good." Self-improvement, cooperation and the expansion of economic enterprises were, according to Foster, blocked by the peasants' belief that the best things in life were sharply limited and the need to avoid arousing the jealousy and envy of one's neighbors. The avoidance of risk taking was also linked to this mental orientation. The connection between attributing the underdevelopment of rural areas primarily to peasants' attitudes and the vulgarized versions of the culture of poverty notion is clear.

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30 Various aspects of Foster's theories have been challenged. John Bennett (1976) and Sutti de Ortiz (1973) for example, have demonstrated that agrarian societies in general tend toward a "zero-sum" game behavior and that cautious and risk-minimizing behavior is the most logical result of shortages of capital and credit. Norman Long (1977) points out that a major fallacy of this type of analysis is the assumption that certain values (and attitudes) constitute the necessary and critical precondition to "economic take-off." Although one can agree that research of internal factors within rural zones is useful, and that aspects of social organization, values and motivations may also be influential factors, this type of analysis fails because (1) it concentrates on behavior patterns in a microcosm and does not link them to larger structural constraints, (2) it assigns causal priority to mental or cultural factors, and (3) it assumes that there is but one 7 "goal" for growth and development. It seems clear that most theoretical propositions and frameworks relating to the study of frontiers are also closely correlated to the modernization and economic dualistic models. Again and again one encounters the notion of a backward and empty rural zone which will be transformed by expansion from the dynamic modern sector. Stephen Bunker (1980) has suggested that the idea of the frontier zone as "empty" is a necessary ideological justification for

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31 expansion into areas which are, in reality, partially settled by indigenous and national populations. The anthropological literature, which has tended to focus on the impact of frontier expansion on the indigenous population, has noted the tendency on the part of the dominant society to dehumanize the Indians. Indians are often characterized as non-human, primitive, lazy, irrational and generally undeserving of attention in the process of frontier expansion. The Turner type frontier theories have clearly tended to glorify, romanticize and legitimize frontier expansion. Both Frederick Jackson Turner (1891/1961) and Stephen Thompson (1973) who has criticized and refined some of Turner's concepts, state that the key attraction of the frontier is the relative abundance of free or inexpensive land. Thompson, apparently, accepts this notion of abundant land even with regard to Latin America. He discusses frontiers as areas which provide land for the landless and function as safety valves, i.e., places which provide an outlet for emigration from overcrowded regions. The frontier settlement is viewed as a stimulus to national economic development in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Thompson does note that frontier land does appear to be attracting not peasants but entrepreneurs. Without going into detail about the complexities of land tenure patterns in Brazil, it seems relatively clear that it is only in the very early stages of frontier

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32 expansion (stage one) that the landless subsistence farmers and petty commodity producers are allowed to occupy land, and, in regions with "boom" products prior to the 1950s (such as rubber in Amazonia) certain parties managed to obtain de facto control over land in the absence of any kinds of deeds or titles. lanni's (1978) account of the effects of the rubber boom in and around Conceipao do Araguaia (Para) makes clear that rubber trails were controlled by trader "owners" and that rubber workers were in virtual debt peonage (the avimento system) The control of "owners" frequently extended to prohibiting rubber collectors from planting and harvesting crops for subsistence in order to (1) keep them dependent on trading posts for foodstuffs, and (2) not permit them to divert their labor away from rubber collecting (lanni, 1978) Although various versions of the Brazilian land laws passed since the 1850s have reiterated the rights of squatters on the land, in fact it has always been extremely difficult for occupants claiming ownership by usufruct to actually process their claim. This is especially true when these squatter claims are being disputed by powerful persons or companies who have the resources to win legal disputes. It is also generally the case that squatters ( pos seiros ) in frontier zones are frequently uninterested in the process of obtaining title until they are directly threatened by another party claiming ownership; subsistencce

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33 farmers generally lack the sophistication and money to process titles to land. The evidence available regarding various frontier areas within Brazil clearly points to an increasingly rapid process of concentration of land holdings, in many respects a duplication of the latif undio minif undio complex already noted for Brazilian agrarian structure (Cardoso & Muller, 197 8; Forman, 1975; Forman & Reigelhaupt, 1970; Margolis, 1973; Picchi, 1979; Vollweiler, 1979a, 1979b) Therefore, it becomes highly problematic to posit free or inexpensive land as the key attraction of the frontier except in the most initial stages. Nor do frontier areas appear to function effectively as "safety valves" — for the settlement of surplus populations from crowded regions — as research by Emilio Moran (1975) and Stephen Bunker (1979) has demonstrated for the Amazon. Another feature of most of the frontier theories is a stress on spatial considerations such as dispersed settlement patterns and distance to markets. Stephen Thompson (1973) concludes from his review of the literature on frontiers, that the most significant features of social relations on frontiers — which he characterizes as frequently disorganized, f actionalized and conflict-ridden — are directly related to settlement patterns. He claims that the distance to markets constitutes an obstacle to development, and that increased access to markets functions to disintegrate cooperative labor and other mutual aid because of

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34 increased competition with one's neighbors. Although dispersed settlement patterns and distance to markets (poor transportation facilities and the like) do obviously have certain social and economic effects, it seems quite erroneous to assign them causal or explanatory power in a model of frontier dynamics. As data presented in this dissertation will demonstrate, the major factors contributing to tensions, conflicts and "disorganization" on the frontier are not spatial patterns but increasingly concentrated control of land and the basic means of production. Although Thompson (1973) makes a vague distinction between what he calls subsistence farmer frontiers and market oriented agricultural plantation frontiers, he fails to confront the problems suggested by the simultaneous expansion of the two types of frontiers. He clearly considers the decisive factors of frontier dynamics to be in the realm of marketing and transportation rather than types of production and differential access to land and other resources. He claims that most frontiers are characterized by a combination of abundant land and scarce labor. The data from the Brazilian Amazon show that land is primarily abundant only for large-scale enterprises and that labor is seldom scarce because (1) the types of production being implemented do not require a large labor force, and (2) constantly increasing immigration has resulted in a large labor pool of landless and available workers (Foweraker, 1980) To make

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35 statements such as Thompson's is to seriously distort the actual situation of both land and labor in the frontier. Another model sometimes applied to frontier zones is central place theory which, again, tends to focus on marketing and distances to markets. Central place theory posits a hierarchical and integrated system of market places which are arranged spatially according to the costs of distribution of goods and the demand for the goods. Places are linked into each other and progressively larger markets to form a hexogonal pattern in space. Goods and services move in both directions between places. Bryan Roberts (1976) provides a strong, well-documented argument against the application of central place theory to current conditions in the Latin American countryside. He notes that central place theory, like other modernization theories, was developed to understand transformations which occurred in Europe. In Latin America, however, Roberts points out that the penetration of foreign capital has led to the increasing centralization of national economies. He considers the development of Latin American economies as dependent development, initially as colonies and later in terms of control by and responses to external powers. He concludes by criticizing assumptions of both central place theory and Frank's (1969) chain of metropoles and satellites, and states that urban places play a marginal role in

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36 the process of capitalist transformation in Latin America (1976: 104). Roberts argues that the internal development of Latin American countries has responded more to the forces of external powers than to an internal dynamic interaction between town and countryside. He points out that the importation of manufactured goods into the countryside impedes the creation of local industries, and that the increasing dominance of the capitalist enterprises in the interior chal lenges the power of local provincial elites. Urban places in the countryside are transformed into commercial and administrative centers which respond to the dynamics of the large enterprises present in a region. Roberts sees the growth of provincial urban places as directly linked to their roles vis-a-vis the large enterprises. Provincial urban places, in regions with capitalist enterprises, generally fulfill two functions: (1) as outlets for the sale of imported manufactured goods, and (2) as places which provide temporary accommodations for rural migrants. Santa Terezinha is an example of this type of involuted urban growth. It is not linked into a network of markets but rather receives most commodities directly from major cities and exports nothing. The historical structuralist school, on the other hand takes as its central premise:

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37 that it is impossible to comprehend the processes and problems of development in the Third VJorld without treating this within the wider socio-historical context of the expansion of Western European mercantile and industrial capitalism and the colonization of the Third World by these advanced economies. (Long, 1977; 71) It assumes that Latin American economies are dependent economies (Roberts, 1976) and that much of the internal dynamics of these countries are conditioned by this fact. The historical structuralist school and dependency theories constitute a challenge to many of the assumptions and formulations of the modernization school. Perhaps most important is the assumption that Third World countries development cannot be expected to repeat the same stages of the development of Western capitalism, but must be analyzed in terms of their own social, historical and economic circumstances. Most versions of dependency theory avoid the oversimplified and distorted dualistic model of the progressive urban sector counterposed against a uniformly archaic rural sector. While one may fault historical structural analysis for its tendency to focus almost exclusively on exogenous factors in the explanation of socio-economic change, it does not repeat the mistake of assuming that the countryside constitutes a uniform and homogenous traditional sector. Long (1977) summarizes some of the assumptions and goals of dependency theory. Based on empirical evidence, it is posited that the penetration of capitalist enterprises in the

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38 countryside causes socio-economic changes so that previously existing features of rural areas which are incompatible with capitalist production will eventually be eliminated. One example of this phenomenon in Brazil is the rapid changeover in the more advanced frontier zones from more mixed types of land tenure (usufruct, private property and a bewildering variety of semi-legal and legal documents, deeds and titles) to a clear dominance of legally processed private property with definitive titles held by capitalist enterprises A second assumption or proposition of dependency theorists, again based on massive evidence, is that in most cases the economic "growth" generated by large-scale enterprises has not led to a narrowing of the gap between rich and poor, but rather to a widening gap and increasing rural impoverishment. In other words, it is somewhat irrelevant to focus a discussion of impediments to small farmer agricultural expansion on factors such as peasants' attitudes toward agricultural expansion when the major obstacles consist of the establishment of extensive tracts of privately owned and vigorously guarded land such as has been the case for northern Mato Grosso. In Santa Terezinha and elsewhere, the establishment of the large cattle companies has meant a loss of access to land and only a short-term and marginal increase in wage labor opportunities. The major labor requirements of cattle ranches, as Crist and Nissly (1973)

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39 emphasized, consist of the clearing and planting of improved pastures during the initial stage of implementation. Once improved pastures are established, the maintenance and running of a cattle ranch requires a minimal labor force. Because cattle ranching has low labor requirements and is land extensive, it is not particularly useful to the companies to allow peasants to remain as squatters or tenants to serve the companies' needs for cheap available labor. Rather, cattle companies prefer to evict the subsistence farmers from their areas. Hence, one can posit increasing emigration from a region in stage three, i.e., the capitalist stage, which indeed, is exactly what has begun to occur in Santa Terezinha. The data support the conclusion that certain types of economic "growth" do indeed contribute directly to increasing rural impoverishment. If one accepts the aforementioned assumptions, then it becomes important to pose the question of why it is that certain traditional and non-capitalist types of livelihoods and exchange often continue to coexist despite major socioeconomic changes brought by large-scale capitalist enterprises. In other words, what interconnections and relationships exist between different types of production systems on the frontier? It is already clear that not only do the already present subordinate systems adjust and respond to the establishment of capitalist enterprises, but that relatively new features and constellations often develop in

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40 response to changing socio-economic conditions. Long (1977: 73) states clearly his conception of an important goal of anthropological research: It is the task of the anthropologist or sociologist interested in these matters to analyze the social mechanisms by which these relationships and structural imbalances are maintained more specifically the way the capitalist modes of production articulates with various non-capitalist modes and how structures of underdevelopment are perpetuated. Roberts (1976) provides a partial answer and a clue in his discussion of the centralization of Latin American economies. He notes that an important distinction to make is between the fact of capitalist domination and the actual organization of economic activities. He concludes that the expansion of capitalist enterprises in Latin America is "accompanied by a low detailing of economic organization" (1976: 101). In other words, the capitalist enterprises, particularly in frontier zones, exercise an incomplete control or dominance. Their control derives from their access to capital and technology and their monopolization of the means of production. But they do not necessarily organize the lower levels of local economic activities which can and do change in response to the presence of the large enterprises. Provincial urban places, Roberts notes, can experience a short-term stimulation as they adjust their function to be a service center/labor pool for the large firms.

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41 Robert's (1976: 106) description of the rural responses to the establishment of capitalist enterprises could be a description of Santa Terezinha: It is [an interest] in liberating local populations from restrictions on their mobility or from restrictions on productive activities arising from traditional obligations it is a situation in which, in the absence of a large market for agricultural products, early developments occur through the diversification of a household's activities rather than through an intensification and rationalization of agricultural production. The opportunities for wage labor in the mines and plantations impose a further restriction on intensifying agricultural production by diminishing the available labor pool. In this stage of development, towns are innovative elements in their hinterlands; there are no necessary conflicts of interest between townspeople and countryfolk, since their resources are complementary and not in competition It is precisely because of the complexity of the interactions between various production systems and the fact that the capitalist enterprises' domination is incomplete, that Roberts (1976: 112-116) calls for an investigation of "informal economies" which he defines with the following characteristics: (1) more intensive use of labor often in highly complex ways, (2) the importance of "noneconomic" relationships, such as kinship, in household economic calculations, (3) a large volume of ad hoc acts of exchange, (4) the combination, individually or within households, of a variety of economic activities (roles) which may or may not complement each other, and (5) the absence of any formal

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42 regulations of these activities. Stavenhagen (1974: 130131) also concludes that "structural marginalization" leads to the "lowest levels of consumption and saving, chronic underemployment, low levels of job training combined with high rates of turnover in employment and a multiplicity of inconsequential, low-paying jobs." In other words, the expansion of capitalism and its dominance must be combined with an examination of the variety of responses to structural marginalization. The discussion, then, has come full circle and returned to the focus on survival strategies and the usefulness of investigating them. Within the larger framework of dependent development, the current research will contribute to the analysis of differential responses and variations of frontier expansion. Methodology This dissertation is based on data collected during two research trips to Brazil, the first between June and August, 1976, and the second between March 1978 and March 1979. A total of 42 weeks was spent in the Araguaia River Valley. The methodology used for data gathering included participant observation, key informant and other types of semi-formal and informal interviews, the application of two different survey-questionnaire instruments, and the use of

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43 institutional documents and archives in Brazil and the United States. The majority of the residential research time was spent in the frontier community of Santa Terezinha, although a number of trips and visits to other set9 tlements farms, Indian villages and "ranch-companies," were also made. Informal interviewing can be divided into six different types. The first type was the unplanned interview, conducted spontaneously to take advantage of the opportunities presented. The second type was a topic specific interview in which a particular topic, such as local farming practices, was explored. The third and related type were informant-specific interviews. This includes work with key informants and interviews designed specifically for persons with special knowledge such as a midwife or a ranch-company administrator. An example is provided in Appendix 6. The last three types of interviews are interrelated. The fourth type was life history interviewing. The fifth type was the geneological interview. The formats of both types are included in Appendices 1 and 2. In both these types of interviews particular attention was given to migration histories, kinship networks, economic activities, land tenure and household composition. The sixth type of interview, called the survival strategy interview, included a list of topics and questions, both real and hypothetical, designed to uncover aspects of decision-making, priorities,

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44 exchanges and other networks, mutual aid and patron-client relationships. The idea for this formulation was derived from the work of Carol Stack (1975) A number of the above interviews were taped and transcribed immediately in the field. The schedules used for these interviews were developed in the field and periodically revised during field work. The format used for the survival strategy interview is included in Appendix 3. It was never applied to anyone at any one time, but was used primarily as a guide for informal questioning and observation conducted over a long period of time. Two surveys were conducted during field work, the first in the third month, and the second in the eighth month of residence. Both were applied by the researcher and the sample randomized by using an unweighted cross-section sampling technique. Written questionnaires were never used during field work, with the single exception of a career and aspiration questionnaire applied to 14 literate elementary school children. The first survey schedule consisted of a set of observations and 17 questions which was applied to 14% (55) of the town households. The schedule is included in Appendix V. During the process the entire town was mapped and the buildings numbered. The second survey was a more comprehensive instrument with 91 items. The questionnaire was pre-tested in the field on four key informants whose

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45 suggestions and conunents were incorporated into the final version. The schedule is included in Appendix 4. It was applied to 12% (44) of the households with a plan to expand the sample to 24%, however; time and physical constraints did not permit this expansion. Each application of the questionnaire took between two to four hours and the results represent about one month's work. No research assistants were available locally. Since a number of questions were repeated on both surveys, the sample base for certain key questions can be extended to 26% (99) of the town's households End Notes One hundred kilometers on both sides of any federal road, built or merely projected, is automatically transferred to the federal domain and is administered by INCRA. ) 'See Wood and Schmink (1978) for a more complete analysis of the tendency to blame the victim in terms of the context of Amazon colonization programs. ^Some of the observers and analysts are Cardoso and Muller, 1978; Davis, 1977; Feder, 1971; lanni, 1978; Mahar, 1979; Martins, 1975; Pompermeier, 1979; Sawyer, 1977; Schmink, 1977 and 1980; Velho, 1972; Wagley, 1974; Wood and Schmink, 1978. 'The definition of small farm used here refers to land holdings of 100 ha or less and includes ownership by title or usufruct. What is meant by the mode of production is based on Long's (1977: 96) clarification of the Marxist term and is defined as the forces of production (technological rules, resources, tools and labor power) plus the social relations of production which refer to the ownership and/or control over the means of production and the disposition of the value of the commodities produced.

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46 Some of the social scientists who have developed or utilized modernization theories include: Crist and Nissly, 1973; Foster, 1965; Nisbet, 1969; Redfield, 1941 and 1963; Smelser, 1971; and Thompson, 1973. r Many authors make a distinction between economic "growth" as measured by some quantifiable index such as per capita income, and "development" which implies a more profound structural and organizational change. The phrase, "growth without development", usually means that economic growth has occurred but that the direction of the changes is not toward greater equality of income distribution, opportunity or general welfare. Since the term development has a number of meanings, often rather imprecisely defined, the author has decided to omit this debate about the contrast of the two terms. I 'Some of the theorists and proponents of the historical structuralist school include Amin, 1974; Roberts, 1976; Cardoso and Faletto, 1979; Cardoso and Muller, 1977; Chilcote, 1974; Cotler, 1976; Foweraker 1980; Frank, 1969; Laclau, 1979; Quijano, 1971; Roberts, 1976; Santos, 1968; and Stavenhagen, 1974. The term "ranch-companies" will be used to refer to the large company owned ranches in order to distinguish them from smaller ranches owned by private individuals.

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47 Figure 1. Brazil

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48

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CHAPTER II THE COMMUNITY AND THE REGION The Town The town of Santa Terezinha took form on the flat areas behind a sand hill overlooking the Araguaia River where the Catholic Mission had constructed the first buildings in 1931 Seen from the air, Santa Terezinha seems to surround the sev eral low hills in its midst that appear as green mounds surrounded by the brown and dull red squares which are thatch and tile roofs. As the plane circles to land, one can observe easily that most of the better buildings, those plastered and painted blue, white and pink, with tile roofs, are located nearest the port area where the town touches an inlet of the main river (see Figure 3) Farther from this "center" of town the houses are more consistently the dull browns of adobe (i.e., unbaked mub bricks) and palha (i.e., thatch) The homes on the perimeters of the town are half hidden by bush and trees. The plane lands on the airstrip that is perpendicular to the airstrip belonging to the Codeara Ranch headquarters. One can ride to town in a vehicle for about $4,"'" or walk down in 25 to 30 minutes. The main road is unpaved and deeply rutted. At almost any time of the day a few people will be seen walking along the road clutching paper-wrapped 49

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50 parcels from shopping or perhaps a pot containing food for a sick relative or friend. One always sees men, children and even a few women on bicycles, usually with a load strapped on behind. Children play in the streets and chickens run loose. In the shade of a mango tree in front of a store one can usually see a small group of men gathered, chatting or listening to a radio. Somewhat less frequently, during the daytime, one can see small groups of women seated on stools in shady spots in front of houses where they are taking a break from domestic work, chatting and crocheting. Traffic in the street is heaviest when a plane lands. Whenever a plane buzzes overhead, one to four vehicles rush up to the airstrip to see if there is a payload of passengers or freight. In the dry season, with the sun always overhead, the town seems rather quiet, dusty and small. All the roads are dirt and behind the main roads the streets are more like paths. There are no poles and wires because the town has no electricity. It does not even have any postal service. One must walk fairly far to get a sense of the spread of the town because many residences are sprawled out in every direction behind the main streets. The total number of motor vehicles in Santa Terezinha probably does not exceed ten. Walking and bicycles are the major modes of transportation for the majority of inhabitants, although a few people own a horse or a mule, and several farmers own two-wheeled carts to be pulled by a horse or oxen. It would probably

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51 be a surprise to the casual observer to learn that there are a total of 464 structures in the town, 380 of which are active residential households. This is quite a change from the 1940s and 1950s when only a handful of houses existed there. And it can be compared to the 1967 estimate of 140 families (Shapiro, 1967). In 1975, the Catholic Mission counted 238 households, and only three years later this increased by 142 additional homes. Local people divide the town into four named parts, three of which take their name from the three main streets, and the fourth — the Cabaret — takes its name from the business which created it. The town, as can be seen on the map (Figure 3 ) forms a U-shape with a large hill in the middle. The bottom part of the "U" is Rua do Comercio and the center of town closest to the water's edge. Here one finds the town's only praga (i.e., central square) and many of the commercial establishments and better homes. The two halves of the "U" are the two long main streets, Rua do Carapo which runs from the airstrip or campo de aviao, and Rua da Palha which runs out to the Codeara Ranch headquarters one and a half kilometers away. The local designation Rua do Campo or Rua da Palha means both the main street by that name and all the back streets behind it. The Cabaret or red light district (i.e., zona ) contains three nightclubs and about nine bars and is somewhat separated off from the residential part of Rua da Palha by another small hill.

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Figure 3. Santa Terezinha

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53 The old Catholic Mission buildings on the sand hill by the river are all but abandoned since the Mission moved down to town and built a new church on Rua do Campo. Nowadays the empty buildings on the sand hill serve as shelter for Indians spending a night in town or as temporary lodging for recently arrived destitute families who have fled their homes because of flooding or eviction. The center of town is Rua do Comercio. Near the prapa one finds the most successful stores and the homes of many of the local elite, the most successful merchants and boarding house owners, the delegado (sheriff) and the state tax collector. It is primarily a business street along with Rua da Palha. This center of town is not clearly set off and actually spills into the two adjoining streets, but if an imaginary line were drawn around it, we would find 52 structures in this area. Thirty-eight of the 52 buildings are homes, but 24 of the 38 homes are also business enterprises. Although many businesses are located elsewhere in town, the Rua do Comercio remains the center and has certain distinctive features which differ from the rest of town and, which bring all inhabitants down to it at one time or another. One important service not duplicated elsewhere is the Mission-run pharmacy and health clinic. Since the State Health Post on Rua do Campo is closed except for infrequent two hour visits from Air Force medical teams, the Mission

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54 pharmacy is the main health care facility available to the population. For this reason is it called Unica, which means "the only one." All the boarding houses, except for one located in the Cabaret, are on the Rua do Comercio. The six boarding houses all do brisk business mostly with ranch related personnel. Further, the only gasoline pump in town, run by the Planta, a subsidiary company of Codeara Ranch, is located here. The Planta also operates the largest store in town and stocks unusual and expensive items like gas stoves and bicycles. The Santa Terezinha branch of the Planta was created because the company did not want its personnel to be dependent on local commerce, and prices at the Planta are often lower than local merchants or the agricultural cooperative so that it draws a large mixed clientele. The two largest dry-goods stores, with the most extensive stock, are also located on Rua do Comercio, as is the agricultural Cooperative The portion of the Rua do Comercio near the prapa is the oldest settled part of town. The prapa, an open area of untended grass and mud, is directly across from the first docking area, called Porta de Sebastiao, named after Sr. Sebastiao, a town councilman and owner of several commercial establishments in town. Most of the barges and boats nowadays tie up at the small dock near the Planta, called Porta da Planta, since the water there is deep enough during

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55 all but a few months to accoitunodate the larger boats. Almost all cargo of all kinds arrives in the town by barge and river boats, brought from Cazeara, a larger river town linked by road to the Belem-Brasilia Highway, which is located 100 km to the north of Santa Terezinha. There is almost always some movimento (i.e., activity) in the center of town. At almost any hour one sees people shopping, men drinking in the bars, and Karaja Indians from the village across the river, walking around. Under a large mango tree, said to bear no fruit because of the gossip it hears, the delegado and other males, principally the local merchants and other "notables," form an informal "club" where they sit on benches and talk. The Rua do Campo, located directly behind the sand hill, represents the early settlement pattern of the town as it grew up behind the Catholic Mission. The main road leads up to the airstrip. The neighborhood of Rua do Campo is the larger half of Santa Terezinha and more completely residential than either Rua do Comercio or Rua da Palha. It contains the fewest commercial establishments and the most residential structures. If one draws an imaginary line around this area one finds a total of 251 structures in this half of town. Two hundred twenty-two of the 251 structures are households, and only 11 homes are combined residential and commercial units.

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56 Most of the homes in Rua do Campo are the more humble constructions of adobe, wattle and daub or thatch. It is only along the main street, or one block back, that one sees the better houses. The farther one walks away from the main road, the poorer and more temporary looking the houses appear. This is in part so because as people arrived in town they received lots farther and farther away from the main street. The main street area is inhabited mostly by residents who have been in the area many years, and also by some financially better off newcomers. Generally one can assume that the farther a family lives from the main street, the more recent their arrival in town, and the more precarious their economic situation. Newcomers will often build a relatively crude thatch house, or rent a more tumble-down house for several months while they are determining whether or not they will be able to settle more permanently in Santa Terezinha. The residential nature of Rua do Campo can be noted from its relatively small number of business enterprises, only 11 as compared with 34 in Rua do Comercio and 43 in Rua da Palha. The three churches in town are located here and the two missions, the Catholic Mission which works with Brazilians and the American Protestant Mission which works with the Karaja Indians. The stores in this area are smaller and have slightly higher prices, but are heavily patronized because of the convenience and more personal

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57 relationship with the merchants who are their neighbors. As most people have observed for poor neighborhoods, shopping is done more frequently in tiny quantities. People are always running out to buy another liter of kerosene or a clove of garlic from the neighborhood stores. The residential areas behind the main street are laid out in rectangular blocks. The centers of the rectangles, like all thoroughfares in town, are overgrown with weeds. Paths connect all the houses and zig-zag across the weeds. Many of the inhabitants complain that their streets are ugly and a disgrace, and feel that it is the responsibility of the municipal government to clean and improve them. The streets are public domain. In contrast, the areas directly in front of homes and the backyards, called the quintal are usually carefully kept-up and tended by owners. The dirt in front of houses is swept daily and the area may be decorated with brightly colored plants in tin cans. The quintal is almost always fenced, and planted with fruit trees, castor oil bean trees, sweet manoic, pepper plants, corn, sugar cane, a bean patch and other edible vegetation. In recent years housewives have added vegetable gardens on raised platforms to keep them above roaming animals and cutter ants. Wells are dug, and if money allows, have a roof or cover. A three or four wall bathing house will be constructed, and sometimes a privy. Almost everyone keeps chickens which roam freely and some households keep a

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58 few pigs in a shaded pen. Yards are swept daily and kept tidy by the housewife. In addition, all yards have some kind of raised wooden rack where the women wash dishes, and sometimes a slanted board for beating clothing. The quintal is an integral part of any household and is treated as such. Until 1977 people obtained a lot in town by either settling on an unclaimed plot or buying the "rights" from the previous owner. The exchange of "urban" properties was carried out in the same fashion as were transfers of rural prop erties held by posse or squatters' rights. Tradition stipulated that the "owner" was selling not the deed to the prop erty (which, in any case, he usually did not have) but rather, he was selling the rights to use (usufruct) the place and any improvements already made there such as a house, mature fruit trees or a fence. The value of town properties was, and still is determined by such factors as the proximity of the lot to stores, the improvements and structures already made, the number of useful and mature plants and trees, and whether or not the lot remained dry during the rainy season. Such customary exchanges or sales were carried out without any surveying or legal papers. Sometimes these exchanges are written up on a piece of paper called a "declaration." Any literate person can make these documents. No surveying is done although people mark the boundaries of their property with sticks or a fence.

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59 In 1977, the municipal government announced that all urban lots must be surveyed, purchased from the municipality and the titles secured. The burden of processing the title was to fall on the house owner. In order to comply with the new regulations inhabitants needed to "purchase" their properties from the municipal authorities. Then, when and if a surveyor came to town, they would have to pay a fee to have their properties demarcated. Then they would have to take the papers for processing first to the municipal seat of Luciara, and then to the comarca (i.e., judicial seat for several counties) of Barra do Garpa, or pay someone else to do it for them. Needless to say, the costs of such procedures are beyond the means of the majority of town dwellers and the new regulations continue to be a source of tension and conflict. Some householders paid a fee to the municipal government but many refused. A few families lost their town properties, especially the ones who had prime garden lots on the perimeter of town ( chacaras ) Since the municipality has not taken further action the majority of homes continue to be held by posse and bought and sold as such. Newcomers, however, are often told that they must purchase empty lots from the municipality for prices that run from $50 to $100. The newer half of town includes Rua da Palha and its back streets. The name probably came from the time when the majority of the structures there were still constructed

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60 of thatch. The main street on this side of town is full of stores and bars and little wooden kiosks that sell cacha^a (i.e., raw cane alcohol) or coffee. Although Rua da Palha is also a residential street and its back neighborhoods are completely residential except for the Cabaret, this part of town has more of the raw frontier flavor than the quieter Rua do Campo side. Trucks and vehicles go more frequently down the main street which leads to Codeara Ranch road which connects to roads of other ranch-companies in the region. Ranch personnel come in for shipments or shopping, and truck-loads of workers are taken from this part of town out to various ranches, or unloaded in town for the weekend. On weekends and paydays this part of town is full of movimento and it is not uncommon to see drunk men staggering about the streets. Three times during the day and once at night, school children hike to the top of Rua da Palha to attend classes at the Santa Terezinha elementary school. The Rua da Palha contains 161 structures of which 120 are residences. Twenty-four of the 120 residences also contain businesses. The area has a total of 43 commercial establishments, more than any other part of town. The Cabaret accounts for 12 of these establishments. Again, the back streets, aside from the Cabaret, are quieter and similar to what has already been described for the back streets

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61 of the Rua do Campo. Fewer residents on this side of town are old-timers; many, in fact, are new arrivals. Like Rua do Campo, the businesses and better houses are concentrated along the main street and also in the Cabaret. Most of the commerce consists of medium sized or small stores or bars. Aside from the school, which the State constructed, none of the community organizations or churches are located here. It was said by informants that a form of spiritism, called terico which involved mediums, drinking and drumming, was performed in several locations in Rua da Palha but that the chief of police had driven away the leaders. No terico center appeared to be operating during 1978-1979, although they may have become clandestine. The Cabaret, also, adds movimento and life to Rua da Palha. Respectable women and girls do not walk through this area if they can avoid it. During the day most of the bars there are closed and the women who work there sleep late; it is at night that things get lively. The Cabaret's most active and lucrative times coincide with ranch paydays when men with money will spend days carousing there. Local men and teenagers sometimes visit the Cabaret, and Indian males also go, though they do more watching than participating since the law prohibits the sale of alcohol to Indians."^ Tales of robberies, fights, stabbings and shootings that occur in the Cabaret filter out to the rest of the town.

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62 The difference between Rua do Campo and Rua da Palha can perhaps be illustrated partly by noting the differences between the types of parties one might find in the two sections. In Rua do Campo a party, at the dance hall, church or private home, will include men, women and some children. People will usually dance in the light of several flickering home-made kerosene lamps. The music will be the Northeastern sertanejo music of the accordion and drum with its shuffling two-step. In the Cabaret, on the other hand, one finds men and "women of the life" but no "respectable women." Lighting is by electrical generators or several gas lanterns. The walls are covered with posters of television celebrities and naked women. The music will more likely be samba or disco, although sertanejo music is also played. To walk from the farthest residential section of Rua do Campo over to the elementary school at the top of Rua da Palha takes about one hour, if one walks via the Rua do Comercio. There are also two shortcuts behind the center hill, used mostly by school children during the day. To save many of the younger children the long walk, a two grade elementary school was built in the Rua do Campo area. The number of unoccupied houses and homes under construction, 24 and 14 respectively, provide evidence of a high degree of population movement both into and out of Santa Terezinha. The reasons why there are so many people

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63 moving around will become clearer when economic issues are discussed. The migration patterns over time, of rapid immigration into an area which often shifts to increased emigration, are similar to what has been observed in other Amazon frontier settlements when the establishment of companies and/or a connecting road effectively "opens" a location (Schmink, 1980) The large number of migrating persons is indicative of the many small farmers and company workers who move around in the countryside seeking a place to work. A striking feature of the town is its large tertiary sector. For a town of its size, Santa Terezinha has an enormous number of stores, bars, pool rooms, boarding houses and night clubs. This is clearly a result of the fact that Santa Terezinha is currently the central base for many of the ranch-companies in the region. Most cash flow in the town results either directly or indirectly from various ranch activities. The entire Cabaret section is a function of the predominantly male ranch labor force and the cash they earn. The Planta, funded and run from Sao Paulo, receives a great deal of local business, but there are, apparently, enough customers to support the many other more or less marginal local businesses. One advantage which local commerce has is that unlike the Planta, which allows almost no credit shopping, and the cooperative which allows only short-term credit (30 day) to its members.

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64 local stores frequently allow long-term no-cost credit to most inhabitants. Access to credit is often critical for families whose access to cash is periodic and unreliable and thus, much use is made of the local commerce. Another factor which encourages commerce is the high social value given to the occupation of the merchant. A merchant's life in Brazil, as frequently noted in the literature and stressed by Marvin Harris (1971) is often considered to be the ideal life, i.e., one of non-manual labor, plenty of leisure and relative material well-being. For the majority of persons questioned, "to participate in commerce" ( tocar comercio ) is the main and often only aspiration for upward mobility. Informants would often proudly state their occupation as "merchant" even when they merely had a broken down kiosk or one-room bar. The m.ajority of the inhabitants of Santa Terezinha, as in the rest of Brazil, are Catholics, and consider themselves part of the Church. The Protestants form a much smaller but highly visible, audible and active faction. The Pentecostal Assembleia de Deus in Santa Terezinha has strong appeal and a large proportion of the population has "tried it out" at one time or another. The core of the congregation, however, is constituted by 30 members (four families) They are set off from the rest of the population by their special dress codes, frequent prayer services, noisy meetings, and strict prohibitions against participating

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65 in parties and activities such as dancing, drinking, smoking and swearing. They spend most of their free time in church activities and pay a tithe to the church from which they fund church projects such as a new building started in 1978. The Pentecostals tend to be financially better off than the majority of the town's families. They do not participate in other community organizations and functions and avoid politics and conflicts. Few of their many converts seem to last more than a few months. In 1978 a new Baptist church was started by the minister from Cazeara who periodically visits Santa Terezinha. Generally the Baptist church is supervised by the American missionaries from the New Tribes Mission; the congregation fluctuates at around ten, most of whom are children. Another religion present in Santa Terezinha which has no church as yet is a new cult begun in Sao Paulo and disseminated in the countryside by means of frequent radio programs. The formal name of this sect is the Apostolic Church, but it is generally referred to as "Vovo Rosa" (grandmother Rosa) who is the popularly sainted figurehead of this new church. Rosa was a girl of about 14 who died a few years ago in sao Paulo who was said to have performed many miracles. Members of this church (Santa Terezinha members, a total of 15 persons) are primarily women, and like Pentecostals, have strict dress and behavior codes. The members consider the religion to be a form of

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66 Catholicism; they feel that the Catholic Church has become too decadent and worldly. The main attraction of the religion, aside from the discipline it imposes, is the powerful curative powers of the blessed water which any believer can obtain by placing a cup of water on the radio during the program. Followers occasionally meet but more often they listen to the radio programs individually at convenient times during the day. The adherents are all poorer people, primarily farm families who also live and work in the town. Almost all the Vovo Rosa women wash laundry for wages; conversely almost all the laundresses belong to this religion. The Catholic Church and its Mission are particularly influential in Santa Terezinha and are the driving force behind most community organizations and events. The Mission's ideological commitment to the small farmers and agricultural workers of the region is a continuation of the policy of Padre Jentel, the first priest of Santa Terezinha. Francisco Jentel was a French worker priest whose efforts on behalf of the peasants and Indians of northern Mato Grosso resulted in his eventual imprisonment and subsequent banishment from Brazil; these events will be described in the following chapter. The Santa Terezinha Mission is part of the diocese of the outspoken Bishop Pedro Casaldaliga of Sao Felix do Araguaia whose writings and speeches on the oppression and exploitation of Indians and peasants in the

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67 Amazon have become known internationally (Casalddliga 1971) The Bishop, a Spaniard, has already been threatened with deportation. The Santa Terezinha Mission is also considered a threat by authorities and is frequently under investigation. The Catholic Mission founded and organized the agricul tural cooperative, the pharmacy-clinic and an elementary school. Today the state authorities run the elementary school but the Mission continues to operate the MOBRAL, an adult literacy program. The Mission personnel continue to provide expertise and leadership for the cooperative and pharmacy. They are also instrumental in forming new local organizations. During 197 8 they helped organize the "Committee for the Emancipation of Santa Terezinha," which seeks to establish Santa Terezinha as a separate municipality from Luciara, and they lent support, leadership and a building to the new Rural Workers Union which was founded in 1979. The Mission is influential in getting news of the town and region, particularly land conflicts and labor abuses, out to the national press and authorities in Brasilia. They also play a vital role in the dissemination of information — about politics, new laws, workers' rights, vaccines and such — in the town and countryside. This is done by means of church services, various meetings and a monthly newsletter published at diocese headquarters (Sao Felix do Araguaia) which carries news of the region and the nation.

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68 The Mission takes a strong and undisguised political position which is reflected in all its actions, from hymns at Mass about the rights and unity of poor folk to the organization of meetings for the opposition political party, the Movimento Democratico Brasileir o (MDB) which is a coalition of almost all political groups in opposition to the military government and its own party of ARENA. Needless to say, the ranch-companies consider the Mission and this wing of the Catholic Church to be an annoying and dangerous enemy, as do most of the local elite of the town, who are ARENA supporters, and view the Mission as subversive, communist and rabble rousing. Most regional inhabitants, however, both supporters and opponents of the Mission, come into contact with the Mission because of its health services, at Masses, and at community functions such as the patron saint (Santa Terezinha) festival and St. John's Day celebration. Since open conflict with the Codeara Ranch ceased in 1973 many of the more active of the Mission's supporters "retired" to a primary concern with family and personal matters. Yet the Mission continues to play an important role in the town and the countryside. In the 1978 election, as in the previous one, the entire state of Mato Grosso supported ARENA, but the municipality of Luciara was solidly MDB (the opposition party) as a result of the Mission's influence.

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69 The current political structure of Santa Terezinha is relatively new. After 1973 the town was officially ceded the land on which it was located, and in 197 6 the governor of the state declared Santa Terezinha a district ( distrito ) within the municipality of Luciara. Luciara is the municipal seat, runs the municipal government and controls the revenue flow, a fact which is deeply resented by Santa Terezinha residents who are quick to point out that Santa Terezinha is bigger and contributes more revenue to the state than Luciara and hence should be made into a separate and autonomous municipality. Meanwhile the mayor of Luciara, five out of the seven elected municipal councilmen and the camara or legislative body are located in Luciara. Two councilmen live in Santa Terezinha and the mayor assigns an assistant mayor (sub prefeito ) to the town. These officials, however, have little impact on Santa Terezinha except for implementing the new policy regulating urban properties. The assistant mayor sells the urban lots, but spends most of his time transporting labor gangs and cargo to a new ranch-company some 80 km from Santa Terezinha in his truck. The delegado a local man, is assigned by state authorities to Santa Terezinha. The town also has in residence one sergeant and a few state troopers who are all outsiders, and receive extra "hardship pay" for being assigned to such a remote and uncomfortable spot. There are no lawyers or judges of any kind, nor any registry offices

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70 for births, land titles or other types of documents. Since most residents cannot make the long and costly trips necessary for such dociamentation, few people have either semilegal or legal documents. The Santa Terezinha elementary school ( ginasio ) is the only permanent state-funded organization present in the town and it was, and continues to be a focal point of local conflict. In 1978-1979 the school had a total enrollment of 575 students, most of whom were attending grades one through three. The curriculum included grades one through seven with plans to complete the program with an eighth grade by 1980. The school operates on three shifts and children attend either a morning, afternoon or evening session. For the past two years the school has also run classes for the younger first and second graders in a two-room school house on the Rua do Campo side of town. The conflict referred to above is over the control of the school, its curriculum and its hiring policy. When the control of the educational system passed from the hands of the Mission to the state, the officials in Cuiaba appointed a new director for the school. This director, who arrived from Maranhao, was the niece of the second most powerful merchant in Santa Terezinha. The merchant and all his relatives are strong supporters of the ARENA party, hence; all who seek employment at the school must also be ARENA supporters. This control exercised by the director over the school, the curriculum, employment.

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71 the budget and extracurricular activities by a faction of the local elite led to several confrontations between angry parents and school officials at the Parent-Teacher Association meetings. In 1979 the director dismissed several teachers who were also Catholic Mission personnel; the Mission teachers were the only teachers on the staff who had more than an elementary school education. The parents then organized a petition listing complaints against the current director and sent it by messenger to the state capital. The school continues to be a source of conflict and tension in 4 Santa Terezinha. The land for the "urban area" ceded to Santa Terezinha by the Codeara Ranch company in 1976 turned out to be only 517 ha (1 ha is the equivalent of approximately 2.5 acres). These 517 ha were designated as the land available for urban expansion. A significant portion of this land, however, was swiftly sold by the municipal authorities as chacaras, prime garden lots located on the perimeters of the town. Some 15 chacaras which range in size from 5 to 20 ha each, surround Santa Terezinha. They are owned primarily by the more well-to-do residents and are used for gardens, as pasture, or are left fenced and unused as investments. Most chacara owners live in the town and have caretakers who live and work at the chacaras; about five owners live at their chacaras which are only about 15 to 30 minutes walk from town. Chacara production is for

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72 home-consumption although one or two men occasionally sell milk in town at dawn. The transfer of the land around the town from the public to private domain meant that the closest "common lands" for gardens and grazing became unavailable to the general populace. It also left the town with a minimal area for future expansion. The Region During the last 15 years, vast areas of the state of Mato Grosso were sold to national and multinational companies. Figures supplied by the Amazon Development Agency, SUDAM, showed a total of 192 large-scale SUDM! approved cattle-raising projects in Mato Grosso do Norte. Seventeen of these SUDAM projects were located in the municipality of Luciara (SUDAM, 1978). In 1978, the National Committee for the Defense and Development of the Amazon (CNDDA, 1978) conducted research, by field trips and analysis of Landsat (satellite) photographs, to determine the number and extent of the large projects operating in a portion of Mato Grosso do Norte. The area analyzed was primarily the municipalities of Luciara and Barro do Garca. The report stated that there appeared to be 85 large-scale projects involving massive deforestation in northeastern Mato Grosso; only 75 of these projects were located in field trips. The town of Santa Terezinha is surrounded by these large projects which claim ownership of most of the land in the region. The closest ranch to town, Codeara, tried.

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73 between 1967 and 1972, to establish ownership of the town itself and made strong efforts to evict the local farmers until federal authorities intervened in 1972. Codeara, owned by a corporation whose major stockholder is the National Credit Bank of Sao Paulo (Banco de Credit Nacional/ BCN) holds title to 320,000 ha (9,500,000 acres) with a riverfront width on the Araguaia of 17 km and a length of 100 km. Since 1967, the ranch has cut down 26,000 ha (650,000 acres) of forest and created enclosed improved pastures. Codeara has its central headquarters only 1.5 km from Santa Terezinha which include central offices, a machine shop, a carpentry shop, housing for upper-echelon personnel, a boarding house for unmarried males, luxury housing, a zoo, electrical generators, an airstrip, cattle insemination corrals, and a radio tower. The ranch has nine retires which are outposts where cowboys and employees live who tend cattle in a given range, a large sawmill and a small company village located some 25 km from headquarters. In 1978, the Codeara herd numbered 30,000 head with approximately 8,000 calves born that year. Employees of the ranch number approximately 160 persons, but this figure does not include those who are indirectly employed, as day laborers. The town of Santa Terezinha is a small island on the east edge of the Codeara Ranch company. The distribution of land to local small farmers, supervised by the Agrarian Reform Institute in 1972-1972, resulted in a number of

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74 qR05SO Rio BeLPzj LACiO AracRuz Ranch ^' Be CiOlAS CoDEARA K^NCH FORMER 3,Te OF/ _J < < < CO 5^M^^ \ pokiest TARK Porto Vclho Ramch Ta?iRAC)UAIA Kanch CAD£r£ tapiRapg. VILLA*Squatter Far/^ers Incra Land Distriuutiow c Figure 4 Cattle Ranches and Farming Settlements of the Middle Araguaia.

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75 other small islands of farm homesteads located within the ranch itself. The exact locations of these "donated lots" was difficult to determine with precision because both INCRA and Codeara stated that survey maps were unavailable 5 or missing. No maps were available in Santa Terezinha. Hence, the details of the location and extent of the land distribution has been reconstructed from informants' accounts and travel into the countryside. From 1973 to 1976 the Codeara company distributed about 110100 ha lots to local farmers. INCRA sent personnel to Santa Terezinha to conduct surveys and evaluations, and to supervise the land distribution. INCRA uses certain stipulated criteria to determine which farmers are eligible for a lot and which farmers are not. They evaluate the farmers in terras of the length of residency at a homestead and the number of improvements and fields they have made. Minimum residency to qualify for an INCRA lot is one year and one day. The object is to eliminate from consideration any newcomers who try to acquire land under false pretenses. The process of evaluation looks reasonable and fair on paper but there are always inequities which enter into the actual distribution of free land. Some small farmers felt that they had been given a bad deal A number of farmers who had had fields nearby the town were assigned virgin areas at a much greater distance. The clos est lots ended up assigned to members of the local elite

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76 such as the tax collector and a Forest Park guard. Other families, who had been living elsewhere for various reasons, were not given land at all. Bananal residents, for example, and families who had fled down river because of the violent conflict, were not considered for lots. Despite some obvious influence peddling and other inequities, the majority of the recipients were the local squatter farmers. The new land lots were scattered in various locations in the countryside and vary in distance from 4 to 35 km away from Santa Terezinha. Sometimes the lots are relatively contiguous, in rows of four to eight lots, or following the curved base of a hill, and sometimes lots are more scattered and isolated. This scattering, together with a turnover in ownership estimated at 20%^ helps explain why so many farm families, when questioned, were not acquainted with very many of their neighbors. Informants could generally only identify from 5 to 20 other farm families and their locations in the countryside. Most lot owners only knew their immediate neighbors and not the rest of the farmers in other locations. It should be remembered too that many of the more distant lots are not even connected by dirt roads. Seventy-six land lot owners identified by the researcher provides a basis for making some general statements regarding locations, land use patterns and turnover of ownership.

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77 The INCRA organized land distribution allocated lots in basically three locations in the countryside, one nearby town, one moderately far and one quite far. The area of land lots closest to town is located to the north and slightly to the west of Santa Terezinha and lots vary from 4 to 12 km distances from town; most can be reached in under one hour's walk. About 30 to 35 families received land in this vicinity. Because of its convenient location with regard to the town, the area of Jose de Pedra, as it is called, is the area of most active farming. Almost all lots are currently being worked by owners, relatives, tenants or sharecroppers, or some combination of the aforementioned. Many who work in this area maintain a house in town. Males commute to the fields and families often spend several months of the year there. Even those families that live on the ropa in Jose de Pedra can easily come into town and do so frequently. Some land owners here allow relatives and friends to farm their land without charging any payment at all. The majority of farmers grow the basic crops of rice, manioc, and some beans and corn. Only the priest, who bought some land in this area along with three other farmers and has formed a cooperative society, is experimenting with cattle raising and coffee. The second area of land lots is located to the northwest of town and can be reached by using a Codeara Ranch road which after several kilometers becomes a road which

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78 was built by Padre Jentel some seven to eight years ago. The closest homesteads here are only about 6 km away and the farthest ones about 20 km. One day while walking on this road an informant pointed out locations in the ranch pastures where previous inhabitants used to have homesteads before the arrival of the company. The number of land lots distributed in this area is estimated at between 15 and 20. About half of the owners actually live on the ropa, about one-fourth commute, and about one-fourth of the land lots are not used. The third location, some three leagues or 18 km to the west of Santa Terezinha, is where the majority of the INCRA land lots were distributed. These lots range from 18 to 35 km away from town and most can be reached in a two to six hour walk. Perhaps only onethird of these lots are permanently occupied by farm families in residence. About one-third appeared to be exploited by owners or tenants who commute weekly from the town, and about onethird appear to be completely unused as yet. Farmers who owned land in this area complained about the lack of roads and difficult access, the distance from the school and medical help. Many of the older people who had received distant lots found that their children were uninterested in farming and were unable to farm without them. All the farm families on INCRA lots consider Santa Terezinha their urban center, and an estimated 50% of them

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79 maintain homes within the urban area. Other settlements and areas of homesteads in the countryside also look to the town as their center city. Conversely, Santa Terezinha has begun to define which areas and settlements are considered to be within "her interior." The named settlements that the Committee for the Emancipation of Santa Terezinha identified as composing the interior were four: Crisoste, Cadete, Antonio Rosa, and Lago Grande. The first two are areas of scattered farm homesteads which are the closest and most actively tied to the town. Several other inhabited locations in the region also consider Santa Terezinha as their urban center. These include an almost abandoned village called Mineiros located at the border of the companies Codeara and Aracruz, the three Indian villages, two Kara j a and one Tapirape, and peasant cattle raisers on nearby Bananal. By "consideration of Santa Terezinha as urban center" it is meant that Santa Terezinha is the largest urban settlement accessible to the aforementioned homesteads and villages and within easy travel distance. People in the interior come to Santa Terezinha for shopping and almost all local produce which is marketed is sold in the town. The closer settlements of the Cadete and Crisoste even transport their dead for burial in the Santa Terezinha cemetery. Backwoods families come to town for church services and often make arrangements for a longer stay during times of

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80 festivals. Medical services, the school, and representatives of civil, police and mission authorities as well draw people into the city. Indians also use the town for shopping, and the Kara j a sell fish and handicrafts there. The Cadete is a small settlement of squatter farmers located 20 km to the south of Santa Terezinha. Twelve families live here in homesteads located along the river. All are squatter farmers, growing mainly rice, manioc and some corn. Several of these homesteads are located within the demarcated Tapirape land allocation, and the rest on the land of the Tapiraguaia Ranch company. This settlement's claim to the land is in dispute since it is claimed by both the Company and the Indians. The Crisoste, sometimes called Joao Goulart, is an area of approximately 40,000 ha to the north of the Crisoste River which is located some 18 km north of Santa Terezinha. This area is reputedly owned by the family of the former President of Brazil, Joao Goulart, and unlike the rest of the land in the region, the owners have not made an appearance in the countryside and have therefore left the area "open" for squatter settlement. Land in the Crisoste is relatively thickly settled with farming families and the rights to land (posse or usufruct) are bought and sold there. Most of the families who live or "own" land in the Crisoste are located in a strip between 18 and 24 km to the north of town; homesteads are scattered and there is no

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81 central neighborhood or village. It is estimated that approximately 70 to 80 households "own" and/or work in the Crisoste area. The usual crops are planted here and a number of Crisoste residents also raise cattle. Most herds number between 10 and 30 head, but some larger operations have managed to attain herds of up to 100 head. Pastures used are primarily the native grasses although some owners have also put in small areas of improved pastures. A number of the "owners" in the Crisoste have recently begun to realize that eventually this land will be claimed by "real owners" ( donos ) who will arrive to exploit it and chase them off, so they are beginning to try and "sell" off their properties to less suspicious persons. They also know that when the companies and/or new owners arrive it is most likely that they will be forced to "sell" their homesteads to them, i.e., receive compensation for the improvements they have made there. Most of the families who have land in the Crisoste live there, and only about one-fifth maintain residences in town. A number of owners also have caretakers living on their land. Families from the Crisoste will also occasionally move to town for several years so that their children can go to school and if they do they usually leave the Crisoste land unworked because it is too far to travel back and forth. While living in the town they either become tenants of people with land close-by or go to work as wage laborers at the companies.

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82 The other settlements mentioned are farther from Santa Terezinha and inhabitants do not maintain homes in the town. Mineiros, as mentioned, is almost defunct; it is located on the northern border of Codeara and was founded by a mystic called Maria de Praia who wandered in the countryside with her followers seeking the "promised land," a paradise of forest with no owners. After the companies arrived, Maria reputedly moved north, to Para where rumor has it that she was investigated by the government as a "communist." The small settlement of people from Minas Gerais subsequently faltered and split up. Antonio Rosa is another series of scattered homesteads located to the north, beyond the Joao Goulart area, and along the small river of Antonio Rosa. Population is estimated at 25 to 35 households. The land here belongs to a private individual who lives in Goiania and has, in the last two years, begun operations to "open" a ranch there. As yet there are no cattle. The manager in charge of the Antonio Rosa ranch lives in Santa Terezinha and makes the 84 km trip downriver in an outboard raotorboat. Eventually there will be conflict between the squatters and the owner. Meanwhile Antonio Rosa is not a very popular place because of its isolation. The inhabitants who have left Antonio Rosa over the years and moved to Santa Terezinha said that it floods too much there, often the crops are ruined, the insects are bad, and that it is too far from medical help.

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83 schooling and such. In short, life is too difficult there. Farmers there also buy and sell land rights to each other. Lago Grande is a small town with a farming hinterland located some 105 km downriver, to the north of the River Beleza. It is located next to the ranch-company Elagro which has established operations and is apparently in a similar situation to Santa Terezinha. A number of Santa Terezinha families have relatives who live there, but visits between the two locations are rare because of the distance. The population of Lago Grande is estimated at approximately 1,500 persons. The main occasion for visiting is at election time because some Lago Grande inhabitants must travel to vote in Santa Terezinha and vice versa; about once a year the Lago Grande soccer team comes to Santa Terezinha to play a match. Lago Grande, due to its greater distance from Santa Terezinha and closeness to other river towns, is the least tied to Santa Terezinha. There are undoubtedly other scattered locations in the region where small numbers of peasant farmers and smallscale cattle raisers can be found, but due to the extremely difficult conditions of regional transportation it is very difficult to travel to or even locate the entire population. Government data and statistics are even more unreliable than the researcher's own material because the usual way to obtain data utilized by agencies is to make a contract with a town dweller such as a merchant or school

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84 teacher, to collect and forward the appropriate material. The selected person rarely goes to the trouble to actually collect the data and is unmotivated to spend the time, money and undergo the suffering involved in extensive trav el throughout the countryside. Even the census of the urban area carried out in 197 8 by the highly motivated Committee for the Emancipation of Santa Terezinha, only managed to collect data on 271 or 71% of the town's household The Committee and other local officials insist, however, that Santa Terezinha and its hinterland contains the neces sary 10,000 people required to qualify it to become an autonomous municipality. They admit that a goodly portion of the projected 10,000 persons are ranch-related and tran sitory workers. The interfluvial island of Bananal on the east side of the Araguaia River (State of Goias) also has a substantial Brazilian population despite the fact that the northern third of the island is a National Forest Park, and the southern two-thirds of the island is an Indian reservation A Catholic Mission team, which spent three months in 1977 conducting a survey of the island by horseback, estimated the population at 15,000 persons. This figure was based on an estimated eight persons per house multiplied by 1,837 houses counted by the SUCAM malaria service teams which spray against mosquitos.

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85 The mission report points out that most Brazilians who have settled on Bananal are attracted by its natural pastures (the savanna) Most island inhabitants tend to live on the edges of gallery forests where they make their gardens, and nearby the campo (savanna) which is used for grazing. The densest population concentration on Bananal appears to be in the southeastern portion, and it is there that two of the so-called urban nuclei are found. The third settlement is Santa Isabel, an Indian post and formerly headquarters of the Indian Park, on the western edge of the island some 100 km south of Santa Terezinha and directly across the Araguaia River from Sao Felix. The majority of Bananal residents live scattered throughout the island. No commerce or shops of any kind are found anywhere on Bananal outside of the two villages mentioned on the southeastern side. The denser population of the eastern side of the island probably results from its proximity to the Belem-Brasilia Highway. There have been a decrease of farming and cattle-raising families in the northern third of the island because of pressure brought to bear by the increasingly active agents of the National Park Service (IBDF) Park regulations whic forbid agriculture, fishing and hunting have caused the sub sistence farmers who also raise cattle to leave Bananal. The agents have tried to enforce these regulations, at times jailing and fining violators. The National Indian

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86 Foundation (FUNAI) takes another tack and tries to discourage Brazilian squatters in the Indian reservation by means of taxes which must be paid by non-indigenous land users. FUNAI classifies cattle raisers into two categories: (1) temporary residents who use the natural savannas for grazing three to five months a year, and (2) permanent residents who exploit and live on the island full-time. Taxes are supposedly much higher for permanent residents, to discourage them from remaining there and they must pay a tax per head of cattle and for buildings and even fences. Confusion about the taxes is widespread, both in the countryside and at FUNAI headquarters where the structure of tax collection and the income generated were described as "unknown" by the Department in charge (FUNAI, 1978). One municipal authority, in Santa Terezinha, who maintains a ranch of 100 head 90 km to the north on Bananal, informed me that he believes the only taxes paid are those to the State of Goias and that he estimates that as many as 50% of Bananal land users actually pay no taxes at all. A lawyer from Barra do Garpa, the comarca stated that he thought that the only taxes paid were sales taxes, but this is obviously inaccurate. The end result of such policies, taxes and regulations, is that the population of Bananal, at least near Santa Terezinha where the Forest Park Service maintains its headquarters, appears to be decreasing.

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87 The entire region is dominated physically and economically by the large companies who have processed definitive titles to land and begun what are called agro-pecuaria projects. Agro-pecuaria means agriculture and cattle raising, but it is cattle raising that is the main activity in the southeastern portion of Legal Amazonia. In the immediate area of Santa Terezinha, the Codeara Ranch has the largest holding. The immense land tract to the west of Codeara, called BCN, is a separate ranch which is owned by the same bank and administered by the managers of Codeara. Bordering the Codeara ranch to the south, one finds a solid block of large corporate holdings. From the Araguaia River going west, one finds Tapiraguaia, Porto Velho, Tapirape, Brasil Central, Frey Nova and Piracuapu. To the north of Codeara are located the large ranches Aracruz, Servap, and Porta Amazonia. These are the large companies in the immediate area. They are at different levels of installation, depending on the year operations were begun and the levels of investment. All of the aforementioned companies are already sufficiently well-established to have large herds of cattle, i.e., 20,000 to 40,000 head. It is only farther to the west and north in Mato Grosso and even southern Pard that one finds companies, and occasionally private owners, just beginning operations to open a ranch. Some of the new ones are so isolated that all supplies must be flown in by airplane

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88 The major connection of the region with the outside continues to be the Araguaia River. For a time it looked as if road building was surging ahead and many riverboat operators sold their boats and tried to acquire vehicles. But progress on the roads has been slow, and is continually set back by annual flooding which washes out portions of the dirt roads and most of the bridges. Boat purchases for river transport were on the increase again during 1978. Almost all goods sold in the region — from tinned food to medicines to cars — come up river 100 km from Cazeara. The main transportation supply route is as follows: goods are purchased primarily in Goiania and shipped north by truck on the paved Belem-Brasilia Highway to the city of Paraiso do Norte. There is a dirt road between Paraiso do Norte and Cazeara. Goods are trucked to Cazeara where they are then loaded onto boats and barges for the trip south upriver to Santa Terezinha. The largest barge, with the most frequent, reliable and cheapest runs, is the Planta barge. Goods and passengers come by boat upriver and are unloaded at Santa Terezinha. The first major road into the region opened in 19 75. This road runs from Goiania to Barra do Garga where it becomes BR 158 and continues north to the enormous ranch Suia Missu located about 50 km to the west of Sao Felix do Araguaia. A connecting road called BR 242 runs between

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89 Suia Missu and Sao Felix. All the aforementioned roads are dirt. Periodically portions of the roads wash out. Santa Terezinha remained unconnected to this road system until 1976 or 1977. BR 158 continues north but runs about 100 km inland to the west of the Araguaia. By 1977, Codeara had constructed connecting roads so that Santa Terezinha could actually be reached by overland transportation. And, it was in 1977 that the first trucks from the outside reached as far as Santa Terezinha. This road is, however, in rudimentary condition and is often unusable. Because one must drive 100 km west to go south, the trip to Sao Felix by road is 400 km when the river distance between the two towns is only 100 km. The BR 158 will eventually link Mato Grosso do Norte with the state of Para but it is unfinished as yet. Thus, Santa Terezinha is now linked by connecting ranch roads to BR 158. Travel on such roads is always a risky business because the roads are in poor condition, gasoline is expensive and often unobtainable along the route, and parts of the road often unpassable. It is not yet an important transportation route. Other roads in the region are the projected road across Bananal, planned to go west from the Belem-Brasilia and travel across the southern portion of Bananal to connect with Sao Felix do Araguaia and BR 242. This road does not yet exist, although jeeps can sometimes manage to make the trip over trails through the savanna in the dry season.

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90 There is also BR 80, which was much discussed in the press because it cut across the Xingu Indian reservation, goes west and then south and connects with BR 158 in the vicinity of Suia Missu ranch, also some 350 km away from Santa Terezinha. The national highway system in Northern Mato Grosso generally and in the immediate area of the research site is clearly rudimentary. The only passable roads in the immediate vicinity of Santa Terezinha in the countryside are company dirt roads. An estimated 95% of all goods and supplies sold in Santa Terezinha still arrive by means of the Belem-Brasilia Highway and the river; perhaps 4% are flown in by plane and 1% arrive by overland routes. Such inf rastructural considerations are vital to an understanding of the region's economic ties to the outside. The companies manage to get cattle to outside markets, primarily in southern Brazil, but the peasant farmer's market goes no farther than Santa Terezinha. Transportation difficulties make imported goods even more expensive than the Brazilian inflation has already made them; price markups in a comparison with Goiania or Brasilia show that all goods sold in Santa Terezinha are 30-100% more expensive, and conversely, that products leaving the region must reckon with the additional costs and difficulties of transportation.

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91 Most people leaving the region go by boat to Cazeara and then proceed on to the Belem-Brasflia. Airplanes are also of critical importance in regional transportation. Planes rent for approximately $75 to $100 an hour and even desperately poor families occasionally rent them, often by selling everything they own, because of medical emergencies. The Brazilian Air Force also makes a weekly run throughout this region which usually includes a two-hour layover in Santa Terezinha and they will sometimes fly out the sick and needy for free. Lastly, a commercial airplane company has a daily run between Belem and Goiania with stops in a number of frontier towns, for a lower price than privately hired planes. Hence, the region is paradoxically isolated and cutoff; yet, in other respects it is not. Some inhabitants say that "real progress" has already come to Santa Terezinha and others say that it will take another 50 years. Meanwhile, the strange contrasts in the frontier community continue. The archaic and the modern coexist and will probably continue to coexist for some years to come. End Notes Brazilian cruzeiros have been converted to US dollars throughout the dissertation. The conversion scale used was 20 cruzeiros for one dollar. 2 The researcher also bought a house and property in Santa Terezinha in this traditional way. The value of the

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92 property was determined by the condition of the house, well, fences and backyard. Since the house had been partially inundated in the previous rainy season, the price was reduced to $165 whereas a similar but dry property generally sold for about $400. The researcher was instructed by the previous "owner" of the house to pay a local school teacher $3 to type up an exchange document. This declaration was then signed by the parties involved in the sale. Later the researcher tried to process a title or deed for the property and discovered how difficult, complicated and expensive the process of obtaining a legal title is in the frontier zone. The attempt to obtain title failed. When the researcher decided to "sell" the house and property, she sold again the squatters' rights to the place. The price received for the house was $200 because the researcher had improved the property by making a new fire-place, a cement floor, and a new roof. For the sale, the researcher typed the declaration paper herself and this semi-legal dociament was signed by both parties. A paper of this type is not really a legal document although it can be used to establish claims to ownership in certain cases. Part of the complication and confusion of the land conflicts in the Amazon derives from the bewildering variety of fradulent, semi-legal and legal documents with which parties claim rights or ownership to land, 'under Brazilian law Indians are awarded a status similar to the status of minors. It is expressly prohibited to sell either alcoholic beverages or firearms to Indians. Most Indians, however, find it relatively easy to purchase both alcohol and firearms. The commercial establishments, however, do not sell prohibited items directly to Indians. Indians usually obtain them from a third party willing to act as a go-between. When they do drink, they drink in places other than bars or other public places I 'a letter received from an informant in April, 1980, stated that the Santa Terezinha elementary school had "closed because of politics." It is not entirely clear what the sequence of events was regarding the conflict with the school's director, but in 1979, dissatisfied parents were discussing the possibility of boycotting the school if the State did not heed their complaints. It may be that a school "strike" was organized. It is clear, however, that the issue of the school continues to generate conflict in Santa Terezinha. The map of the ranch provided by the Codeara company was detailed and complete except that the portion of the ranch

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93 where the fanns were located had been carefully cut out. The national office of INCRA, in Brasilia, claimed to have no records on the land distribution. The estimate of a 20% turnover rate in ownership of the distributed lots is based on information provided by the local priest. The SUCAM records are very useful for estimating the population of areas of the Amazon where no census was yet conducted. The SUCAM spray teams travel to some quite remote locations and they carefully record the number of structures treated with insecticide. The only problem with the SUCAM data is that the teams record the number of structures but not what the structures are. Work huts or storage buildings are counted the same as homes. Therefore, the estimate of 15,000 people for Bananal is probably too high and a more accurate figure is probably 10,000 inhabitants.

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CHAPTER III HISTORY Over a period of about 60 years, Santa Terezinha was transformed from a small and isolated rural village to an expanding frontier town. This chapter reviews the history of the community in terms of the three stages of frontier expansion already described: (1) non-capitalist, (2) precapitalist, and (3) capitalist. The early history of the town, from the turn of the century until the late 1950s, clearly reflects the predominance of the expansion of the demographic frontier as small farmers and traders immigrated to the area. The second stage begins when Brazilian development policies began to shift in the late 1950s and large companies began to acquire vast land holdings in Mato Grosso. The 1960s saw the implementation of the large cattle raising projects and a violent confrontation between corporations intent on establishing the dominance of private property and small farmers whose land was held by squatters' rights. This period saw the initial expansion of the economic frontier into northern Mato Grosso and set the stage for the rapid changes which followed the establishment of the ranch-companies. The growing dominance of the capitalist enterprises in the 1970s signals the beginning of the third stage of frontier 94

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95 expansion which Santa Terezinha and the region is just now entering The dynamics of frontier expansion in the Amazon follow a general pattern but vary somewhat from place to place depending on factors such as the availability of extractable natural resources, legal disputes over the jurisdiction of the land and natural resources, and the potential inf rastructural linkages to outside markets. Other critical factors, such as world demand for particular products, have also played a critical role in Amazonian history. The history of Santa Terezinha will be examined both as representative of general trends of frontier expansion in the Amazon, and in terms of its own slightly different and unique features. Since with the exception of some marginal babacu nut extraction, the area never underwent a more typical "boom-and bust" cycle so characteristic of the Amazonian economy, the intense extractivism generally associated with the first stage is lacking. Nonetheless, as the data presented will demonstrate, the history of Santa Terezinha does follow the general patterns of Amazonian history and is particularly representative of events and trends occurring during the last 15 years. Geography The middle reaches of the Araguaia River Valley do not fall within the heart of the Amazon Basin although it is

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96 within the area designated as the Legal Amazon. Northern Mato Grosso is actually part of the transitional zone between the tropical rain forest to the north and the great central Brazilian plateau; the region contains both forests and savanna areas (IBDF/MEC 1978; IBGE 1977). The Araguaia River is a tributary of the Amazon River; it flows north and at Maraba, in the State of Para, it becomes the Tocantins River which flows into the Amazon. The Araguaia River forms the boundary between the States of Mato Grosso and Goias. Bananal, the largest interfluvial island in the world, is on the east side of the Araguaia in the State of Goias. The island is primarily savanna and its natural pastures have attracted cattle raisers since the turn of the century. Bananal also contains areas of gallery forests located along its internal waterways. The terrain in Mato Grosso do Norte on the west side of the Araguaia River is also mixed forests and savannas. The flood plain of the Araguaia inundates the land for miles on both sides during the rainy season which lasts from October until April. The flood plain, called locally the varjao, dries out during the dry season from May to September and is used as natural pasture during this season. Savanna is known locally as the campo and is not usually flooded during the rainy season. Forests are called mata. During the dry season the water level in the Araguaia drops

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97 and beautiful white stretches of beach emerge in the middle of the river, called praias This region of northern Mato Grosso is sometimes classified as part of the central-west region and sometimes as part of the north (Amazon) region."^ Until 1955 the part of Mato Grosso to the north of the Tapirape River pertained to the State of Para. The State of Mato Grosso was itself divided into two states in 1977. The southern third of the state which borders on Goias, Sao Paulo and Parana, became Mato Grosso do Sul and the new capital is Campo Grande. The northern two-thirds of the state was called Mato Grosso, often referred to as Mato Grosso do Norte, and it retained the previous capital of Cuiaba. Stage One: Early History The best accounts of the early history of the region come from anthropological sources who visited the region, compiled scholarly accounts of all known early expeditions, contacts and initial colonizations, and attempted to reconstruct the origin and movements of the indigenous peoples there. Herbert Baldus (1944/1960a) and Paul Ehrenreich (1891/1965) review the material on early expeditions to the Araguaia during the 18th and 19th centuries. The exploratory parties were interested in finding a navigable water way to facilitate transportation between southern and northern Brazil. At the time, the colonial administration, based

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98 in Rio de Janeiro, was connected to northern Brazil only by ocean voyages and prevailing wind conditions necessitated that the ships sail to Europe and then to the north of Brazil. A shorter and easier route through central Brazil was much sought after. Early expeditions, however, did not establish this route on the Araguaia because of the rapids. Some of the tribes which lived in the region posed great obstacles to colonial and later, national penetration, because of their fierce hostility to outsiders. The Kayapo groups, located to the north of the future site of Santa Terezinha (southern Para) customarily sent war expeditions great distances to make raids during the dry season. The Kayapo were greatly feared by the other tribes and later by the Brazilian settlers. The Xavante, located to the south of Santa Terezinha in the vicinity of the Rio das Mortes, were so feared that river travellers as late as the 1940s would not make camp on the west bank of the Araguaia River. Stories of conflicts with the Kayapo and Xavante were related by older persons in Santa Terezinha and show that these tribes were perceived as a threat until well into the 20th century. During the last 30 to 40 years, however, the pacification of these tribes was completed. The two Indian tribes located in the immediate vicinity of Santa Terezinha, the Kara j a and the Tapirape, were more peaceful and less resistant to outside penetration. The Karaja Indians are canoe Indians who lived by fishing and

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99 slash-and-burn horticulture and inhabited the river banks for hundreds of miles along the Araguaia River. During the rainy season the Kara j a lived in semi-permanent river bank villages and during the dry season they lived in temporary camps on the white beaches in the river. Because they lived on the Araguaia River, they were contacted quite early by the initial expeditions. The earliest known contact was made in 1682 by explorer Bartholomeu Bueno (Lipkind, 1963: 180) and other expeditions in the 18th century continued these sporadic contacts. The Kara j a were known for their gracious hospitality and they began early to trade dried fish and pelts for manufactured goods. Missionary work with the Karaja began in the 19th century and a school to "civilize Indian children" was established briefly at Santa Isabel on Bananal in 1871 (Baldus, 1948/1960b: 21). In 1897 the future town of Conceipao do Araguaia, some 200 miles to the north of the future site of Santa Terezinha, was founded by Dominican missionaries whose goal was to evangelize all the Mato Grosso tribes, especially the Kayapo and Karaja whom they wanted to unite, convert and integrate into Brazilian society (lanni, 1978: 22-4). A missionary report of 1897 noted ten Karaja villages along the Araguaia and a non-Indian population of one thousand at the new town of Conceipao. The new town of Conceipao do Araguaia then grew very rapidly because rubber trees were discovered nearby. Further to the south, around Santa

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100 Terezinha, there were no rubber trees and so Santa Terezinha did not experience the rapid influx and growth associated with the rubber boom. As in the cases of contact with indigenous peoples throughout the New World, there was tremendous mortality with the introduction of new diseases. Early population figures are unclear, but Krause (1911/1966) estimated that there were 10,000 Karaja in 1908. Lipkind's (1963) census carried out in 1939 placed the population at 1,510 and a National Indian Service survey (FUNAI, 1976) counted 1,200 Karaja in 1976. The same rapid reduction in populations of indigenous groups after contact occurred throughout Brazil. Sometimes diseases were spread to Indians not yet in contact, by other Indians, traders or travellers. This was the case for the Tapirape Indians who suffered rapid depopulation before entering sustained contact with Brazilian society. The Tapirape, who lived some 200 miles to the west of the Araguaia River, caught diseases from the Karaja and other visitors. The Tapirape were and are today forest dwelling Indians who are primarily slash-and-burn horticulturalists Until the first contacts in the early 20th century, what little was known about them was by hearsay. Contacts in the early 1900s were by expeditions and missionaries. One of the earliest known contacts was when a group of Brazilians searching for rubber trees in the area spent a short time

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101 with the tribe (Baldus, 1944/1960a: 24). Charles Wagley's reconstruction (1977) of the origins of the tribe is that they probably migrated to the middle Araguaia shortly after 1500 when many Tupi groups fled west from the coast after the Europeans arrived. He estimates that just prior to 1900, the Tapirape population was between 1,000 and 1,500 persons. By the time of Wagley's first field trip in 1939 the Tapirape population had been reduced to 187 persons living in two villages. The process of contact had barely begun but the diseases had arrived earlier. Baldus reports approximately 100 Tapirape Indians before the Kayapo attacked them in 1947, and by 1957 the population had been reduced to 55 persons and extinction looked imminent (Wagley, 1977) This fate was avoided, however, by a fortunate turn of events which will be discussed later. The history of the Amazon region, until recent times, can be characterized in terms of the "boom-and-bust" cycles of the Brazilian economy (Margolis, 1973; Wagley, 1971). "Boom" regions, for a time, supplied a high demand product to the world market, such as sugar, gold, cotton, rubber or coffee. Maxine Margolis (1973: 2-3) summarized the cycles as cash crops or commodities limited to a geographic region where the process passes through three stages: (1) rapid expansion of production of the commodity while Brazil has a monopoly of the product on the world market, accompanied by heavy immigration into the boom region, (2) other places in

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102 the world begin to produce the same commodity and enter into competition with Brazil, and (3) Brazil cannot compete successfully because of such factors as inefficient technology, high production costs and soil depletion. High profit levels begin to fall, production slows, and a gradual depopulation of the region begins. The rubber boom in the Amazon began in the mid-1800s when the process of vulcanization of rubber was discovered and industrial demand for the product grew. The collection of the crude latex from the rubber trees was similar to earlier patterns of exploitation of Amazonian products such as sasparilla, cloves, cinnamon and nuts. To extract forest products which occur naturally scattered throughout an area rather than in convenient stands, requires the labor of many collectors. Until recent times, labor scarcity was a problem in the Amazon. The demand for and value of rubber during the "boom" attracted many migrants to Amazonia. The population of the Amazon, which had been about 100,000 persons in 1800, had grown to 340,000 by 1872, to 700,000 by 1900 and had reached 1.4 million by 1920 when the rubber boom began to decline (Cardoso & Muller, 1979) Estimates are that a half a million people immigrated to the Amazon during the "boom." The demand for collectors in remote areas was not met by the increased immigration, and a system of servile relations of production, aviamento, evolved which functioned to meet the labor requirements of

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103 the extractive economy. Aviamento was fundamentally a system of debt peonage. The owners (by deed, claims or force of amis) of rubber stands ran trading posts which provided basic provisions and tools to rubber collectors. Collectors were almost always indebted to the trading posts. The traders controlled the price of the latex delivered by collectors, and sold them provisions at inflated prices. Tacit agreements between traders made it impossible for a rubber collector to leave and conduct business elsewhere. Often rubber collectors were forbidden to make gardens to ensure their dependence on imported provisions sold by traders. Thus, rubber collectors lived in constant debt and poverty. They were unable to leave once they had arrived. The traders, in turn, were frequently in debt to the rubber firms in Manaus and Belem, and the firms did business on credit from the foreign companies purchasing rubber (lanni, 1978; Wagley, 1976) This first stage of frontier expansion based on extractivism and servile labor did not affect the entire Amazon region in a uniform fashion. Neither Bananal nor the area around Santa Terezinha contained the valuable rubber trees, although babacu nuts were collected on the upper Tapirape River. The rapid immigration which occurred in the second half of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century in the rubber areas did not occur in Santa Terezinha. The settlement and growth of the town followed

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104 a far slower pace. Instead of a rapid influx followed by an equally rapid emigration, Santa Terezinha experienced a slow but steadily increasing immigration of small farmers primarily from the Northeast. The first settlers arrived in the Santa Terezinha area at approximately the turn of the century. By the 1930s there were five small Brazilian settlements along the middle reaches of the Araguaia River. One of these was a leper colony on Bananal run by Scottish missionaries. The largest settlement in the region was called Furo de Pedra. Furo de Pedra was a small village located 20 km to the north of the present site of Santa Terezinha. Wagley (1977 10-11), who visited the town in 1939, described the forerunner of Santa Terezinha as follows: In 1939 Furo de Pedra was one of the largest non-Indian settlements in the middle Araguaia River region. It contained about 35-40 illiterate frontier families who made a living from grazing a few cattle on the semi-flooded grasslands back from the river and from subsistence gardens. There were two miserably stocked stores which served more as trading posts, receiving hides and skins ... as well as products such as salted pirarucu (large fresh-water fish) in exchange for manufactured good and tinned food there was a perennial shortage of cloth, agricultural implements, and other more basic items [the people] had seen few foreigners except for a Dominican priest who lived over 200 miles downriver at Concei9ao do Araguaia and the Scottish missionaries who maintained a ranch at Macauba not many miles away, as a refuge for lepers.

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105 Ninety kilometers to the south of Furo de Pedra was Mato Verde, the small settlement which later became Luciara and the municipal seat of the county of Luciara. Mato Verde v/as founded in approximately 1934 by an outlaw named Lucio da Luz who had fled to the Araguaia Valley because he was wanted for crimes committed in several states. Lucio da Luz, for a time, was the wealthiest man in town and the patron of many of the small farm families. He had a herd of several thousand head of cattle on the savannas on the west bank of the Araguaia. He was one of the major regional suppliers of trade goods to frontier families to whom he also sometimes extended credit. Herbert Baldus (1948/1960b: 3-4) described the situation in 1948: When, a few years ago [approximately 1944] all regular boat transportation on the middle Araguaia came to a stop after the dissolution of the enterprise that handled the service with motor launches, life in those locations deteriorated to the point of despair, for there was no longer any outlet for local products. In the entire area, there remained but one man who bought them: Mr. Lucio. He was and remains the chief supplier of the principal goods needed by the frontiersmen: salt, and some fabric for clothing. Furthermore, he gives them credit. They sell to this man, who owns an outboard motor, a house covered with tiles, and thousands of head of cattle, what little rice and manioc flour they have left over and an occasional cow out of the half dozen that constitute their wealth. They speak well of the man and regard him as their greatest benefactor The fourth settlement, noted by Baldus in 1938, was a hamlet of eight houses located on the Tapirape River some

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106 100 km from the Araguaia River. This settlement, called Porto Velho, was composed of families who "came from the state of Para and had lived previously at various spots on the Araguaia" (Baldus, 1960a: 3) Lastly, in the 1930s, there was a Catholic church and a few houses on a sand hill overlooking the Araguaia at the present site of Santa Terezinha. The settlement was first called Moro de Areia (Sand Hill) Different sources give different dates for the founding of Santa Terezinha. The Dominicans were apparently present there between 1910 and the 1930s. Priests from Conceipao do Araguaia constructed the church in 1931. The sand hill was chosen because it appeared to be sufficiently high ground to remain dry during the rainy season. The location turned out to be a good choice because it did remain dry whereas the nearby village of Furo de Pedra was periodically flooded during the rainy season which contributed to its eventual abandonment. Santa Terezinha was also a strategic location in terms of the various other settlements which the priests wished to service in the area, both Brazilian and Indian villages. The settlement on the sand hill remained only a church compound and a few homes of frontier families until the late 1940s. During this time Furo de Pedra continued to be the largest Brazilian settlement in the area. The majority of migrants to Santa Terezinha and the region came from the Northeast of Brazil. The Northeast, it

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107 should be remembered, is the main area of the peasantry in Brazil. Historically, the high profits made on sugar and other cash crops for export which were grown on the fertile coastal plain pushed basic food production and cattle raising further and further inland, first into the transitional zone of the agreste and then into the arid sertao or backlands. The backlands of the Northeast are known for the chronic poverty and suffering of the peasant population and the devastating droughts which occur there. The backlands are also known for numerous popular and mystical movements of peasant protest over the past centuries (Queiroz, 1977). The land tenure system of the Northeast has been characterized since colonial times by the latifundio-minif undio complex (Feder, 1971) Large holdings were worked by slaves until abolition in 1888. Later, peasant families with small farms worked at plantations and ranches to augment their income, and landless people became agregado (attached) or tenants for large owners. Arrangements varied from sharecropping to the sorte system where the owner's cowboy received every fourth calf born to the herd, to allowing the peasants to farm on estate lands in exchange for certain services. Small farm owners were usually hard pressed to sustain themselves on their tiny plots which were usually of inferior soils. For centuries the Brazilian Northeast has been the main source of migrants to almost all other regions of the

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108 country. Most of the rubber collectors who came to the Amazon during the latter portion of the 19th century were from the Northeast. The reasons why people leave the Northeast are clearly related to the conditions of acute rural poverty which, in turn, are linked to the unequal structure of land tenure (Feder, 1971) Massive emigration has also accompanied the droughts which occur almost every ten years. Since the 1930s the situation of small farmers and tenants in the rural areas of the Northeast has become increasingly more difficult. Some of the factors which have contributed to the worsening situation are (1) a growing population and increasing fragmentation of already small plots because of inheritance patterns, (2) increasing commercialization in marketing to supply growing urban centers which has, in turn, led to increases in the size and mechanization of food producing farms (Forman & Riegelhaupt, 1970) (3) continued agricultural production for export and (4) the changeover from family owned and managed plantations to manager-run corporations ( usinas ) which do not allow payment in kind. Other problems such as land taxes and the ruin caused by droughts have contributed to the heavy emigration.'* The migration data collected in Santa Terezinha demonstrates that the basic pattern of population movement was a three step migration occurring over a period of approximately three generations. Families who migrated to northern Ma to Grosso began moving west out of the Northeast at

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109 the turn of the century. National political upheaval, droughts and the advice of the popularly sainted Padre Cicero^ during the 1930s also contributed to westward movement. Many families only moved, however, as far as western Maranhao and northern Goias, which in the 1930s and 1940s were still rather remote frontier areas. The small farmers could settle in locations of their own choice and make it "their own" by squatters' rights. Land already fenced and worked would be bought and sold in terms of posse or usufruct; in most locations deeds and land taxes were unknown. The land was considered to be "common." During the 1950s and 1960s the remote areas of Maranhao and Goias were "opened" by the construction of the Belem-Brasilia highv;ay which passed through these two states. Land speculation and the processing of titles increased and many small farmers then moved farther west, to Bananal, northern Mato Grosso and southern Para. The movement westward can be seen in Table 1 which shows the birthplaces by state for three generations of frontier people: (1) Santa Terezinha elementary school children, (2) Santa Terezinha household heads and their spouses, and (3) the parents of Santa Terezinha household heads (grandparents) The oldest generation show birthplaces clustering in the Northeastern states, including Maranhao and a small percentage in Goias. The movement westward is demonstrated by their children (household heads)

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110 Table 1. Birthplaces by State of Three Generations in Santa Terezinha Percent Grandparents Parents Children NORTHEAST: Bahia 6 4 0 Pernambuco 2 1 0 Parnaiba 1 1 0 Ceara 4 2 1 Piaui 10 7 2 MATO GROSSO AND ADJACENT STATES : Mato Grosso 2 10 43 Goias 23 43 35 Maranhao 31 17 7 Para 4 7 9 Rondonia 0 0 1 CENTER SOUTH: Minas Gerais 2 2 1 Espirito Santo 1 0 0 Sao Paulo 1 1 1 Parand 0 1 1 TOTAL 396 198 192

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Ill who were born primarily in Goias. The youngest generation (children) were born further west, primarily in Mato Grosso and to a lesser extent in Goias. The general westwart pattern of migration is clearly illustrated by the shift in the birthplaces over three generations. Table 2 shows the arrival dates of 196 persons in the town of Santa Terezinha or the nearby forests or settlements. The researcher found no informants who remembered arriving in the region before 1920, but this may be a function of the relatively short life spans of the frontier people in general. The major influx of migrants have entered the region since the 1960s. The reasons for the increasing immigration during the last 15 years will be examined in a subsequent section. Between the turn of the century and the late 1950s, however, the expansion of the demographic frontier into the region proceeded relatively slowly. During the 1930s and 1940s the region was populated primarily by small farmers who often raised a few head of cattle on the savannas. Some small shop keepers and traders lived in the settlements but most trade was carried out by river traders utilizing both barter and cash. Lucio da Luz and the various missionaries were probably the wealthiest inhabitants of the region. Subsistence farmers sold small amounts of surplus, dried fish and animal pelts to traders who carried them to Conceipao do Araguaia and from there to Belem. There were no direct conflicts over land

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112 Table 2. Date of Migration to Santa Terezinha* by Decade DECADE NUMBER OF PERSONS PERCENT 1920 to 1939 7 4 1940 to 1949 13 7 1950 to 1959 25 13 1960 to 1969 73 37 1970 to 1978 66 34 TOTAL 196 100 *Santa Terezinha area is defined as the town itself and the forest and settlements within a radius of approximately 50 km.

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113 between Indians and frontiersmen because there was enough land for everyone. Indians and pioneers hunted wild game in the forests and fished in the rivers. The Karaja and Tapirape population continued to decline from diseases such as colds, whooping cough and measles. In 19 47, the one remaining Tapirape village was attacked and burned during a summer raid by the Kayapo and the surviving Tapirape moved to nearby settlements for several years. Both Indians and Brazilian pioneers used the forests for slash-and-burn horticulture. Nothing was surveyed, and no one held titles or deeds to the land. The land worked by an individual was considered to be his by squatters' rights. If a person sold his farm, he was really selling "the rights" to use (usufruct) the place and the improvements — fences, fruit trees or buildings — made there. A claim to a given piece of land was established by the first person who worked on it, and subsequent "owners" based their claim on their "purchase from the original owner." The pioneers considered the land to be "common" or terra devoluta (land belonging to the federal government) The small farmers were relatively unaware of the exact provisions for squatters' rights which were codified in Brazilian land law since the 1950s. As late as 1978, informants interviewed did not know the legal stipulations for establishing squatters' rights. Deeds, registries and taxes played no part in

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114 the lives of the early pioneers. Most transfers of property or rights were not even written down. The economy of the region during this time was one of subsistence agriculture and some extraction of the products of the forests and rivers. Many families owned a few head of cattle. Cattle, then and today, were the main form of accumulated savings. The sale of a head or two to a local merchant or travelling cattle buyer would be used to generate the money needed for buying land rights, an emergency or a move. Items such as dried fish, animal pelts and the like were bartered or sold for cash needed to buy manufactured products. Although there were river traders who brought in merchandise on credit from Conceipao do Araguaia and who may have extended credit to local farmers, the avia mento system with its direct cohersion of labor, did not op erate in Santa Terezinha because there were no "boom" products in the area. The farmers grew manioc, some rice, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, cotton, sugar cane, beans and some fruits. Brown sugar ( rapadura ) was produced from sugar cane. Cotton was spun and woven into hammocks. Cooking oil was made from rendered pig fat or the nuts of the macauba palm and if there was a dearth of kerosene, lights were made from castor oil or bees wax. Herbert Baldus (1948/1960b: 4) com ments on the local economy in 1947:

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115 As happens to most of the Araguaia settlements, however, the yearly floods trap the new dwellings on the Tapirape River, so that here too, for months on end, the canoe replaces the horse for visits to neighbors. Naturally, in such an environment, the cultivation of the soil remains quite restricted, and this, incidentally, suits the nomadic bent of these small herders of cattle, who tend to exploit the soil extensively rather than intensively. This type of frontiersman calls sertao bruto (raw wilderness) the land which is not yet familiar to him and his fellows, and when he settles upon it, he regards it as his without any qualms. The connection to outside markets, via Conceipao do Araguaia and Belem, was clearly a sporadic and marginal one. Profits from trading were not particularly lucrative, and one older woman interviewed, who had worked on the river with her trader husband since the mid-19 30s, stated that they eventually decided to settle down in Furo de Pedra and raise cattle and farm. Young adults, seeking a different and better life, sometimes left to work in the quartz crystal or diamond mining camps of Goias and southern Mato Grosso; they rarely accumulated any wealth, however, and usually returned to Furo de Pedra after a few years away. Exact population figures for the region during this period are impossible to obtain, but it seems clear that the pioneer population was rather sparse and spread-out. Furo de Pedra, in 1939, probably contained 300 persons at most, and Wagley (1977) estimates that the population of the forest homesteads surrounding any given village was approximately three times that of the village population.

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116 Stage Two; The 1950s and 1960s The 1950s brought increasing changes to the middle Araguaia region and the first indications of some of the dramatic events which were to occur in the 1960s. It was during the 1950s that the topic of the development and exploitation of the Amazon received increased interest and attention in Brazil. A severe drought in the Northeast in 1958 emphasized once again the poverty and misery of the landless and minifundio peasants. A second minor rubber boom in the Amazon between 1940 and 1945, which coincided with World War II and the Allies' inability to obtain Southeast Asian rubber, brought an additional 25,000 Northeasterners to the Amazon, but did not result in any real development or inf rastructural change (Cardoso & Muller, 1978) Nor had the immigration to the Amazon relieved what was perceived by the government as dangerous population pressure in the Northeast where, in the early 1960s, peasant leaders and Catholic priests were organizing Peasant Leagues for collective action (Moraes, 1970). The national drive to develop the interior and create a more integrated country began to be translated into concrete policies and actions. In 1957, construction of the Belem-Brasilia Highway was begun. This paved road, which was finished in 1960, provided a critical link between northern and southern Brazil, and had many effects on transportation, communication, commercialization and marketing, supply

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117 centers, development projects and migration patterns. The highway, which passed through the middle of the State of Goias and the western portion of Maranhao, spurred land speculation and investments in these states. The "opening" of Goias and western Maranhao exerted a strong "push" effect on small farmers living there. The effect of the road on Santa Terezinha was two-fold. First, many small farmers decided to leave Goias and Maranhao and move to northern Mato Grosso. Secondly, the supply lines and routes to northern Mato Grosso changed radically. No longer were goods brought from Belem to Conceipao to Santa Terezinha. Rather, goods were purchased in Goiania or Anapolis and sent north on the paved road to Paraiso do Norte where they were trucked over a dirt road to Cazeara on the Araguaia and sent by barge to Santa Terezinha. The new programs and policies of the federal government resulted in increased land speculation and investment by national and multinational companies in the Amazon. Unknown to the Indians and farmers of the middle Araguaia, much of the land that they considered their own was being sold by the State of Mato Grosso to real estate companies. In the rush to sell land, many areas sold were not surveyed or properly registered and some lots were sold several times to several different parties. Companies hired lawyers to press their claims and to obtain definitive title to purchased land. People in Santa Terezinha did not become

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118 aware of these events until the corporate owners of the land began to arrive in the region in the 1960s. In 1964, the Brazilian military carried out a "revolution" and took over the governing of Brazil. Military control of the government has lasted until the present day. The new government, concerned about economic development problems and social unrest in the Northeast, swiftly passed a series of decrees designed to alter and intensify development efforts, and to create or reorganize federal agencies to carry out these policies. The Estatuto da Terra for example, was issued in 1964. The 1964 land statutes were ostensibly designed to eliminate or diminish the number of l atif undios and minifundios and to give increased protection to persons actually working a piece of land (as opposed to speculators merely holding land) which included certain rights of squatters on land. Regional development agencies, such as SUDENE for the Northeast and SUDAN for the Amazon, were created or reorganized. The fiscal incentives program to encourage corporate investment in the Amazon was begun in 1963 and continued under the military government. The changes in Santa Terezinha during this period were relatively slow and moderate until the mid-1960s when the cattle companies began to implement their projects nearby. Immigration into the area increased during the decade of the fifties but not as rapidly as in the subsequent two

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119 decades. The regional dependence on trade with Conceipao do Araguaia was broken with the completion of the BelemBrasilia Highway. The former village of Mato Verde became the town of Luciara and seat of the new municipality of the same name Another event which occurred during the 1950s which had serious consequences in the region was the arrival of Forest Park guards who were sent to protect the environment of the Bananal Forest Preserve. The first Park agents arrived in 1958, sent by the Institute for the Development of Forestry (IBDF) in Brasilia. The northern third of Bananal had been declared a national biological reserve several years previously but no one in Santa Terezinha knew anything about it until the first guards arrived. The southern two-thirds of Bananal had been declared an Indian reservation for the Karaja. The Forest Park Service, in an effort to stop exploitation of the environment and to encourage the squatters to leave, passed a series of nev7 regulations regarding the legal use of the natural habitat of the park. They forbade hunting and fishing (except to Indians) and banned agricultural activities, the cutting of trees and the construction of permanent buildings. Many small farmers with herds on Bananal decided to leave the park at that point. Many had purchased the squatters' rights to the homesteads where they lived. There was talk of the agency paying a compensation to the evicted farmers, but

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120 as of 1979, this money had not been paid. Most of the families moved from Bananal to Santa Terezinha. During the late 1950s and early 1960s almost all families living in Furo de Pedra moved to Santa Terezinha. Furo de Pedra was deserted except for one old man who remained there until 1969. There were three main reasons why the village of Furo de Pedra died and the town of Santa Terezinha grew. First, Furo de Pedra was continually inundated during the rainy season and Santa Terezinha was located on higher and drier ground. Secondly, the changes in the transportation and supply routes made the deeper docking area by Santa Terezinha more critical. Santa Terezinha was becoming the main commercial center for the region. Thirdly, the Catholic Mission had established both an elementary school and a health clinic in Santa Terezinha and people wanted to be close to these services. As the companies began to arrive in the 1960s and Santa Terezinha developed further as a center for commercial goods and a way station for workers, there were also more jobs available for local people in the town. Women informants particularly, mentioned that they had decided to move from Furo de Pedra to Santa Terezinha so as to be able to earn cash as maids or laundry women. Some of the cattle raising families who left Bananal sold their herds to have money to buy squatters rights to land near Santa Terezinha. Other Bananal residents moved their herds to

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121 the southern part of Bananal where the Indian Service controls were much looser. During thie period the Kara j a population decline seems to have leveled off. The Karaja continued to make their gardens in the river bank forests and fish in the rivers. Because the Forest Park Service did not regulate Indian fishing, the Karaja became enmeshed in a system of commercial fishing for Brazilian middlemen who operated illegally along the Araguaia. Frequently the Indians were cheated by these middlemen. The Karaja involvement in the fish trade is explored in greater depth by Christopher Tavener (1973) Tavener also notes that the formerly independent Karaja had begun to settle more permanently around various Mission stations and Indian posts at various locations on the Araguaia. The need for medical services and a growing dependence on manufactured goods forced the Karaja to seek both medical services and opportunities for cash income The Tapirape village had been deserted in 1947 after the Kayapo attack and the few remaining members of the tribe had scattered and gone to live at other settlements along the river. In 1950, a dedicated agent of the Indian Service helped the Tapirape reorganize and begin a new village. He even managed to provide the necessary money and food to tide them over during the first year while they were waiting for their new gardens to begin producing.

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122 The new village, however, was located at the mouth of the Tapirape River and far from the forests where the Indians made their gardens. In 1952, the first group of the Little Sisters of Jesus arrived from France to provide a mission to the Tapirape. This remarkable order of working nuns do not proselytise, but rather are dedicated to helping the Indians retain as much of their traditional culture and life style as possible. The presence of the sisters in the village over the last 26 years has been of the utmost impor tance to the Tapirape as they entered the phase of permanent and sustained contact with national society. The sisters live in the Indian village and provide medical services and information to the Tapirape about the region and the outside world. Shortly after the Little Sisters of Jesus arrived to live with the Tapirape, a French worker priest named Padre Francisco Jentel also arrived in the region to work with both Indians and Brazilians. Jentel arrived in 1954 and for a time maintained a part-time residence in the Tapirape village. Later he moved to Santa Terezinha. It was the dy namism of Padre Jentel which shaped the Catholic Mission of Santa Terezinha and it was his ideological commitment to the problems of the Indians and squatters in the region which shaped his actions and the Mission's continued philosophy of advocacy for the poor.

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123 Padre Jentel brought a nurse to Santa Terezinha and established the health clinic and pharmacy which exist there to this day. He also founded the elementary school and later organized the agricultural cooperative. He travelled a great deal throughout the region, holding masses, conducting marriages and baptisms, and providing advice and help to families located even on the most remote forest homesteads. His energy and dedication is remembered and respected by all who knew him in the region. In the mid-1960s the agropecuaria (cattle) companies began their operations in the region. In 1965, the Codeara Ranch, owned by the Banco de Credito Nacional of Sao Paulo, started operations in the vicinity of Santa Terezinha. They claimed to hold title to 320,000 ha which included the farms of the local farmers and the land where Santa Terezinha itself was located. Another company, Tapiraguaia, at approximately the same time, began to install a ranch on the land to the south of Codeara. The Tapiraguaia Ranch claimed ownership of the Cadete, a small settlement of squatters, and the land where the new Tapirape village was located. Other companies (see Figure 5) began ranching operations in other locations in the region at the same time. The cattle companies intended to raise beef cattle on better quality improved pastures. To make pastures they commenced a program of deforestation and planting of special pasture grasses. The labor requirements of installing a

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124

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125 large ranch are initially quite high because the clearing is done by manual labor. Since the local population was relatively sparse and also unwilling for the most part to work at the companies, the ranches relied on a system of labor not unlike the debt peonage of aviamento already described for the rubber boom. Gangs of male laborers were brought to Mato Grosso from other regions by labor contractors. The men were lured by promises of good living conditions and high wages. Once in Mato Grosso they found miserable living conditions, hard work and long hours, malaria and most importantly, that they were in debt to the contrac tor for their trip and to the company for their tools and provisions. Their wages went to pay their debts which kept accumulating at the company store. Companies hired gun men who kept the workers in line and prevented escape. To compensate for labor scarcity, to keep labor costs down and to force unwilling workers to remain, the companies used this servile system of labor which Bishop Pedro Casaldaliga (1971) has referred to as "white slavery." Immigration into the region during the 1960s increased dramatically for several reasons. First, some of the workers brought by the labor contractors managed to free themselves from the companies and settle down, and others came to the region on their own accord because they needed jobs and had heard rumors about the high wages ^ Secondly, the region was easier to get to because of the changes in

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126 transportation routes previously described and because of an increase in airplane service. Thirdly, the migrants were under increasing pressure to leave other places. Small farmers found it increasingly difficult to survive in Goias and Maranhao because of eviction, land taxes and other problems. Many families, as mentioned, were forced to leave the Forest Park on Bananal, and others also moved out of the Indian reservation when the Indian Service also began to charge a yearly tax per head of cattle. Other families were evicted from other locations to the north and west of the Araguaia River. Many of these migrants came to Santa Terezinha hoping to find unclaimed land on which to farm. A fourth reason why immigration increased in the 1960s had to do with the development of the town and its commerce, which in turn, was linked to the increasing activities of the ranch-companies. As Santa Terezinha 's role as commercial outlet and worker way station for the region grew, people attracted by the opportunities of the town's commerce came to settle there. Others perceived that jobs in services such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and the like, were increasing in Santa Terezinha. Lastly, people also came because they wanted to be near the school and medical assistance available in the town. The mid-1960s, however, brought many disappointments to both old inhabitants and recently arrived migrants. The Codeara Ranch started operations in 1965 and they began

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127 first in the forests closest to Santa Terezinha. They gave notice to the local farmers that they were living on company land. The farmers tried to ignore the company. The company hired gun men and thugs to harass the local population. Farmers would return home to find their houses burned. Some of the squatters, frightened and intimidated, moved away to other locations on the Araguaia. The company increased pressure on the local farmers and the town between 1966 and 1972 when the federal government finally intervened. Codeara built its headquarters 1.5 km from Santa Terezinha. Local fields were destroyed and fruit trees cut down. Sometimes local cattle and animals would simply disappear. At the same time, indebted peons were trying to escape from the company. Sometimes local settlers and Indians helped the escaping men by hiding them and providing transportation. The company, in turn, called on the State Militia to come put down rebellions. One time a military unit armed with submachine guns invaded the Tapirape village where some escaped workers were hiding (Shapiro, 1967) Padre Jentel tried to organize the farmers and inform them of their rights under the law. He also tried to negotiate with the company. His suggestion that the company merely sell the land where the local farms were located to the settlers was ignored by the company and the government (Wagley, 1977). The priest urged the farmers to join the

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128 agricultural cooperative, which had been started in 1962, so that the town and farmers would have a corporate institution to represent their legal claim to the place. By 1967, Shapiro (1967) reports that about 92 families had joined the cooperative. The Tapirape tribe was also under pressure from the Tapiraguaia Company to leave their village and gardens. In 1967, FUNAI, under increasing pressure from Brazilian and foreign anthropologists, museums, agencies and the Catholic Church, initiated negotiations with the cattle company. After several years of discussion, the Tapiraguaia Company finally "donated" 9,000 ha at the mouth of the Tapirape River to the tribe. This land, however, is insufficient for the needs of the growing Indian population and much of it is composed of marshy and grassy areas unsuitable for agriculture. The Tapirape have continued to negotiate for more land, but as late as 1979, this issue had not been resolved. Meanwhile, the tension of the escalating conflict between the Codeara Company and the Santa Terezinha farmers was about to erupt into violence. Shapiro (1967: 8) describes the situation in 1967: The company has the complete support of the state in its attempts to dispossess the settlers. The Secretary of Justice of the State of Mato Grosso had led the farmers to believe that they have no rights in the matter, presenting them with the ultimatum of either

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129 working for the company or leaving their lands. The farmers were told that [the] squatters' rights provisions had been done away with in the new constitution the state government had provided the company with a permanent police force to overcome resistance to the company on the part of the local population. The position of the company in Santa Terezinha is like that of an occupying army: the local inhabitants, rather than being incorporated into its activities, are considered enemies to be subdued In 1972 the confrontation between Santa Terezinha and the Codeara Company came to a head. A number of company men entered the town and destroyed the construction site of the new health clinic, ramming the walls with a tractor and demolishing the well, the garden and a large supply of costly construction material (Davis, 1977). Padre Jentel and the group building the clinic began again. The Codeara men were sent a second time to halt construction but some local men decided instead to fight and opened fire on the ranch representatives. According to the information gathered by Davis (1977: 125), "seven people were wounded in this incident, and the town of Santa Terezinha was placed under military control." The government considered Padre Jentel responsible for the "attack," and Wagley (1977: 294-5) summarizes the events which followed: The outcome was a sad one. Padre Francois Jentel was denounced to the Minister of the Interior, to the Minister of Justice, and to various state authorities as a "communist agitator." Despite the support of his bishop and other Catholic authorities, he was tried and sentenced to ten years in prison. He served part of this term in a prison in Ma to Grosso, and it was not

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130 until 1974 that he was released and exiled from Brazil. By then his case had been widely reported by the press in the United States and in Europe In part because of the national and international attention focused on events in Santa Terezinha, the Codeara Company decided to give both the town and the local farmers some land. INCRA was asked to supervise the land distribution. Between 1973 and 1976 approximately 110 lots were distributed to Santa Terezinha farmers, and the town was given title to 517 ha of land. The municipal government had originally requested 2,467 ha for the urban area of Santa Terezinha, but later accepted the smaller amount (Casaldaliga, 1978) Transition to Stage Three: Recent History The largest number of immigrants entered Santa Terezinha after 1970. Ironically, most of the migrants looking for unclaimed land to farm entered the region at the same time that the companies were establishing their ownership of the land. Other migrants, already detached from the land, came looking for jobs. Conditions of the peons and other employees at the cattle companies improved somewhat after 1970, in part, because of governmental pressure and, in part, because the available labor force was larger. Other migrants were attracted by the growing commercial opportunities in Santa Terezinha and the increase in service

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131 jobs. Although the town remained cutoff in many respects — poor roads, no postal service and the like — the presence of the companies brought significant changes to the region. The following chapters analyze the socio-economic conditions in Santa Terezinha between 1978 and 1979. Despite the land distribution, small farming is clearly declining. The regional population is increasingly dependent on both wage labor positions and tertiary sector activities. There is currently a process of increasing proletarianization of the local population. At the same time, certain future trends and changes are clear. The cattle companies are already beginning to reduce their labor force. Already established improved pastures and increasing mechanization are contributing to a decrease in company jobs. The new road under construction, BR 158, will also alter the transportation and supply routes in the region. The future of Santa Terezinha is still far from secure. End Notes The Legal Amazon is a designation used in Brazil to refer to the Amazon Basin and some surrounding transitional territory. The Legal Amazon encompasses 59% of the national territory of Brazil which is considered the Amazon region. The area demarcated includes the north of Goias and Mato Grosso. Some government agencies, however, use a definition of the Amazon region which only includes 42% of the national territory which is generally called the north region. These agencies usually classify the States of Goias and Mato Grosso as belonging to the central-west region of

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132 Brazil. In this dissertation we will follow the definition of the Legal Amazon and treat northern Goias and Mato Grosso as part of the Amazon region. 2 The campo or savanna is also referred to as the cerrado, or campo cerrado 3 It is difficult to compile a statistical profile of the research site because at various points in time it has fallen under different jurisdictions. Some statistical material would be in terms of the Legal Amazon, and other material would be included as part of the data available on the central-west states. The National Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) classifies northern Mato Grosso as part of the central-west region and makes aggregate statistical profiles which include far richer and more densely settled areas of southern Mato Grosso and Goias and include the cities of Goiania and Brasilia. One is suspicious of the accuracy of the Institute's data when none of the maps included in its atlas of the centralwest region show the existence of the towns on the Araguaia River (IBGE, 1977). Another complication ensues from the fact that until 1955, this part of the State of Mato Grosso officially belonged to the State of Para. 4 For more detailed accounts of the land tenure system and socio-economic problems of the Northeast see: Wag ley, 1971; Forman, 1975; Gross and Underwood, 1971; Johnson, 1971; CIDA, 1966; Feder, 1971; Moraes 1970; and Prado, 1971. 5 For a more detailed account of the famous Northeastern folk hero. Padre Cicero, see Queiroz, 1977. For an account of the relationship of Padre Cicero and his prophecies to the westward movement of peasants in Mato Grosso, see Lisansky, 1980. g The wages paid by the ranch-companies in northern Mato Grosso appear to be higher than wages paid in other areas of Brazil, particularly the Northeast, and sometimes the monthly wage is higher than the minimum wage ($60) required by state law. The higher wage must be considered along with several other factors which demonstrate that real income remains low. First, the early workers at the companies never received most of their wages because of the system of continual debt already described. Secondly, the minimum wage set by law is an absurdly low figure for almost all states. Research carried out in Sao Paulo and several other states showed that it was impossible for a family to subsist on the minimum wage (Visao, 1978)

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133 Thirdly, goods and services in the frontier zone are generally more costly than in other areas of Brazil and, thus, the difference in prices absorbs much of the "extra" earning power. Lastly, the wages paid to company workers do not include any payment in kind and workers are generally not allowed to grow their own crops or raise animals. Real income, when the workers must purchase all their basic supplies, goes down because they previously depended on their own production for part of their subsistence.

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CHAPTER IV THE SMALL FARMERS OF SANTA TEREZINHA It's so difficult! The ranch has money and can do jobs of any type in any way and a poor person doesn't have any money. Many people here are without land. People get upset and they sell out. There are people living here and there, all screwed up, without a place to live. Santa Terezinha Resident The poor work too hard. The poor try to obtain something for themselves but they can't and remain without any way out of the dilemma. A person sweats so much just to end up with others taking it away from him. It's hard. We don't say anything because we don't know anything. Santa Terezinha Resident (The land conflict) is complicated. The people here do not understand it well. The sharks take the land. They only plant grass for cattle. Those who can get all the land. If a poor person gets a small piece they do everything they can to take it away from him. Santa Terezinha Resident It is the land sharks who are taking everything! The poor people will be left on the moon with their hands on their hands. All this here belongs to Codeara, and we will end up her tenants What we need is our own land; that's all we need. I am of the forest. With land we could muster our force and raise cows, pigs, chickens, make a pasture. With our own land we could make an abundance. Santa Terezinha Resident 134

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135 This chapter will provide a closer look at the livelihood of small farmers in Santa Terezinha. The focus will be on production, distribution, and consumption patterns. The main point of this chapter is that the small farmers are unable to compete or even coexist with the expansion of the economic frontier dominated by the corporate cattle enterprises. Although the small farmers clearly practice "backward and archaic" agriculture, it will be argued that input and improvement into the technological and infrastructural spheres would not be sufficient to stop the demise of the peasantry in northern Mato Grosso. It is further posited that structural contradictions between the mode of production of capitalist firms and the mode of production of petty commodity producers (farmers) are the root cause of the failure of small farmers, and not the small farmers' own conservative values or poverty mentality. Santa Terezinha farmers who continue to engage in agriculture are subsistence farmers because they have no other viable choice, and not because they hold cultural values or prejudices against creating a surplus for the market. This chapter will demonstrate that the small farmers of Santa Terezinha continue to struggle within an increasingly vicious cycle of constraints which constrain and often defeat their efforts.

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136 The two other major livelihood alternatives in this frontier zone, wage labor and commerce, will be discussed in the following chapter. This chapter will examine only that segment of the population still engaged in farming activities on land held by title or by squatters' rights. The majority of frontier households, it should be remembered, do not pursue only one livelihood strategy. Rather, the households tend to diversity and have complex and shifting patterns of obtaining a living. The informal economy of Santa Terezinha will be treated more fully in Chapter Six. Although there are few persons in Santa Terezinha who can be classified exclusively as farmers, wage laborers or merchants, these three major alternative livelihoods will be treated separately for heuristic analytical purposes. Several important trends should be noted in relation to the farming livelihood pattern. One is that while immigration of persons with a peasant farming background into the region has continued to increase rapidly since the 1960s, the number of persons with access to land and the number of persons engaged in small farming has decreased radically. While 86% of the parents of Santa Terezinha households were reported as farmers, only 61% of their children — the current household heads — had farmed in the last five years, and only 25% were engaged in the preparation of new fields for planting in 1978-1979. The decreasing access to land has already been discussed in previous chapters. As

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137 Table 3. Types of Land Ownership and Land Use in Santa Terezinha TYPE OF ACCESS NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS TYPE OF OWNERSHIP: INCRA title land 10 Squatters' rights to land (posse) 8 Own no land 81 TOTAL 99 OTHER TYPES OF ACCESS: Use INCRA lot of relatives 8 Use posse lot of relatives 3 Sharecrop on other INCRA lot 8 Sharecrop on other posse lot 1 No reported access to land 61 TOTAL 81

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138 a general rule, in areas where large companies have processed legal titles to land, the number of squatters decreases and the number of small farmers who succeed in obtaining definitive titles for their land is miniscule. Santa Terezinha is somewhat an exception to the more common outcome of land conflict where the small farmers lose because INCRA intervened and distributed approximately 110 rural modules'*" of land to local farmers. But even this did not resolve the acute problems of small farmers in the area. Another apparent trend, which will be treated more fully in Chapter Six, is an increase in diversification and intensification of livelihood activities. In common parlance, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to make a living in Santa Terezinha. Some diversification, such as periodic wage labor or intermittent marketing of surplus agricultural commodities, is a well-documented phenomenon among peasantries world-wide (Gamst, 1974; Lopreato, 1967; Wolf, 1966). Cash needs for industrial products, taxes and the like, are met in various ways. What this dissertation will demonstrate, however, is that diversification in Santa Terezinha is exaggerated and unstable because of increasing constraints on the major livelihood alternatives. Agricultural activities, by small owners, squatters or tenants, have traditionally provided a minimum level of basic subsistence even if no marketing of surplus was carried out. The

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139 disintegration of the farming system, then, has grave implications for the welfare of the rural population. Although the number of small farmers engaged in farming is decreasing annually in Santa Terezinha, there still remains a significant portion of the local population either directly or indirectly linked to small farming activities. While only 25% of the sampled town households were preparing new fields, there are many persons and households who engage in agricultural activities indirectly, such as sons who intermittently work with their fathers, or landless families who harvest other peoples' crops. Some of the better-off families have tenant-farmers on their land. Although the town does not have any formal marketplace as an outlet for locally produced products, almost all town households periodically buy at least small quantities of agricultural products directly from producers. The local farming system, while clearly threatened and under increasing constraints, has not yet disappeared although this seems a clear possibility for the future. The small farmer production described in the following pages, then, for the time being at least, remains one of the major livelihood alternatives in the frontier. Production The type of farming practiced in the Santa Terezinha area is the shifting swidden (or slash-and-burn) horticulture

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140 already described for Amazon farming (Meggers, 1971; Moran, 1975, 1974; Wagley, 1976). Each year new fields are made by clearing forested land which is later burned and planted shortly before the winter rains begin. In Northern Mato Grosso soil fertility of cultivated land falls rather rapidly and fields are planted and tended for only one to two years after which the farmer allows the location to return to secondary growth ( capoeira ) Certain tuber crops, particularly manioc, are harvested out of old fields for as long as three to four years after the original planting. Secondary growth areas are cleared and used for new fields only when there is a shortage of available forest land, and then the farmers select the oldest capoeira (secondary growth) in which to work. This type of agriculture clearly demands, even when the fields are relatively small each year, a rather extensive amount of terrain since the land's regeneration of productive capacity depends on allowing it to recover natural cover for no less than five years and ideally for ten to fifteen years. Soil analysis data is unavailable at this time for this region of northern Mato Grosso but farmers, both old-timers and new arrivals, concurred that land here "tires easily" when stripped of forest cover and cannot be productively planted for more than two years. Farmers prepare new fields during the dry season each year from May to September although the most active times for

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141 clearing work are the months of June, July and August. Males do the heavy work of felling trees and clearing the brush. Tools used include axes ( machado ) a type of bush hook or scythe (foice) and large bush knives (facao) No power tools of any kind are used. Men usually do clearing alone or in small groups of two to four. The most frequent composition of these work groups consists of the "owner" of the land (either by title or posse ) and relatives such as brothers, sons and sons-inlaw whom the "owner" is allowing to use the land. The men usually do clearing operations together but divide the land into separate garden plots (ropas) before planting. Sometimes other family members — women, children and elderly persons — help in the lighter chores of clearing. The traditional peasant communal work party (mutirao) where a large number of households gather at a farm to work, feast and hold a party, does not take place in Santa Terezinha. Of 44 households questioned, 39 had never participated in a mutirao four had participated in other locations (southern Mato Grosso and Goi^s) and only one household had participated in Santa Terezinha. The mutirao which took place in Santa Terezinha was organized by the local priest one year in an effort to stimulate the revival of these customary work parties. Many families who participated in this cooperative effort stated that although they liked the idea of work parties, they would not choose to

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142 participate again in the future. The reasons given by informants as to why they would not work in a mutirao were (1) it was too expensive to take on the obligation to feed so many guests, (2) some families' fields got cleared too late which threw off planting schedules, and (3) most people felt that they worked harder at their neighbors' fields than their neighbors worked in their own. Most persons interviewed felt that such forms of cooperation were "a good idea" but they concluded that "we are too disunited for that here." The failure of more formally organized group or community enterprises, which is analyzed more fully in Chapter Six, is clearly linked to the necessities and constraints of frontier survival strategies which tend to emphasize short-term, informal dyadic arrangements for exchanges of labor. While large-scale efforts falter, another form of cooperative labor, called "trading days," has become more common. The custom of "trading days" or "trading jobs" (troca de dias; troca de serviyo ) is a much more common form of cooperative labor in the frontier than is the mutirao Trading days is a short-term temporary arrangement usually made between two males who are related or are friends. They agree (verbally) to help each other in the heavy clearing work phase of garden preparation. Each man works for several days in the field of the other and is given shelter and food by the host. The guest worker then becomes the host

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143 and gives and receives identical services. The most common use of this type of arrangement is for heavy clearing work although sometimes there are minor variations. One man, skilled in house construction, made the walls of his brotherin-law's house and in exchange the brother-in-law cleared the mason's field. This type of labor exchange does not require expenditures of either money or produce as do the parties which follow a mutirao Similar to other frontier survival strategies, it tends to be highly informal, involve few persons and little time. For reasons which will be discussed later, this type of labor exchange tends to occur only in relation to clearing work and is never used at harvest time. Some of the better-off farmers or men with other occupations sometimes pay laborers to do their clearing for them. Cash will be paid for clearing jobs when it is the only work done by the employee. When the laborer becomes a tenant of some kind and continues on to do the planting and harvesting, the payment is usually in kind and most commonly takes the form of splitting the harvest in half (na meia) between the "owner" and the tenant. In recent years many Santa Terezinha farmers have started to plant improved pastures for cattle raising since the common lands (of natural grazing areas) of the var jao (flood plain) and Bananal are becoming inaccessible to them. Hence, many tenancy arrangements now include a stipulation that the tenant leave the harvested

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144 field planted with pasture grass. This variation, which will be discussed under cattle raising, has important effects on agricultural practices because areas to be planted as pasture cannot be used for crops, such as manioc, which produce for more than one year. The planting of large areas with special pasture grass is leading to a general reduction in manioc cultivation in the area and an increasing dependence on rice as a major crop and major item in the diet. The areas cleared for ropas by the farmers of Santa Terezinha are relatively small and normally range from 1/2 ha to 1 1/2 ha. The trees and brush are cut and left to dry in the sun a minimum of one month and usually longer. The usual time for burning the fields is between late August and early October. The timing of the burn must be gauged fairly accurately because burning too early leaves a new field open to a fast invasion of quick growing brush (most commonly taboca, a form of bamboo) which then must also be cleared. If the farmer delays burning too long it may be difficult to get a good (complete) burn because of damp conditions from the rains. Ideally a farmer burns shortly before the rains begin so that he can quickly plant and take advantage of the rains which usually begin sometime between late September and early October. Weather changes in the Amazon Basin, over the last three years (1976-1978) were reported by local farmers who stated

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145 that these fluctuations caused additional serious problems. In the past farmers stated that they could depend with a good deal of security on the regularity of the seasonal variations. Major weather changes, such as particularly heavy flooding in the rainy season, were relatively rare and seemed to occur about every ten years. But weather changes in the last three years, consisting of the late arrival of the winter rains, extra heavy rains, above normal flooding, and a continuation of the rains into the harvest months when farmers need dry weather has had adverse effects on agricultural production. These weather changes have undermined farmers' calculations. In 1978, the farmers who burned at the customary time in late August and early September found that the expected rains did not arrive until November. Some farmers delayed planting and ended up with their new fields heavily overgrown with brush Most farmers planted, hoping the rains would arrive on time and ended up with either dried up fields or fields full of stunted and weak new plants. Some men hauled water in buck ets from wells and streams but this method was relatively inefficient and ineffective. By November 1978, many farmers already knew that a large percentage of their new plant ings were ruined and that production would be down at harvest time. Conversations and debates about these problems were frequent in 1978 as farmers discussed whether it was better to wait or not, and whether or not to plant in

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146 low-lying or higher land. Many farmers, fearing a delay in the arrival of the rain, planted in the lowest-lying parts of their fields where the new plantings would benefit from the dampness of nearby streams and be flooded soonest when the rains did start. However, this strategy was not always successful when the rains finally did arrive, again heavier than usual, and many lost plants because of the excessive flooding. No irrigation or dike works are utilized in this region. The usual months for planting the fields are September to January and almost all cultigens except for rice and pasture grass are planted between September and November. Major cultigens include sweet and bitter manioc, corn, several varieties of beans, sweet potatoes, two varieties of pineapples, several varieties of squashes, sugar cane, and water melons. Rice, manioc flour (farinha) and beans are the main components of the population's diet. Corn is eaten green (fresh) in season but is grown mainly in small quantities as an animal food. Other useful trees and plants are cultivated and a list of the more important ones would include several varieties of bananas, mangoes, papayas, several varieties of oranges, lemons, limas (sweet limes), several varieties of passion fruit ( maracuja ) cotton, hot peppers, gourds, avocadoes, guava, castor oil beans and ata (sugarapple) A small number of farmers are currently experimenting with coffee and tobacco, but since these crops

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147 require better soils and/or fertilizers, few farmers consider the possibilities very good. The rising prices of coffee, considered an essential beverage and a sign of hospitality, has spurred experimentation with coffee growing most of which has been small-scale for home consumption. Some fruit trees, including lemons, avocadoes, oranges, mangoes and others, require at least several years until the plant begins to produce fruit. Because so many Santa Terezinha farmers have been unable to continue farming one homestead for an extended period and the INCRA land distribution in 1973-1974 reshuffled the farmers into new loca4 tions, many farmers do not have mature trees. Men do most of the planting although other family members sometimes help. Most men plant their ropas alone unless their family is also staying at the fields or they have a tenant working with them. The only "machine" used in planting is a wooden rice seeder with which a man can plant 30 to 40 liters of rice a day; the rice seeders are heavy to handle and so only men plant rice, whereas women may work planting all other cultigens. All planting, except for rice, is done with knives, hoes (enxada) and hands. All planting, harvesting and the cutting of wood and thatch are done in accordance with the phases of the moon. All Santa Terezinha farmers, regardless of migration histories, believe that "the moon governs the land" and that agricultural activities must be coordinated with the

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148 appropriate phases of the moon. It is believed that anything planted in the time of the new moon will be weak, "without resistance," and grow long and thin and bear little fruit. Produce should not be harvested during the new moon, particularly corn and rice, or else it will tend to rot and become bug infested. Wood for construction and thatch should not be cut at the time of the new moon because it is believed that it will become putrid. All Santa Terezinha farmers avoid planting anything until three days after the beginning of the new moon and most prefer to wait at least six days. Manioc, rice, corn and beans are usually planted during and after the full moon (approximately 14 days or more into the lunar cycle) ; it is believed that planting at this time helps to produce healthy, sturdy plants with good yields. Certain vine plants, on the other hand, which should grow long thin vines are planted shortly after the new moon, such as water melons, squash, and maxixe (gherkins) These folk beliefs probably have a sound empirical basis in that the phases of the lunar cycle are correlated with variations in the land's water table in similar fashion to the moon's influence on the ocean tides. The water table in the land is particularly high in the time of the new moon and the increased amount of water in the soil may be responsible for effects observed by the farmers ^

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149 Another set of folk beliefs which influences agricultural activities has to do with the days of the week. Some farmers believe that Fridays and Saturdays are unlucky for farming activities. Fridays are considered bad for anything having to do with manioc, planting, harvesting or processing. Saturdays are considered particularly bad for planting and seeds planted on Saturdays are said to become weak plants. It is more difficult to suggest an empirical basis for these beliefs. Although far fewer farmers mentioned them in interviews it was observed that very few farmers engaged in agricultural work over weekends. Fertilizers are not used and are not available locally. Many farmers had heard of and expressed interest in fertilizers but lack of technical information, access and financing block the adoption of fertilizers. As will become clear, the present peasant methods of farming require almost no capital investment. Most farmers pointed out during interviews that innovations and expansion of production would require credit sources. To date there are no credit facilities in Santa Terezinha. The town does have an agricultural cooperative, founded by the Catholic Mission, but it is a relatively weak organization with precarious funding and cannot provide the needed credit. The only type of credit which the cooperative does provide is delayed payments for necessary agricultural implements for members; however, most other stores in town will give similar

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150 purchasing credit with a longer pay-back period. Many farmers have become disenchanted with the cooperative and have terminated their memberships in it. The cooperative will be discussed in more detail later in this chapter. Most farmers purchase and use insecticide which they mix with rice, corn and sometimes beans before planting. Seeds to be planted are saved from the previous year's harvest although some farmers do sell seeds to other people. The farmers stated that it is necessary to use insecticide, one fourth of a kilo with every 18 liters of seed, to protect the corn and rice seed from insects in the soil. If funds permit, farmers also use insecticide when planting beans. The cost of a kilo of insecticide in 197 8 was approximately $2. Manioc, on the other hand, is never planted with insecticide and the cuttings are never sold. Any farmer with manioc in his fields will provide cuttings at no charge to anyone asking for them. Rice is usually planted in December and January. The reason for this delay is that rice matures in four to five months and farmers prefer to harvest rice after the winter rains have ceased and the flood waters have receded. Rice is known to do well in damp ground (called locally "cold ground"). Farmers usually plant rice in the lowestlying parts of their fields and near streams where the rice will be partially inundated. Rice planted in particularly "cold"

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151 areas will produce a smaller second harvest after it has been already harvested. Farmers prefer to plant rice late so that they can harvest in the dry month of May. If the rice is planted early, in October and November, it is often necessary to harvest it while wading through water or even from a canoe. Effort must be expended to keep the harvested rice dry during the rainy season or else it starts to mold. Insects are worst in the rainy season and together with damp conditions discourage farmers from early harvests. Some families, however, do plant a portion of their rice early so that they can harvest it in late January, February, and April. This is done because January and February are the leanest months in Santa Terezinha when most households are already out of rice, last year's rice having been eaten and sold. Rice which sold at harvest time for about $15 a sack (60 kg) in 1978, went as high as $40 a sack in February 1979. Wage labor opportunities decline during the rainy months as ranch-companies reduce their work force, and while foodstuffs are imported into town, money is extremely tight for most households at a time when the price of foodstuffs is highest. Hence, an early rice harvest, while very troublesome, is considered to be a worthwhile enterprise by some families Rice is an important crop in Santa Terezinha and constitutes a major item in the diet of all but the poorest

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152 families. Manioc flour (farinha) while a staple, is considered to be insufficient alone. People described times of suffering as times when they had only manioc flour to eat for months on end. Estimates provided by informants indicate that an average adult consumes between one and a half to two sacks of rice per year (90 to 120 kg) or approximately one-fourth to one-third of a kilo per day. The goal of most households interviewed was to have at least ten sacks (600 kg) of rice in storage for home consiamption for one year. Santa Terezinha farmers measure rice production in terms of the number and productivity of linhas cultivated (lines, of which there are four in each hectare) and the yield (in sacks — 60 kg a sack) per kilo of rice planted. Each linha cultivated is planted with approximately 8 to 10 kg of rice and ideally should produce about 15 sacks (900 kg) Farmers are aware that good land gives a better yield, as high as 1,100 kg per linha, whereas poor land has a lower yield, usually about 576 kg per linha The 15 sacks, or 900 kg production estimate provided by farmers is clearly an average between the two extremes. Most farmers prepare between four to six linhas (1 to 1 1/2 ha) for rice cultivation. There is a great deal of variation as some farmers plant only one linha and others as many as ten. Since the average man can plant between 30 to 40 kg of rice a day, the actual work of planting can be completed in less

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153 than a week. The goal of most farmers who plant rice on about five linhas is to harvest between 40 to 60 sacks (2,400-3,600 kg). The household reserves ten sacks and sells the rest. Thus, the ideal goal is often to produce a sufficient amount of rice for yearly home consumption and a surplus to sell. Other factors, however, enter in and alter these production goals. Problems with the quality of the land selected for cultivation and the already mentioned problems with weather changes, late arrival of rains, excessive flooding and rains during the harvest time, have significantly reduced farmers' yields. Examples of disappointing yields in 1977 include one family who planted one linha with a goal of 15 sacks but a harvest of only three sacks, and another family who cultivated ten linhas hoping to get at least 60 sacks but who harvested only 38 sacks. Further problems in obtaining harvest labor and in transportation of the rice to town also contribute to loss in rice production. Fluctuations in local rice prices, also affect farmers' decisions about how much to plant. The low price of $2.50 a sack during the 1977 harvest discouraged many farmers from planting enough to have a surplus for sale. The following year, however, there was an acute local rice shortage because farmers had planted primarily for home consumption and had lost a great deal because of the weather.

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154 Prices for rice soared and farmers again began to consider planting larger fields. Crops are planted more or less mixed in the fields, although rice is usually located in the lowest lying areas and manioc is known to do better on somewhat higher and drier ground. Some farmers in Santa Terezinha have also begun to prepare improved pastures for cattle raising. The planting and cultivation of pasture grasses has begun to significantly alter the traditional agricultural practices. Before the arrival of the ranch-companies many peasant families raised a few head of cattle on the natural savannas of the region. Some of the more successful small-time "ranchers" even achieved herds of 100 to 300 head, and a man with a herd as large as 1,000 head (usually on Bananal) was considered to be a "wealthy rancher" ( f azendeiro ) Ranchers, or their resident cowboys, continued to be small farmers. Cattle, represented stored wealth, to be sold to traveling boiadeiros (cattle buyers) for investments or emergencies. The basic economy continued to be a peasant subsistence economy. Cattle roamed freely on the "common lands" and only agricultural fields were fenced to keep animals out. During the last ten to fifteen years, however, the small-time cattle raisers have lost access to most of the common grazing areas of the region. The interfluvial island of Bananal, whose vast savannas attracted many small-time cattle raisers, is today divided

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155 into two National Parks, an Indian reserve and a national forest preserve. The National Park Service, in the early 1960s, established a headquarters on the island to protect the environment from human encroachment. Rather than overtly evict the peasant squatters, the Park Service passed a series of regulations designed to both protect the environment and discourage cattle raisers from remaining in the Park. Rules forbidding agriculture, hunting, fishing and the cutting of wood have effectively forced many small farmers to leave the park. The National Indian Service takes another tack, and charges Brazilian squatters yearly taxes per head of cattle, per meter of fence, and even per structure constructed. The costs are exorbitant for most peasant producers. On the Mato Grosso side of the river (see Figure 5) the majority of land is claimed by the various ranch-companies who patrol their vast areas to make sure that squatters are not entering them. Very few vacant or unclaimed areas still exist in the region. The majority of families in Santa Terezinha who do own some cattle have been unable to create sufficient areas of improved pastures for their upkeep. Therefore, the custom in the last few years for local small-time cattle raisers has been to allow cattle to graze freely on the var jao (flood plain) to the north of town which is exposed in the summer months, and to bring their cattle into the town

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156 during the rainy season. During the winter months, cattle and other animals wander in the streets of Santa Terezinha, eating brush, garbage and even breaking into backyards to get at backyard gardens. In 1978, the situation became even more acute when the local ranch-company, Codeara, began laying claim to the var jao to the north of town which they started to fence off. Local animals, found outside the city's borders were occasionally seized by company personnel and were difficult for the local farmers to get back. Therefore, farmers are increasingly interested in planting and maintaining improved pastures. The process is, however, expensive and land extensive. The local farmers buy special grass seeds of the same type utilized by the big companies. The major type used is called capim colo"iao ( Panicum maximum var. Coloniao) Capim jaragua (Hyparrhenia rufa var. Jaragua) and capim marmelado (Melinis multifolia ) or molasses grass is also planted. The price of the seeds, in 1978, was about $2 a kilo. The most common way of creating improved pastures on the part of the local farmers is to clear the forest and prepare the land for regular crops. Annual crops are then planted on the burned field, and after they have begun to grow, usually one to two months later, the grass seed is planted in the same field. The rice, corn and other cultigens must be allowed to have a sufficient start or else they will be choked off

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157 by the pasture grass. After the farmer has completed his harvest he allows cattle into the field. The animals graze and trample the grass thus scattering the seeds for further replanting of the field. Approximately one year after the first planting of the grass the entire field is burned, to "clean it" and the field spontaneously regenerates a fresh cover of pasture grasses. Several major changes in agricultural practices result from this new enterprise. First, fields which will be turned into pastures are only planted with annual crops, like rice, beans and corn. Manioc, the most dependable cultigen which produces for three to four years after the original planting, is not planted in areas destined to become pastures. The result has been a decrease in the planting of manioc which was reflected in periodic stortages in town of locally produced manioc flour, a dietary stable. Manioc flour is even imported into Santa Terezinha from the state of Para. Secondly, the newly created pasture area must be fenced to control access of the animals to the fodder and to keep out neighbors' animals. The best fencing material is wire and this entails a large expense for the farmer. Thirdly, the pasture requires upkeep, periodic burning and weeding to try to control invading plants. Two major problem invaders in the region, troublesome to both small raisers and big companies, are several species of poisonous weeds which kill cattle, and quick growing wild bananas

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158 which have no edible fruit. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a field which has been planted as pasture cannot be returned to agricultural production. Even neglected, it remains in grasses and does not return to the secondary growth necessary for future cultivation. So lands that have been turned into improved pastures are no longer potential farming areas. Since cattle require a minimum of 15 tons of fodder per head per year (Strickon, 1965: 233), it is necessary to create extensive areas of pasture to support the animals. The creation of pastures is too expensive for most Santa Terezinha farmers, and even men who have other sources of income, such as store keepers, find it difficult to carry out their plans. Many peasant farmers expressed serious doubts about the enterprise, saying that it was too expensive for them and that their neighbors who were planting grasses were "foolish." It is increasingly common that tenants must pay for the right to use land by leaving the field planted in pasture grasses rather than delivering half of the harvest to the owner. Land owners with definitive titles are usually the ones who are most interested in the creation of improved pastures. Only people who feel relatively secure about their ownership of the land tend to begin this process of investment for the future. Some farmers who had created pastures in the past on land held by posse expressed great bitterness and

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159 frustration over the lost investment since in many cases they were forced to move. Land holdings, whether by title or posse, tend to be generally about 100 ha but all 100 ha are not of equal value to farmers since the types of terrain on holdings vary. Some holdings contain only a relatively small percentage of the forest land considered good for farming and pastures. The farming system has already been described as one which is land extensive, in that fresh fields must be made every year and the fallow period is, of necessity, relatively long. Farmers who have continued to create new areas of pasture each year are effectively eliminating these portions of their land from future agricultural production and making a calculation that cattle production, in the long run, will provide a more secure livelihood. One highly market oriented and somewhat exceptional farmer interviewed reported that he had 60 out of 100 ha already planted with pasture grasses. When asked about the possibility of running out of land to farm, he looked incredulous, waved his arm in an arc through the air and said: "There will always be more land out there." With the increasing difficulty of access to land, rising land prices and the few remaining squatter areas currently threatened by the arrival of more companies, this optimistic assessment seems somewhat unrealistic. Harvesting begins in December, when some of the cultivated fruits, water melons, mangoes and pineapples, begin

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160 to mature. The rainy season is the time of fruits, both cultivated and wild. Almost all Santa Terezinha households, whether farmers or not, consume wild fruits. Some families even use the opportunity to collect the fruits and sell them door-to-door on the street. Some of the most important wild fruits collected are the palm fruits buriti (Mauritia vinifera Mart.) buritirana ( Mauritia martiana Spruce) and bacaba ( Oenocarpus distichus Mart.); murici (Byrosonima crassifolia (L) Kunth) and pequi ( Caryocar sp.) are also important. Jenipapo fruit ( Genipa americana L.) are also found in this region but are utilized less. Collecting is an important subsidiary activity for most households. Families collect not only wild fruits but fruits planted and abandoned by human beings. During the rainy season people make trips to former settlements such as the former site of Furo de Pedra and abandoned homesteads to collect fruits. If the tree or place has no "owner" anyone can pick the fruit. Even old cultivated fields are sometimes picked over for the few legumes which remain. Besides fruits, people also utilize other naturally occurring products in the environment. Two kinds of palm thatch are cut for roofing material although the more desirable type, the piassava palm ( Attale a funifera ) which makes a stronger and longer lasting roof, is harder and harder to find because of the expansion of pasture areas of the big companies. People also collect fire-wood, and some cut and

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161 collect it for sale to other families in town. Buriti palm fibers, as well as a few other types of fibers, are used by Brazilians and Indians in the manufacture of baskets. A shorter type of bamboo, called taboca ( Guadua sp.) is cut and used for fences and house walls. Three types of beans are cultivated by the farmers of northern Ma to Grosso, f ava (broad beans; Vicia f aba ) trepa pau (climbing beans, probably f eijao de espanha ; Phoseolus multif lora ) and andu (a pigeon pea; Cajanus cajan ) Fava and trepa-pau beans have an advantage in that they can be harvested continuously. Rather than cutting and drying the whole plant (as is necessary for some varieties of beans) the farmer merely picks dry pods off the plant which continue to grow and produce more pods. Fava and trepa-pau beans are ready for harvesting within 60 days, and trepa-pau has an added advantage in that it can be planted at almost any time of the year. The third type of bean is called andu in Mato Grosso and feijao madeira (wood bean) in the Brazilian northeast. Andu is a sturdy tree which is generally planted in the late rainy season and which produces bean pods during the dry summer months; it produces for two to three years rather than just annually. Although andu produces more reliably and is less affected by weather changes and excessive rain, it is the least popular because the small black beans are less tasty and require a longer cooking time. Fava and trepa-pau beans are

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162 adversely affected by too much rainfall. When overly wet they produce abundant vines which bear less pods and tend to strangle other garden plants. In 197 8-1979, excessive rains and flooding were even destroying some of the farmers bean plants. Thus, the small-scale harvesting of beans (except for andu ) goes on almost continuously. Farmers usually only harvest tiny amounts at a time, perhaps several liter cans full which they use for home consumption. Local production of beans is small and it is rare to find a household which has beans for sale. When beans are sold, it is only in very small quantities. Miniscule quantities of surplus beans are more commonly given as presents in reciprocal exchanges between households. No local beans are sold to any of the local stores including the cooperative. The stores sell mulatinho beans (a variety of kidney bean; Phaseolus sp.) imported from southern Brazil. Mulatinho beans are the most commonly eaten beans in Brazil and are also the most popular of all beans eaten in Santa Terezinha. At $2 a kilo however, mulatinho beans were more expensive than the cheaper cuts of meat for most of 1978 until meat doubled in price. Most households in Santa Terezinha purchase mulatinho beans if the family budget allows; beef was so scarce during most of 1978 that beans (and occasionally fish) were the major sources of protein for most households, Mulatinho beans are not grown in northern Ma to Grosso.

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163 Farmers said that they require a "cooler climate with cooler soils"; they are also better suited for intensive mechanized production because they are harvested all at once. Sweet potatoes are also grown in northern Mato Grosso but the production is extremely small. Farmers stated that they were having problems with insects ruining their potatoes. During the entire nine months the researcher resided in Santa Terezinha, sweet potatoes were seen in households only three times. Most potatoes eaten are the white potatoes imported from southern Brazil. At almost a dollar a kilo, white potatoes were considered a luxury food by most families and are served primarily on special occasions, such as birthday parties. Manioc (cassava; Manihot, sp.) is a crop of central importance in Santa Terezinha as it is for the entire north of Brazil. This starchy tuber formed the mainstay of the diet of the indigenous populations of the Amazon Basin, and today it is a basic staple for most Brazilians (Moran, 1974; Wagley, 1976). Manioc is extremely well-suited to tropical conditions and soils and the sturdy plant requires no protective insecticides or fertilizers. It is planted by taking cuttings from the stalks of other manioc plants. Mature tubers are ready for harvesting in about six months, and can be left in the ground for long periods of time although after as many as four years the tubers become too fibrous. Therefore, tubers can be harvested as needed.

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164 Manioc is mainly consumed in the form of manioc flour (farinha) a by-product which results from the processing of the poisonous variety. Manioc flour has an excellent storage capacity because damp conditions do not ruin it and most animals and pests (such as rats and cockroaches) do not eat it. Farinha is eaten daily, at meals and between meals. It is mixed together with almost all foods, from rice and beans to mashed avocadoes An average household in Santa Terezinha consumes between one and two kilos of manioc 7 flour a day, or approximately 548 kg a year. Farinha is the constant item in the population's diet, since it is cheaper and more available than any other food. There are two varieties of manioc. Sweet manioc ( man ihot aipi) contains no poison (prussic acid) and can be eaten without processing; the tubers are boiled, baked or fried. Sweet manioc is commonly called macexeira in the Amazon, but in Santa Terezinha it was always referred to as mandioca mansa (tame manoic) Poisonous manioc (manihot esculenta ) contains prussic acid which must be removed before the tuber can be consumed. It is from the poisonous manioc, called locally mandioca de farinha (flour manioc) or mandioca brava (v/ild manioc) that the manioc flour is made. Both kinds are grown in Santa Terezinha although the poisonous variety predominates. Sweet manioc is grown in both fields and town backyards; poisonous manioc is planted primarily in the fields.

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165 As already mentioned, the cuttings of manioc to plant can be obtained for free from any farmer. It is considered best to cut the entire stalk and leave it in the shade for about five days for the "milk" to develop after which the stalk is cut into 20 mm segments and planted. It is believed that this "milk" which develops helps in the formation of new roots. Manioc which is planted directly after being cut is believed to grow more slowly. Manioc stalks can be planted up to 15 days after being cut; after 15 days they are too old to plant. The farmers stated that manioc does better in somwehat drier ground. Although the manioc is planted in mixed fields, together with other plants, the farmers noted that manioc does best when planted separately from rice. Manioc is not planted in areas destined to become pasture. The best harvest of tubers occurs in the first two years after planting but tubers from older plants are utilized for an additional two years after which they become too tough and fibrous. There is no one harvest time for manioc. Throughout the year farmers spend time, usually at least a week at a time, harvesting and processing the manioc tubers. Manioc flour is made whenever the household needs more or wants to sell some. There are two kinds of manioc flour produced from the poisonous variety: f arinha branca (white manioc flour) and f arinha puba (water processed or "putrid" manioc flour) Puba is most commonly produced and consumed.

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166 To make f arinha branca the manioc tubers are peeled, grated, squeezed and then toasted. Puba is somewhat more involved. To make f arinha puba tubers are dug up and placed in water, usually a stream, for several days until they become quite soggy and slightly "putrid." The peel is then removed and the pulp is then squeezed in a manioc press to remove the prussic acid. The farmers do not utilize the Amazonian tipiti (i.e., woven press of indigenous origin) but rather a box-like press made of logs and lined with leaves. They stated that the box press allows them to process about five times more at a time than the smaller tipiti The run-off liquid from pressing is often caught and left to settle. The sediment is tapioca powder, called locally polvilho, which is used for pancakes ( bei jus ) or sold. The remaining liquid, called tucupi in the state of Para, contains poison and is thrown away. The pressed pulp is put through a sieve to remove gross fibers and is then toasted. It is toasted on a flat piece of metal, usually an open oil drum, over a wood fire. Toasting each batch takes two to three hours and the flour must be constantly stirred. Farinha puba has a distinctive flavor and is extremely popular although it is considered a "peasant food." Farinha branca is considered to be more for delicate people who can not take the strong flavor of puba Farinha branca is commonly eaten by women after giving birth and people who claim that farinha puba upsets their stomach. The soaking of the

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167 tubers for puba produces a mild fermentation that may increase the nutritional value of the manioc flour (Beckerman, 1979) Manioc flour is most commonly produced in a work hut with no walls, located near the gardens. The major tools necessary are manufactured by the farmer. The fire-place is built of mud with an oil drum toasting surface. The box presses are made by the farmers as are the canoe-like wooden troughs used to hold the pulp and toasted flour. Formerly a type of basket was manufactured as a sieve, but today most people use perforated pieces of metal. A type of wooden spatula with a long handle is made for stirring the flour over the fire. The major innovation is the grating machine now used by most farmers. Formerly the tubers were grated by hand which took longer. When farmers make farinha they usually spend one to two weeks in the field processing the manioc and doing other agricultural chores. A large amount of firewood is gathered and tubers put to soak daily so that each day has a supply of ready pulp and fuel. Men sometimes do this work alone, but it is far more common to find two or more people working together. If the family lives at the forest homestead the entire household will participate in the various tasks of peeling, grating, stirring and so forth. One researcher calculated that it takes nine hours to produce 140 kg of farinha, which gives a rate of about 16 kg of farinha for

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168 each hour of labor (Parker, personal conununication) In Santa Terezinha calculations were made for a family group consisting of two adult males and two adult females. The four worked making f arinha for approximately 19 days and produced 720 kg of manioc flour and 95 kg of tapioca; this shows a production rate of 38 kg per day. After reserving several sacks for home consumption and paying the cost of transportation, the family sold the remaining f arinha for $145.50 which breaks down a daily income from manioc for each adult of $1.90 a day. A fairly common arrangement in Santa Terezinha is a form of cooperative labor in the production of manioc flour. Non-farming persons, frequently females who are supporting a household alone, will go work with a farmer in the production of f arinha The "guest laborer" usually goes to live temporarily at the fields during the days devoted to manioc processing. The worker is usually required to bring along his or her own food supply so as to not create an additional burden for the host. The laborer then helps in all phases of the manioc processing and receives from onethird to one-half of the manioc flour produced during the time period. This type of arrangement allows landless and cash poor families to lay in relatively large supplies of f arinha These "guest laborers" are most frequently women, who, for various reasons, are temporarily or permanently in

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169 charge of supporting a household. No money is involved in the transaction. The maturation and harvesting of the rice crop differs somewhat from the other cultigens grown. One major difference is that labor must be expanded prior to harvest in "guarding" the rice plants from predatory birds which feed on the young rice. A constant preoccupation of rice growers during the two months prior to the harvest it to make sure that there is someone in the fields at all times to scare away birds. Most rice fields are ready for harvesting between April and May of each year. A major difference from the other cultigens which are grown in smaller quantities or can be harvested periodically, is that rice needs to be harvested all at one time. A serious problem for many farmers is obtaining sufficient labor for the harvest. Families and relatives are not always available to help and cash for paid labor is usually in short supply at this time of year. The most common way of obtaining harvest labor is for the farmer to pay in rice. Workers are usually paid by receiving from onefourth to one-third of the bags they harvest. Again, this type of transaction allows landless households to lay in rice supplies without cash transactions. Both males and females work as "guest laborers" in rice harvesting. Because the labor requirements occur in a relatively short time period there appear to be annual shortages of available harvest

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170 labor. Farmers repeatedly expressed frustration at their inability to find sufficient interested laborers to help in the rice harvest. Those with small areas planted may be unwilling to lose a percentage of the rice in payment. There are no cooperative labor parties or even "trading days" in connection to the rice harvest. The reasons for this apparent lack of cooperation are somewhat unclear. Farmers interviewed made statements such as: "It's each man for himself. When you gain you gain and when you lose you lose." The timing of the rice harvest, which is relatively simultaneous for all concerned, may contribute to the lack of cooperation. The researcher suggested several times to farmers the idea of cooperative group labor for rice harvesting but farmers said that that was an unrealistic idea. Another serious problem for many farmers is both trans portation and the general lack of roads to many homesteads. Since so many farm families reside more or less permanently in the town, and since the selling of rice (as well as the rice-cleaning machines) is in town, it is important for pro ducers to find a means to transport rice and other legumes to Santa Terezinha. Since so few farmers own beasts of bur den (four out of 44 people interviewed had animals) many producers must hire a vehicle to bring in the rice. Trucks are expensive to hire in Santa Terezinha. Farmers may pay as much as $10 to $15 depending on the distance or, as

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171 occurs more frequently, they pay several sacks of rice. Some farmers stated that they carried sacks of rice to town on their shoulders. One of the services the agricultural cooperative is designed to supply is reduced rates for transportation of farm products. Only coop members are eligible, however, and the reduction in price for the coop truck is negligible. The problems with rice production and its commercialization are many and are representative generally of some of the major problems of the small farmers of northern Mato Grosso. The entire system of production is small-scale and archaic. Very little capital is invested; machines and other technological innovations are completely lacking. Areas under production are small and yields are low and often highly uncertain. The attitudes of farmers revealed a great deal of interest in innovation and expansion, but they pointed out again and again that this would require a source of credit and outside help. No such inf rastructural supports exist in Santa Terezinha. Marketing The market for farm products in Santa Terezinha is primarily one of "selling on the street." There is no marketplace or any kind of periodic fair. Most farm families bring small amounts of produce to town and sell directly from their houses. Small children may sometimes go doorto-door selling inexpensive greens or corn. Knowledge of

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172 where and what is for sale is passed around woth in casual conversations. Some households are known to regularly sell small quantities of certain commodities although supplies are always unreliable. In daily interactions the information about farm products is constantly passed along. Word goes out that Dona Maria just returned from the roga and is selling f arinha and tapioca flour. A child may be sent out to inform the neighbors that his mother is selling oranges today. Whenever the researcher wanted to buy produce in Santa Terezinha all that was necessary was to ask several neighbors. Well informed persons would then make statements such as: No one is selling corn yet, maybe next week. Dona Flora, who lives behind the primary school, is selling some bananas. Jose will be arriving this week-end with more manioc flour for sale. Doca is thinking of slaughtering tomorrow the pig he's been fattening. The young man with the red mark on his face has sacks of rice for sale at his house but he's asking too much for them. People constantly make inquiries and pass information about who has what for sale. It is a constant part of almost all conversations in the town. Both men and women carry out sales but women sell more frequently because they more often are home. Men are frequently not home because they are away working at the fields, the companies, or elsewhere, or because when they are in

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173 town they usually spend a great deal of time "on the street" which usually means talking and drinking with other men in small bars. Larger transactions, like the sale of a pig or a bulk sale of f arinha to a store, are usually supervised by males. Women carry out most of the smaller sales and they are always in charge of items that they sell from their backyard gardens, chickens they have raised and so forth. One advantage of "selling on the street" is that the farmers manage to avoid paying any taxes that apply to commercial establishments. There is an unspoken agreement in the town that small-scale sale of agricultural commodities from homes is not a business transaction. Tax collectors pay no attention to the activities of the home vendors. Taxes are, however, collected for larger transactions, such as the sale of a head of cattle to a butcher, etc. What occurs in peoples' homes is not considered to be "business." There is no attempt to license or control the small-scale transactions and home vendors often stressed the irregular and small-scale nature of their enterprises when discussing home selling. It was difficult to elicit any information from farmers about larger sales, usually private arrangements, probably in part because of a reluctance to have the information become known. No farmers will admit to having a regular business because of the tax complications. It is also true that the major production goals of all local farmers is oriented toward home consumption. Even

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174 landowners with tenants seemed most interested in providing staples for their families rather than sale. This orientation is clearly related to the fragility of the market for local commodities. Prices for local agricultural products remain very low while all other prices (of imported commodities) rise almost daily. In particular, the already mentioned seasonal fluctuations in rice prices discourage most people from investing in expanded rice production. In the survey of 12% of the town households (44) only 25 homes provided detailed information on the recent sale of agricultural products. Almost half (12 households) claimed that they sold next to nothing and were producing for home consumption only. Five families stated that they engaged in periodic sales of products "on the street" and eight households mentioned that they had sold products to local stores or the cooperative. Most of the local stores are basically uninterested in buying local agricultural products. Santa Terezinha commercial establishments receive their stock from outside the region. Even items such as beans, coffee, onions, garlic, rice and farinha are imported into the region. Several of the larger stores in town do occasionally buy farinha from local farmers but most do not choose to sell farinha the main staple food, at all. Farmers sell farinha to local stores at a price which is slightly below the current "street value" and the stores resell it at a price

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175 slightly above the current "street value." The advantages of bulk sales to the farmer are that he saves the time which would have been expended in many petty sales from his home, and he usually receives a lump sum of cash. The stores of Santa Terezinha, however, market the majority of their stock at prices which range from 30 to 100% mark-up from current prices in southern Brazil. They cannot, however, mark up the f arinha in similar fashion because of the informal market price and general accessibility, therefore; the profit margin is extremely small and stores are generally uninterested in marketing f arinha There are only two commercial establishments in the town which purchase rice on a fairly regular basis from local producers. These are the agricultural cooperative and the Planta. Both of these establishments have rice-cleaning machines and facilities for storage. Most other merchants in town do not even handle rice although some do import and sell rice during the last months of the rainy season when there is a shortage of local rice and the price is high. Local rice is considered to be inferior in quality to rice grown elsewhere in Brazil and local producers are considered to be unreliable suppliers. Low harvest time prices also mean that local merchants would have to store rice for long periods of time in order to sell it during the high price season.

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176 As stated previously, the price of rice fluctuates during the year. At the beginning of the 1978 harvest 60 kg of uncleaned rice were selling for $7.50. Within a matter of several weeks rice was up to $10, then $13 and then $15 by June. Rice prices rose again during the planting months of September through November, between $20 and $25 and by January, 1979, when the rice shortage was becoming acute a sack of uncleaned rice was between $25 and $30 and imported cleaned (higher quality) rice was fluctuating between $40 to $50. The price to the consumer, per kilo of cleaned rice purchased, rose from $.45 at harvest time to $.85 at the peak of the following year's preharvest shortage Farmers frequently sell their rice at the low harvest time price because they have very little choice. The last months of the rainy season are a time of desperation for many families. Money earned from dry season employment and stored food supplies are used up. Paid employment at ranch-companies is difficult to find since the companies cease clearing operations during the rainy season. Odd jobs in town become rare because the dwindling cash flow into town makes payment difficult even for some of the more well-to-do inhabitants. Cattle cannot be sold at this time of year because they are weak, sickly and thin from inadequate feeding during the rainy season. Households pile up debts at local stores until, as happens in many cases.

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177 their credit is cut off by the merchants. Transportation throughout the region and between forest homesteads and the town slows down because of flooding. It is not surprising that farmers often sell their rice at this point when it is most disadvantageous to sell. In many cases they end up selling not only their surplus but also the sacks they wanted to save for home consumption. Rice is used to pay for harvest labor, to pay for transportation, and to pay off pressing debts. As many informants pointed out, the Santa Terezinha farmers end up buying their own rice back in the months after harvest at prices they can ill afford. The agricultural cooperative was organized to try to protect local farmers from the fluctuations of the market, but its success has been minimal and many initially enthusiastic members have resigned because they feel that there are not enough advantages to membership in the cooperative. Of 44 households surveyed only four belonged to the cooperative. One reason for the cooperative's lack of success may be because it is a purely local organization, capitalized by the already marginal local market. Founded by the Catholic Mission, the coop is not recognized by any of the state or federal agencies designed to promote the formation of cooperatives and thus it receives no outside financing or other benefits. The cooperative's power to create better marketing conditions for the local farmers is

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178 undermined by the fragility of the local market. The operating capital of the cooperative comes directly from membership dues paid by farmers and any profits the cooperative store makes. Since no local products are sold outside the region, the cooperative's dilemma is to try and operate as a profitable venture while striving to give member customers the lowest possible prices.^ The cooperative sets a fixed price for its members' rice which in 1978 was $13 a sack for uncleaned rice. Member farmers receive the fixed price, and profits made from the rising price of rice were to be returned to the farmers in a form to be determined at the annual business meeting. Because the cooperative operates on such a precarious financial basis, it is no surprise that profits are usually returned to the costs of general operations. Thus, the unsophisticated farmers stated that they saw no direct advantages in selling rice to the cooperative when they feel that they can usually make more money by directly selling the rice on the street. The cooperative has never returned cash rebates to members. Farmers find it difficult to see the advantage to belonging to the cooperative. This option of a guaranteed price also is not available to nonmembers. A third major way that local farmers sell rice is in bulk to certain commercial establishments and some non-farming households. Boarding house owners will frequently make

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179 private arrangements with a particular farmer to buy up his entire surplus production (at harvest time prices) One informant, a seamstress who supported six young sons alone, purchased her entire year's rice supply from a farmer directly. Interestingly, this same woman's father had received land in the INCRA distribution but was unable to farm it because he was too old and sickly. The land was far and his sons refused to participate or help him. The seamstress' rice deal, like so many others in recent years, turned out badly for both parties. The sacks of rice purchased turned out to be moldy because the farmer had been unable to move them quickly enough after harvesting and the rice had gotten wet in the unanticipated May rain. The irate seamstress then demanded that the farmer take back the defective rice and return her money. The farmer complied. His only alternative at that point was to dump the moldy rice. The seamstress then made another bulk purchase of fresh rice but paid a significantly higher price because the price of rice and risen during the weeks that had elapsed. The seamstress lost money and the farmer lost his entire rice profit for the year. The entire farming and marketing system operates in a vicious cycle of compounding constraints. Factors such as primitive technology, lack of infrastructure and an increasing movement of labor from agricultural activities to other renumerative activities, contribute to low agricultural

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180 productivity. The relative lack of local, regional or larger markets for locally produced commodities retards all impetus toward agricultural expansion. Small farmers are frequently forced out of agriculture altogether when there is a disaster or emergency such as a serious illness. Small farmers respond to fluctuations in the local market, such as the rice shortages discussed, but cannot usually benefit from such responses. Since previous money making activities in the region, such as the sale of pelts, dried fish and cattle grazed on natural savannas, are increasingly unavailable to subsistence farmers, they must, of necessity, turn to other activities. Two major cash-earning alternatives perceived by regional inhabitants are (1) wage labor at ranch-companies, and (2) attempts to create improved pastures for cattle raising. The implications and results of the changeover to improved pastures have already been discussed, and the implications of wage labor will be treated in the following chapter. Although the general trend of loss of access to land and natural productive resources is a primary root cause of the failure of small farmers in frontier regions and contributes directly to the intra-rural migration patterns and situation of rural poverty, we can see from the Santa Terezinha case that even the palliative of a smallscale land distribution is not enough to tip the scales in favor of the small farmers in a region dominated by corporate cattle ranches.

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181 The orientation of small farmers to subsistence production, then, cannot be viewed as the dominance of "a limited good" or "poverty mentality." it also cannot be explained by means of a rural preference for a leisurely or idle life. As will become clear in the following chapters, an excess of leisure time does not characterize most frontier households. The emphasis on subsistence production is rather a direct function of previous and current agrarian structure, in general, and land tenure patterns, in particular. While technological and infrastructural improvements are clearly needed, it is also clear that the fundamental problems of Santa Terezinha farmers could not be solved solely by means of a technological approach without structural changes. While this dissertation addresses the dilemma of the small farmers in frontier areas, Forman (1975), CIDA (1966), Feder (1971) and others have come to similar conclusions regarding the potential for success of small farmers in older regions of Brazil such as the Northeast. Consumption Another important aspect to examine in terms of assessing livelihood patterns is the quality and level of consumption patterns. The data from Santa Terezinha demonstrate that very few households depend exclusively on farming to provide their entire subsistence base. The reason for this has less to do with preference than it has to do with necessity. The low prices for agricultural products do not

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182 permit most households to utilize farming as a single strategy. The amount of income generated by the sale of surplus agricultural products varies from household to household and also seasonally and annually. It is estimated that most families engaged in farming earn between $25 and $100 a month with an average farm income of approximately $6 0 a month. Farm families must purchase a certain number of commodities which they cannot produce themselves, such as kerosene for lighting, salt for curing, and agricultural implements. The prices of essential commodities in the frontier, as already stated, ate often significantly higher than the prices in urban centers. The following table lists the 1978-1979 prices of a few commonly purchased commodities and gives an idea as to the general cost of living. Farming activities usually provide a household with certain basic food items, primarily farinha rice and some fruits and vegetables, but there is still a long list of basic commodities that all families need to purchase. Protein, particularly meat, is considered a highly desirable food and is purchased as frequently as possible. As stated before, the ranch-companies refuse to sell beef to the local population (although they do sell it to their employees) and the local small-time cattle raisers were unable to supply the local market demand because of production problems, inadequate grazing areas, disease and losses due to

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183 Table 4. Prices of Some Essential Commodities in Santa Terezinha ITEM PRICE (in US dollars)* Cooking oil 1.25/liter Salt .25/kilo Sugar .50/kilo Green coffee beans 5.00/kilo Kerosine .60/liter Powdered milk 2.00/400 grams Onions 1.00/kilo Margarine 1.00/500 grams Tomato Paste .40/85 grams Spaghetti .50/500 grams Garlic .25/head Crude tobacco 5.00/kilo *Prices are to the nearest cruzeiro or .05 US dollars. I

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184 excessive flooding. Almost all families try to raise some pigs and chickens, but production is extremely marginal, in part, because of losses due to disease and inadequate feed. Chickens are allowed to run free to find their own food and there are frequently quarrels between neighbors over accusations of theft of poultry or their eggs. Chicken as food is usually reserved for special occasions, and most poor families select to sell rather than eat them because the scarcity drove the street price up from between $1.50 to $3.00 at the beginning of 1978 to $3.00 to $5.00 at the end of the year. Fishing done by family members during free time was a major source of protein for most households; no households sell fish. Karaja Indians also sell small quantities of fish in the town, most of which is swiftly purchased by boarding house and cabaret owners. Fish is eaten but is considered by most people to be less desirable than meat. An elaborate folk taboo system also eliminates a large portion of fish from consumption.^ There are also taboos on certain species of wild game but the environmental changes resulting from the presence of the ranch-companies have all but eliminated wild animal food sources During most of 1978 the local prices for fish, pork and beef remained relatively low — approximately $.75 to $1.50 a kilo — but even households with sufficient money were most frequently unable to purchase it because of local

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185 scarcity. Butcher shops would be closed for weeks on end and a household slaughtering a pig was a rare event. After the summer months of 1978 when local cattle had been somewhat fattened on the natural savanna areas (available only in the dry season) meat became somewhat more abundant but the prices more than doubled thus pricing it beyond the reach of many households. The prices rose in response to the rise of national beef prices. Since some of the more successful Bananal cattle raisers sell young cattle to the ranch-companies to fatten and market, the local price of beef reflects closely the current beef prices in the Brazilian urban centers. The following case study of the monthly economy of one farming household illustrates the basic difficulties of the farming livelihood strategy. The family. Dona Luisa and Jose, was fortunate enough to have received land in the INCRA distribution. They had previously lost their former homestead located nearby the town which had already been planted with several acres of improved pasture. They then received from INCRA a virgin area some 12 kra from the town. They have worked their new land for four years and Jos6 has just begun again to plant improved pastures; they have no cattle at this time and own no work animals. Both Jose and Dona Luisa are already in their early sixties. All but one of their grown children are married and live in separate residences in Santa Terezinha; the sons and

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186 sons-in-law occasionally help Jose in the fields. Jose spends most weekdays living and working at the fields, usually alone. He commutes between the town and the fields by bicycle which he also uses to haul cargo. Dona Luisa lives permanently in their house in the town and works six days a week washing laundry at the river-bank. Both state that the income earned by Dona Luisa 's work is absolutely essential to the household. They live in a modest brick house, cook on a wood-burning stove and their major possessions include two bicycles, some home-made furniture, a hand-operated sewing machine, a waterproof watch and a battery-operated radio. Dona Luisa raises chickens (usually five to ten) and pigs (usually two or three) in the backyard. Dona Luisa expresses great bitterness at the many times in their lives that they have worked hard, saved and invested only to lose their homestead. They feel that they were fortunate to have received an INCRA land lot but both feel that they are basically too old to work as hard as would be necessary to establish a farm, something which most farm families state would take about ten years. The adult children are largely unavailable for constant agricultural work because they have chosen to work for wages; one adult son earns about $60 a month pumping gas at the Santa Terezinha air-strip. The adult children are constantly urged to devote more time to agriculture by their parents

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187 but usually the urgings are not heeded; if they plant ropas it is primarily for home-consumption. Even when they do not plant they receive some basic staples from their parents. To save face. Dona Luisa and Jose will sometimes claim that their children work alongside them in the fields, but in less guarded moments they will admit to frustration that their adult children are basically uninterested in agriculture and unreliable as help. The adult children view agriculture as a dead-end venture, a great deal of backbreaking work with very small and unreliable rewards. The household economy of Dona Luisa and Jose illustrates a more or less typical small-farmer subsistence pattern in Santa Terezinha. They are atypical in that Dona Luisa 's laundry work provides them with a relatively steady second income. Also they are atypical in that they no longer have any young children at home to support. Their subsistence economy can be divided into three categories: (1) self-produced foodstuffs, (2) cash earned from the sale of produce and wage labor, and (3) gifts received from relatives and employers. It was impossible to calculate with any precision the agricultural commodities since no records of any kind are kept. During one month the farming activities provided the household with a steady supply of farinha, small quantities of beans and some early rice. A rough estimate would be that approximately $25 worth of food consumed by the household was self -produced. A household

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188 with more dependents would, in comparison, either have to produce more or sell less. The records kept by the researcher for the household economy during the month of October, 1978, show that Dona Luisa earned $43.50 in payment for laundry services rendered. Attacks of malaria which lasted almost a week cut down her normal earning capacity. Jose earned a total of $76.05 from the sale of f arinha and two pigs. The pigs were sold because of Dona Luisa 's illness. The estimated value of gifts given to the household from adult children and employers totalled approximately $8.00. The total cash income for the month was $119.55. When this figure is combined with the estimated value of garden produce and gifts, the monthly household income is $152.55. These records give an idea of the earning power of a farm household though it must be stressed that there is a great deal of fluctuation in the situation from month to month. Seasonal variations make agricultural produce irregular. Dona Luisa 's income varies because she can earn a great deal more in the dry season than in the rainy season when flooding and wet conditions make laundry work far more difficult. Earnings fluctuate too because of sickness. Both Jos6 and Dona Luisa lose many days each year to colds, malaria attacks, and other infections; when they stop working they lose income. Jose's earnings also fluctuate. It is not every month that he sells two pigs. Pigs

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189 are raised in very small quantities and take months to fatten. One can suppose that Jose earns more during the rice harvest, but as we have seen, farmers' ability to make a profit on rice is far from assured. It seems safe to estimate that the farm activities of the house provide a monthly income of roughly $60 (or $720 a year) In a town where a new bicycle costs $150, a bag of cement $7, a donkey $100, a set of aluminum pots $35 and so on, it is clear that farm incomes do not go far. Although poor families can avoid many expenditures by simply doing without, some expenditures are unavoidable. Land taxes on INCRA lots run about $15 a year (many local farmers are already behind on their payments) and most farmers spend money (or rice) hiring vehicles to transport commodities. At least $40 to $50 a year is probably spent in transportation. Illness, the high cost of drugs and injections, and emergency flights to hospitals also make a significant dent in most family budgets. Food and basic necessities, like kerosene, salt and clothes, account for probably as much as 90% or more of most household expenditures. Income clearly has no meaning apart from the general cost of living. Despite the fact that Santa Terezinha residents can usually find a house relatively cheaply (often by building a thatch one) and do without all urban services, the cost of almost all other services and commodities in the town is the same or higher than in Brazilian urban

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190 centers. In part because of freight costs, imported items cost between 30-100% more than in the areas of origin. One example will serve as illustration. A bag of cement which costs $3.50 in an urban center like Goiania or Anapolis will cost between $4 to $5 in Cazeara (the shipping point to Santa Terezinha) and it will sell in Santa Terezinha for $7. Brazilian inflation is so rampant that prices will sometimes go up daily; merchants listen to radios and raise prices on merchandise even if they purchased them at the lower price. They justify such behavior by pointing out that many local people renege on debts to stores or take as long as they need to pay while the merchants must pay off credit given on their merchandise within 90 days. The results of this system, which will be discussed further in the chapter on commerce, is that Santa Terezinha residents pay premium prices for almost everything except locally produced products. Dona Luisa and Jose consider themselves poor people. They own a better than average house because they invested their earnings from the sale of their few cattle (which they were forced to sell when they lost their pasture in 1973) but they live no better and no worse than most of their neighbors. They pointed out many times that after a life-time of hard work they have little to show for it and have no rest for their old age. (Retirement benefits are largely unknown in Santa Terezinha.) Both husband and

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191 wife work six days a week. Dona Luisa picks up dirty laundry at dawn and can be found most evenings ironing (with a charcoal heated iron) in her livingroom. It is only their constant work which allows them a certain leeway in terms of an emergency or surplus fund which they use in times of illness, to help their children, and for special expenditures like buying a radio or to make a religious pilgrimage. For example, in 1977 Dona Luisa traveled to a church in Sao Paulo at a cost of $50. She estimates that together with income lost from non-working days her religious commitment cost her approximately $100 that year. Dona Luisa and Jose feel that they cannot afford most of the "luxury items" desired by frontier households such as a gas stove, a kerosene refrigerator or a gas lantern. Table 5 shows cash spent by this household during a onemonth period (October, 1978) and also gives some idea of consumption patterns (e.g., 8 kg of sugar!) that are representative of the majority of households. It is important to note that apart from clothing (and food and household supplies) there were no major expenditures during this month, such as for new work tools. The estimated monthly income from farm activities ($60) was used entirely for basic household expenses. Included as well are gifts given by the household to others. It seems clear that the income level of farming households is highly precarious, even, as we have seen, a

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192 Table 5. Monthly Expenditures of a Typical Farming Household* in Santa Terezinha ITEM PRICE (in US dollars)** Cleaned rice (1 kilo) .50 Sugar (8 kilos) 4.00 Beef (about 9 kilos) 13.50 Green coffee beans 1 1/4 kilo) 6.00 Beans (2 kilos) 1.85 Lettuce .60 Milk (2 liters) .70 Salt .45 Tomato paste (1 can) .30 Black pepper .20 Kerosine (12 liters) 5.50 Soap 1.25 Cloth 24.25 Scouring pads .75 Matches .20 Gifts 5.50 Total Spent on Foodstuffs 28.10 Total Household Maintenance 32.00 TOTAL EXPENDITURES 65.60 *The household was composed of only two people, a husband and a wife, and the prices were recorded in October, 1978. **Prices are to the nearest cruzeiro or .05 US dollars.

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193 household which owns 100 ha of land. An examination of the household budget shows that almost all farm income is spent on the bare necessities of the household despite the fact that some foodstuffs are not purchased. This particular household manages to create a small surplus mainly because (1) they no longer have small children to support, and (2) both the husband and wife work regularly and full-time, (3) they live modestly and do not purchase "luxury commodities." It should be clear that farm families with more dependents, tenants who deliver 50% of the harvest to the landowner, farmers who cannot grow sufficient foodstuffs to sell regularly and households who cannot get their products to market are in far worse shape than the household of Dona Luisa and Jose. The questionnaire administered to 44 households showed clearly that farming families who depend exclusively on agriculture have monthly cash incomes ranging from nothing to $60. During the end of the rainy season of 1979 (February) a local man returned from a trip through the forest where he had visited a number of families who were residing on their homesteads. He reported that most of these families had eaten nothing but farinha and boiled green squash for weeks while waiting for the rice harvest. The insecurity, desperation and suffering that appears to be an inherent part of the lives of small farmers in Northern Mato Grosso is increasingly unattractive to the

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194 children of the migrants. Exposed to the elementary school (almost all parents will make even drastic sacrifices to enable their children to attend the school) and other town influences, the children and young adults increasingly view farming as the least desirable occupation. In a questionnaire administered by the researcher to 14 school children not one answered that they planned to farm in the future. Parents, questioned systematically regarding their hopes and wishes for their children, generally stated the desire that their children "learn a profession" so that they will not have to "endure the life of suffering" that the parents experienced. Despite efforts by the local Catholic Mission to generate self-help organizations and instill a sense of pride, respect and courage — in short, create a more positive self-image — in small farmers, the young people are increasingly abandoning the farming livelihood. A large number of younger persons express grave doubts about the values of trying to farm, and a smaller number expressed negative attitudes toward small farmers, in general. Statements about the "backward farmers who retard the progress of the nation" on the part of a few modernized young people reflect an adoption of the attitudes and values of the ranch-companies and other urban observers.

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195 In summary, there are a number of interlocking factors which contribute to the inability of the small farmer to compete under current conditions in the frontier. Most basic is the monopolization of land and natural resources by the ranch-companies in northern Mato Grosso.' The INCRA distribution of land has clearly not resolved the fundamental situation of increasing concentration of land holdings. The majority of migrants to Santa Terezinha were unable to obtain a titled lot, and even families that received titled land remain in an increasingly marginalized economic situation which has been described and analyzed in this chapter. Farmers on land held as posse (squatters' rights) are in an even more precarious position. The map on page 74 in Chapter Two shows that most areas of squatters within the interior of Santa Terezinha are currently or about-to-be under eviction pressure because of the establishment of capitalist firms. The relationship of the region to wider markets has reached stage three where there are established links to national markets. The main links, hov/ever, are those structured by the economic activities of the ranch-companies which import equipment and foodstuffs into the region, and export beef cattle (on the hoof) to northern and southern Brazilian urban centers. This dynamic expansion has not

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196 increased the local or regional market for commodities which the small farmers can produce. They are, in fact, by-passed and entirely peripheral to outside markets. Ranch-companies are clearly uninterested in either buying local products nor are they interested in allowing or encouraging small farmers to function as tenants on their vast tracts of land."*"^ The minimal town market for locally produced agricultural commodities, described in this chapter, is relatively unchanged from that which existed in the previous stages of frontier expansion. The stimuli of increased immigration and increased cash flow in the town have functioned to expand the local market in a small way, but the dominance and dependence on imported commodities is demonstrated in the complete lack of a permanent local market (feira) and the precarious situation of the agricultural cooperative. Unlike the historical development of large enterprises in Northeastern Brazil where interstitial minifun dio farmer surplus commodities circulated through a regional marketing system of feiras (market day fairs) the more modern capitalist enterprises in northern Mato Grosso clearly have not contributed to the formation of a regional marketing system. The third set of critical factors which retard and block small farming enterprises are the technological and inf rastructural problems mentioned in this chapter. These include (1) lack of access to improvements in agricultural

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197 technology and expertise, (2) lack of credit (capital) for investment in small farms, and (3) lack of basic infrastructure such as roads and a transportation system both locally and within the region. It should be clear that neither the marginalized small farmers nor their rather fragile selfhelp organizations are capable of providing the initial input necessary for significant improvements in technology, credit and infrastructure. Such inputs, one can conclude, could only come from outside the region, but there are no current plans to aid the small fanners in northern Mato Grosso. Only the cattle companies currently qualify for governmental incentives, credit or other types of aid. Secondary factors include (1) the inability of small farmers to recover from environmental and other disasters which, because of their highly marginal position, tend to cause abandonment of agriculture, (2) the movement of persons, particularly young people, out of the agricultural sector, with concomitant breakdown of extended family and other forms of cooperative labor, (3) the "pull" effect of short-term benefits perceived in both movement into other economic activities, such as wage labor or commerce, and the draw of frontier areas in earlier stages of expansion such as Xinguara and Sao Felix to Xingu which are "new hot spots" in southern Para because of the current construction of new roads (Schmink, 1980)

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198 In short, the expansion of the economic frontier in northern Mato Grosso with its government sponsored corporate development projects have contributed to the increasing socio-economic marginalization of the migrant population of the region. The small farm option is swiftly ceasing to be an alternative. Therefore, we must now examine the other major livelihood alternatives in the frontier to complete the assessment of the impact of this type of development policy. End Notes The minimum rural module stipulated by law for Mato Grosso is 100 ha or approximately 250 acres. The only exception is the agricultural cooperative which does not really function as a central market-place. The term "horticulture" is the more technically correct term for this type of farming system, but the term "agriculture" will be used throughout the chapter because it is the more commonly used term. About 40 families did not receive their INCRA land until as late as 1976. Planting and harvesting in accordance with the phases of the moon is a common phenomenon among agricultural peoples the world over, including some rural areas of the United States. See Chapter Two for a discussion of the areas still available to squatters in the region. I Other figures on the consumption of manioc flour in the Amazon by Wagley (1976) and quoted by Moran (1974) to similar conclusions. Wagley calculated that a family of five consumes over 2 kg of manioc flour daily, or more than 730 kg a year. The somewhat smaller amount consumed in

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199 Santa Terezinha probably reflects the reduction in manioc cultivation in the area which is discussed in the chapter. ^See Bunker (1979) for a clear discussion of the factors involved in the failure of local organizations which lack "economic density." Fish are classified locally into two categories, those with scales and those without scales. Fish without scales are prohibited to menstruating women for three days and to post-partum women for one year. A number of persons of both sexes interviewed stated that they did not eat fish without scales at all because they believe that it causes diseases ^The one exception is a Belo Horizonte based cattle-andcolonization company which is planning a private colonization project some 80 km to the northwest of Santa Terezinha. This will be a city and farms and ranches of various sizes located on the new road (BR 158) which will link northern Mato Grosso to southern Para. Brazilian government planners, discouraged with the "failure" of the Transamazon colonization project of the early 1970s are increasingly relying on and authorizing big companies to plan and implement "private colonization" projects throughout the Amazon. The advantages of such colonization projects to large enterprises appear to be primarily two. First, since there are legal limits to how much land a company can buy (due to efforts in the law to limit the formation of latif undios ) and companies planning colonization are exempt from these limits and can purchase much larger tracts, then private colonization is one way a large company can legally acquire a large amount of land. Secondly, since most of the land acquired and titled by a company speculating in real estate is acquired at a fairly early stage of frontier expansion and at relatively low prices, a company that is willing to wait a longer period of time for a return on its investment (probably around 20 years) can, by legitimate colonization and sale of lots, realize a very good profit. The difficulty of obtaining sufficient amounts of land at low prices and processing the legal titles to the land which are frequently in dispute for years, discourages companies from attempting private colonization. Many companies are less interested in their Amazon projects as long-term investments than they are in realizing a quick profit. These and other factors contribute to some reluctance on the part of many companies to engage in private colonization at all. Indeed, in the region investigated, only one private colonization project was found, and this one had not really gotten underway as of 1978-1979.

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CHAPTER V WAGE LABOR AND COMMERCE George's voice became deeper. He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before. "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. They come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they're poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothing to look ahead to But not us! An' why? Because because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you and that's why .O.K. Someday — we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and — "An' live off the fatta the Ian'," Lennie shouted. John Steinbeck, 1937: 28-29 Between 1966 and 1970, SUDAM (Amazon Development Agency) approved 66 agribusiness projects in the counties of Barro do Garpa and Luciara. Among the investors in this area were the largest meat-packing firm in Brazil, the owner of the largest bus company in Sao Paulo, the president of the National Bank of Minas Gerais, the large Eletro-Radiobraz electronics firm, and David Nasser, one of Brazil's best-known television news reporters. At the end of 1970, the amount of fiscal incentives invested in these two counties alone totaled nearly 300 million Brazilian cruzeiros. Davis, 1977:114 We live running from one ranch-company to another, and they do what they want with us. We are working for free! I'm unable to find any way out of this fix. I have no resources. If only 200

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201 I had a plot and could arrange a bank to finance my agriculture, I would plant coffee, corn, beans and soy beans. But I have nothing and live under five palm fronds, without pleasure in life, without resources. Everything is too expensive and my money disappears Santa Terezinha Resident Those who have no land must, of necessity, work for others. We live hunting a job that will provide more money. Santa Terezinha Resident We came to Santa Terezinha because we didn't have a place of our own and now we really don't have a place! Sure, we'd like land. Of course. We want it but we don't have the money to buy any. ... I would prefer the sertao (backlands) because one would have land to work, to put in a field and arrange one's life. But we don't have land, so we have to stay here. Santa Terezinha Resident The folk typology of socio-economic categories in Santa Terezinha reduces the complexity of the frontier to three occupational types: (1) farmer, (2) peon, and (3) merchant. When questioned, people will acknowledge and elaborate on other categories such as the "owners of the cattle companies, soldiers, boat pilots or women who make a living by sewing." They recognize two categories of rich people, those who control the big companies, and those considered to be well-to-do in the town. They are aware that some townspeople, such as the delegado, tax collectors and

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202 school teachers, are paid from outside the region, and that a small number of local men are skilled workers, such as masons or carpenters, who earn a better than average living. Indians, generally classified as "animals" because they have not been baptized, are usually not mentioned at all unless the discussion focuses on the past when certain tribes were feared. The tripartate division of the social universe into these three major livelihood patterns is an accurate scheme to characterize the three major options open to frontier people. Farmers are those people who continue to practice agriculture, peons are those people who have become detached from agriculture and are committed to working as wage laborers for the large enterprises, and merchants are all those engaged in commercial activities of any kind in the town. The mix of livelihood activities does not determine local classification of a person. If a person has any sort of commercial venture, then, he is a merchant. If he is associated with the company labor force in any capacity (except management) and no longer farms, he is a peon. Commerce, of any kind or size, is considered both respectable and desirable. The term peon, on the other hand, for reasons which will become clear, is clearly a derogatory word with negative connotations. This chapter will examine the two remaining livelihood options, other than farming, available in the frontier. The

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203 organization of wage labor at companies and coinmercial activities will be described. An attempt to generalize these livelihood patterns will give a broad over-view of each option rather than a detailed account of their internal variations To classify the entire universe in terms of these three categories is a heuristic and analytical device and is not intended to oversimplify the complexity of the reality of frontier social structure. Within the region there are two additional livelihood alternatives, which because of their general inaccessibility and the small numbers involved, will not be treated at length. These are (1) the set of persons who are paid by organizations which are outside the region, and (2) the small number of skilled artisans or craftsmen. Those paid from outside the region are usually state or federal level employees or religious mission personnel. This category includes the local delegado and soldiers, tax collectors, school teachers. Catholic and Protestant missionaries. Forest Park agents and Indian agents. The second category includes skilled laborers, such as masons, carpenters and master boat builders. Most skilled workers work on contracts both at the companies and in the town, and although they can command a somewhat higher than average wage, most of the skilled workers continue to farm rather than work exclusively at their trades. Limited local opportunities and the desire to remain settled in one

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204 place operate as constraints on persons trained in skilled trades. These two categories will be further considered in Chapter Six which examines frontier survival strategies. Wage Labor The expansion of corporate enterprises into northern Mato Grosso over the last 15 years was described in the first three chapters. The cattle ranches are primarily owned and operated by national and multinational companies, and the majority are SUDAM approved "development projects." The official designation for the projects is, in Portuguese, agropecuaria which translates as a "combined cattle-and-agricultural enterprise." The Mato Grosso projects, however, have focused exclusively on the production of beef cattle which are shipped over land, and sometimes by river, to urban markets in northern and southern Brazil. Most companies own or rent pastures located on route to Sao Paulo where cattle are allowed to rest and feed prior to arrival at slaughter houses near urban centers. The Mato Grosso projects are usually subsidiary firms which are controlled from corporate headquarters in cities such as Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte. The ranches are run locally by administrator-managers who are generally sent from company headquarters. Private airplane service, frequently owned by the company, and constant radio contact enable ranch management to maintain constant communications

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205 with both the more distant outposts of a given ranch and company headquarters in a major city. Higher echelon management, such as directors and board members, periodically fly in and visit the ranches for inspections, supervision and meetings. The cattle companies in northern Mato Grosso strive to establish completely autonomous facilities. One goal is to organize and control the importation of basic supplies into the region. In Santa Terezinha, the Planta store, which is a subsidiary of the Codeara company, fills this role. The Planta transport system, with its barges bringing commodities and equipment up-river from Cazeara, is used by Codeara and other regional companies. Companies also set up their own "support sectors" which are located on the ranches. Codeara, one of the oldest companies in the region, for example, has its own airstrip and planes, sawmill, carpentry workshop, generators, supply depots and machine shops. There is a good deal of cooperation between cattle companies in various stages of development. More established firms will frequently "help out" newer firms with loans of equipment or the sale of cattle for the creation of new herds. However, the companies do not extend the same type of cooperation to the frontier towns and villages, and specifically not to Santa Terezinha because of its past history of conflict with Codeara. The sale of Codeara lumber, beef or milk to non-company persons is strictly prohibited. The

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206 company policy, as local people are well aware, forbids the loan or sale of equipment, machine parts, or fuel to noncompany persons. The companies justify this policy by stating that they do not produce enough to be able to sell anything in the town and that, anyway, it is not profitable. It is thus that the ironic situation of a six month beef shortage in Santa Terezinha could have occurred in a region dedicated to the production of beef cattle. Most companies view Santa Terezinha as a dirty, dusty and rowdy frontier town best known for its whore-houses and its past history of open conflict with Codeara. Company management uniformly view the Catholic Mission and anyone known to be associated with it, as dangerous subversives and "enemies of the companies." Management staff generally try to avoid contact with the town or local people. They are frequently unaware of local conditions and events. The manager of Codeara, located less than 2 km away from Santa Terezinha, did not know the local price of beef until the researcher informed him of this fact! At the same time, companies are actively involved in fencing and guarding their borders against penetration by squatters. The companies and the town constitute two almost entirely separate worlds. The major point of intersection, aside from direct conflicts over land, is because of the labor requirements of the cattle projects.

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207 To create large cattle ranches in this region the companies have cut down thousands of acres of forest and planted improved pastures. The methods used by companies are the same slash-and-burn techniques for which the government planners have criticized the small farmers and which are considered ecologically destructive. Every dry season ranches ear-mark forest areas which are to be cut and allowed to dry; these areas are then burned, planted with special grasses and fenced to create the extensive areas of pasture necessary for large-scale livestock raising. Both the basic clearing and maintenance work is done by manual labor. Only one company, as of 1978, had experimented with heavy machinery for clearing operations. The majority continue to depend on gangs of unskilled manual laborers. It is precisely in the clearing and maintenance work that the greatest number of men are employed. The companies obtain labor in two very distinct ways, (1) direct employment, and (2) indirect employment. Direct employees of the companies are always relatively few in number and consist of the management staff and certain specialized occupational categories such as mechanics, truck drivers, cowboys, and office clerks. Although no employees have job security, direct employees are eligible for certain government stipulated benefits and other benefits that the companies choose to provide. Companies in the region vary quite a bit in terms of their compliance with Brazilian labor

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208 legislation requirements and the benefits and services they provide for employees. Codeara, a more established and already profit-making venture, provides fairly good quality housing, pumped water, nightly electricity, half-price beef and free milk to almost all its direct employees above a certain occupational level. Lower level workers, such as gardeners, domestics and construction personnel are also sometimes hired directly on a daily or monthly basis, and may sometimes be given more temporary and lower-level housing at a construction site. At some ranches, facilities may be little more than shacks where workers must purchase plastic sheets to make a roof. Most ranches, however, obtain the majority of their lower-level labor by indirect means of labor contractors, empreiteiros or "cats" ( gates ) as they are called locally."'' The system of the labor contractor works as follows. The ranch-companies make individual contracts with labor contractors to complete a certain job (such as clearing 60 ha) in a certain amount of time for a specified amount of money. The labor contractor then rounds up his own gang of workers who are considered to be the employees of the contractor. Contractors may provide transportation, tools and food to workers in the form of credit against their wages. After the job is completed, the workers receive whatever pay is left over after the contractor subtracts the debts

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209 that each worker owes him. The worker is then free to look for another position with another "cat." The major advantage of this system from the perspective of the ranch-companies is that they do not have to deal directly with the labor force and can, thus, avoid compliance with government stipulated benefits for employees. Such peons are not considered to be employees of the companies at all. The labor contractor, too, who has a specific and temporary contract, is also not considered an employee of the company. Not only do companies avoid all responsibilities to the workers during the duration of a job, but they also benefit because they have no committment to the workers for continuing employment. Since the labor requirements of the ranch-companies are greatly reduced dur ing the rainy season when it is impossible to do clearing operations, it is advantageous to the companies to be able to rid themselves of the excess workers who have no claims of employment on the companies. The organizational chart of Codeara is diagrammed in Figure 6. It appears to be fairly typical of the ranchcompanies in the region although not all companies have fully developed support divisions. Peons and "cats" consti tute a separate labor sector, constantly shifting, which does not appear in most records or statistics. The pay scale for peons is, not surprisingly, quite low and peons and "cats" interviewed stated that on the average a peon

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210 CATTLE OPERATION Out-Posts (10) Out-post Administrator Artificial Insemination Specialists Common Cowboys I General Manager I Technical Manager| SUPPORT DIVISIONS 1 SUPERVISION OF CONTRACTS Chief of Support Divisions SAW MILL Chief Subordinates MACHINE SHOP Chief Subordinates Chief of Division Assistants (Labor contractors ^ and peons) I HEAVY ryiACHINERY Chief Subordinates IMPROVED PASTURE MAINTENANCE Chief Subordinates (Direct Employees) (Direct Employees) (Indirect Employees) Figure 6. Organizational Chart of the Codeara Ranch Company, Santa Terezinha, 1978-1979

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211 today earns about $2.50 to $3.00 a day, which comes to a figure of approximately $78 a month. The actual income is usually much lower because the workers are frequently charged for various items, transportation, medicine, etc. and often encouraged to run up bills of credit with the "cat" or company store. The saldo or remaining salary after debts and charges are subtracted, is always much lower than anticipated, according to informants' accounts. Labor contractors, of course, vary in their honesty and their treatment of peons and the better ones become known and have an easier time recruiting workers. Sometimes, both in the past and at present, labor contractors renege entirely on payment owed to workers. This may happen when a company delays its payments to the labor contractor, or when a labor contractor miscalculates and spends most of the contract money. A peon waiting for payment, or cheated out of payment, has very little recourse. In the early days of the arrival of the companies in northern Mato Grosso, during the 1960s and early 1970s, the abuses of the empreiteiro system reached scandalous proportions. The relatively low population density of the region and local farmers' antipathy toward the companies compelled companies to import labor from other regions of Brazil. This was carried out by contractors who promised good working conditions and high wages to workers recruited elsewhere. Shapiro (1967: 9-11) describes conditions in the

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212 Santa Terezinha area as follows: It is the "empreiteiro" (contractor) who has the contract. The workers themselves cannot read and have no individual written agreements as to what is expected of them and what they may expect. Thus, it is very common for workers to be lured from their homelands by empreiteiros promising a situation quite different from the one the worker will actually encounter. Such was the case in Santa Terezinha. Some of the workers had been promised a daily salary of 3,00 cruzeiros, in addition to food, shelter, and tools, which were to be supplied by the company. They were told that medical attention would be provided for them free of charge. Thus, many left work in their own state of Maranhao in the hopes of finding something better in Santa Terezinha. What they actually found was something a good deal worse: out of this daily wage of 3,00 cruzeiros (a little over a dollar) was to come not only the price of food, but that of the very tools given to the men to do the company's work. No shelters were provided; peons slept out in the open, hanging their hammocks from trees along the banks of rivers and in abandoned gardens. And the only medical attention for miles around was provided by the priest's nurse. The peons were encouraged to buy on credit from the company store.. Thus, most found that, rather than earning money, they were becoming progressively indebted to the company. Even the settlers of Santa Terezinha, themselves extremely poor and accustomed to a difficult life, were moved by the spectacle of misery, exhaustion and undernourishment presented by these peons Seeing that they had been misled by the "empreiteiros," many peons tried to get away. The peons, however, were not permitted to leave. The company and the 'empreiteiros' claimed that there were contracts which committed them to work up until a certain date. The company also claimed that the workers could not leave since they were in debt to the company store, which in many cases was true.

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213 Unable to leave freely, the peons began to find ways to escape. In this, they were aided by the local settlers. Indians also participated in this underground railroad. Many of the workers brought in during the first ten years of ranch-companies' initial operations died in the forests of Mato Grosso. Weakened by malnutrition and overwork, with medical treatment unavailable, many succumbed to the various types of malaria which still cause a high death toll in this region. Hired gunmen were employed by companies both for intimidation of the local population and to enforce company policies. The companies could also call on the state police who sent soldiers to "put down rebellions among the workers One peon who has married into a local farming family explained how he originally came to northern Mato Grosso and why he feels that he is trapped there forever. He was born into a German-Brazilian family in the state of Parana. When he was very young, his parents were killed in a car accident and he was brought up by an aunt and uncle. He worked various jobs and was working as a laborer on a coffee plantation in Parana when he heard about the "good working conditions" at the ranches in northern Mato Grosso. He remembers that the labor contractor told them that wages would be high and that good housing, medical care and even pool halls would be available to them at the work site. He traveled with a work gang for days on trucks and boats to

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214 arrive at a location in the forests where he remembers that there was nothing, not even crude shelters. Soon the men found out that they were indebted and could not leave. He recalled that many times they were not paid at all, and that hired gunmen kept them in line and hunted down workers who tried to escape. Many of his fellow workers died, primarily from malaria. The worst abuses, he said, occurred between 1965, when he arrived, and 1970 when he stated that an investigation was made by the Federal government into allegations against the ranch-companies. When asked why he had never returned to southern Brazil, the peon stated that he could never manage to save enough money for the trip and that anyway, he is too ashamed to go south and face his relatives and have them know that he is a "broken man." When interviewed in 1978, this peon and his wife had recently returned from working at the ranch-company Porto Velho (see Figure 5 ) where they stated that working conditions were very bad. Workers there, they reported, were given broken-down shacks with no roofs to live in and all basic supplies had to be purchased at the company store. The wages at Porto Velho were $40 a month for light work and $50 a month for heavy work. This peon and his wife were tentatively planning to start farming with their Santa Terezinha relatives, the wife's sister and her husband. But the relatives were futilely trying to press a claim to get back to their old homestead on Codeara land which they had

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215 fled some eight years previously during the times of violent confrontations between the company and local inhabitants. It did not appear likely that the couple would succeed in getting back their land since the position of Codeara is that it has already "given away" all the land that they intended to distribute. The farmer and his wife started planting at their old homestead anyway. Several months after the interviews, the researcher learned that the brother-in-law peon and his wife had left town for a job at another ranch-company. Another peon, Manuel, aged 41, was interviewed one day as he lay shivering from a malaria attack in a hammock hung in the living room of another Santa Terezinha family. Manuel had just finished a stint for a contractor at the Servap Ranch some 80 km to the west of Santa Terezinha, and the contractor, although considered to be a good one, had been unable to pay the workers so Manuel, though he had a credit slip, had no money for accommodations or medicine. His friends, an elderly landless farming couple who were concerned that day about how they would find some money to buy rice for a meal that night, allowed Manuel to sleep under their roof. Sick as he was, Manuel was scheduled to leave the next day to join a work gang at the Borden Company Ranch some 300 km to the south. Manuel was born in Piaui in 1937. His family were peasant farmers. Hoping for more opportunities for their

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216 son, his parents sent him at age 13 to live with some relatives who had migrated to the city of Sao Paulo. Between 1950 and 1969 Manuel lived in the Sao Paulo area and worked in factories and at other low-level jobs. In 1970, Manuel took his savings and returned to visit his family in Piaui. He decided to stay, and invested his savings in his father's farm, hiring additional workers, making new fences, buying seeds and the like. The drought which hit the Northeast that year ruined the fields and the animals died. Everything Manuel had invested in his father's place was lost. Ashamed to return to Sao Paul broke and defeated, Manuel decided to go to Mato Grosso where he had heard people say that one could earn well at the ranch-companies. His plan was to earn enough so as to be able to save up another small stake to make another start in life. But as a peon Manuel found that he could never get ahead. His description of the situation he encountered in Mato Grosso follows: [ (During the times of the droughts in the Northeast)], the old people said let's go, let's go to the forests to the west where there is rain. But the ranches took everything. Mato Grosso and Para are all closed, all fenced up. The poor person has no choice but to be a peon where most frequently he receives no saldo (remaining pay) at the end of a job, sometimes none at all; And many times the peon at the end of a job is still in debt to the company. You understand that there is no place for these people who came here to farm the forests to go, so they become peons. The men have to

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217 leave their wives and children in a village like this one (Santa Terezinha) and go out, go out to be peons, struggling to earn a little bit. There is no land for us. So we have to work as peons. But while you are working as a peon, you use up all your pay buying food, medicines and so on, and so you make almost no money. And things are very expensive to buy at the ranches. The jobs are very badly paid and everything is expensive and in the end you are left with nothing Look at me, for example. I never made any progress. Here I am poor and what I earn working only does for me to feed myself. I am some eight years now away from my relatives and I cannot return. Maybe I work a job for several months and earn $50 but I need to buy some clothes, some shoes, food, a hammock and bingo, it's all gone! If there was plenty of land, a person could give 20 alqueires (100 ha) for each son. One needs to have land for one's children. This old man here (the owner of the house) would give his sons land if he could and then you'd see some progress. But the old man doesn't have sufficient land to give to his sons, so his children end up at the ranch-companies. The son is away for two or three months and comes back to a place like this or stays on the street or goes to a boarding house if he has no place of his own. A boarding house costs $7.50 daily and soon the young man has nothing. The peons you see in the red light-district drink so much because they live dissatisfied and because they have nowhere else to go. When a fellow is so far from home and doesn't have the money to go home, he drinks to distract himself from his troubles If we could only work for ourselves you wouldn't see this terrible suffering. A peon, if he's ill or had an accident, no one cares about him. When the peon works he gets no benefits, not even an indemnity if he's crippled. Not even most employees of the companies receive benefits. Here, when you finish a job, neither an employee or a peon has any benefits, though just now a few of the companies have started to give a few small benefits.

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218 These pioneering people who came out here just do not have the conditions to stay anywhere fixed, and so they always end up returning to the ranches. Now I have malaria. Tomorrow I'll leave here and go to the Borden Ranch. Many of the single men who work as peons, like Manual, have no relatives or families nearby. On ranch paydays and at the end of job contracts the peons usually come to towns like Santa Terezinha where they stay in boarding houses and usually live it up for a while in the red-light district. After months of rather rigorous and isolated living at remote spots in the various ranch-companies, the men arrive in the town with cash and a desire to have a good time for a while. It is not unusual to see broke peons who, after a spree, are selling their last possessions in the street, perhaps a watch or a guitar, to get together some money to pay off their bills and to tide them over until their next job. The red-light district, known for its sexually transmitted disease, robberies and drunken brawls, functions as a short reprieve from the drudgery of men's usual routines. More permanent local people tend to view peons as degraded human beings and although many households contain members who periodically work at the ranch-companies they will sometimes deny it or minimize connections with company employment. The fathers and sons of most farming households in Santa Terezinha do periodically leave and work for wages, usually as temporary peons. Landless families are particularly likely to seek company employment. Local women find

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219 jobs as washer women, cooks and domestics at ranch headquar ters, the work sites and outposts. Although the majority of local households contain members who have worked or continue to work at the ranches, more or less permanent town residents continue to make a distinction between "them" (peons and outsiders) and "us." The generally young and single male peons are the easiest to identify in this category. Their dealings with townspeople tend to remain marginal and are limited mainly to the red-light district unless they marry a "local girl." Peons who arrive in town with their families are somewhat more difficult to classify since, if they remain in Santa Terezinha for enough time (usually more than a year) they have usually managed to find other livelihood opportunities and become more incorporated into the "community network." The incorporation of peon households into community life, is, however, rather uncommon because the majority are compelled to take another company job in another location and they move out of the town. Peon families which manage to stay longer in Santa Terezinha usually have kin nearby. Unless the peon manages to establish access to farm land or begins a commercial venture, he, and his family, will generally remain peripheral to the community. There is a constant movement of persons and families in and out of Santa Terezinha. The researcher, wandering around the back streets of town doing various surveys, alway

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220 encountered the families of peons who were living in Santa Terezinha while their menfolk were away on a job. Most of these families had almost identical backgrounds and histories to the majority of town residents, but they had lost access to land, usually by eviction, and were on a constant round of travel from one company job to the next. Left alone in town, the wives found it extremely difficult to integrate themselves into their neighborhood and town life. Most commented that they couldn't get any credit at local stores, that they were paying too much rent for houses, and that Santa Terezinha inhabitants were unfriendly people. Attempts by the researcher to revisit these households almost always found them gone. Sometimes even the next-door neighbor did not know where they had gone. Santa Terezinha inhabitants understand the desperation and misery of these uprooted families but they are also relatively suspicious of temporary residents. Since, from time to time, whole families who have run up debts at local stores disappear during the night, merchants are reluctant to extend credit to unknown individuals. Temporary residents are also somewhat removed from the coercive power of public opinion and gossip. Gossip and issues of honor and shame are of critical importance to local families; behavior is shaped by the intense desire that one's neighbors and the townspeople, in general, have a high opinion of one's moral qualities. Families, of course, are judged in part by the

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221 behavior of the members. Temporary residents have less vested interest in their public images. By the mere fact of being identified as peons they are automatically judged as somewhat morally deficient. It logically follows that the more temporary households are more apt to be accused of chicken stealing or other antisocial behavior, and that the neighbors are less apt to offer help to a person or persons who may disappear tomorrow. Local people, who may share access to land with their neighbors, are usually unwilling to allow "strangers" to work on their land. Local people are also loathe to sell land, either by deed or squatters' rights, to people considered to be outsiders. Local people do not always clearly distinguish between the various levels of ranch-company employees, and they tend to call any low-level employee a peon. The image of peons and ranch-company employees generally is negative. Wage workers are considered locally to be spendthrifts who live for today and neglect family responsibilities. Local families are always worried that their daughters will marry a peon. Peons, it is thought, make unsteady irresponsible husbands. They fear that either the son-in-law will leave on a job, never to return again, or that their daughter will leave with her husband for a life of constant roaming and abject misery on the ranches. Another point against many young peons is that although they may have come from farm families, many times they have had little experience

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222 with slash-and-burn agriculture. The lack of farming experience and the unwillingness of many young men to enter the hard, poor and isolated life-style of the peasant-farmers makes parents extremely uneasy about allowing their daughters to marry such men. Because of parental disapproval, many marriages in the town are today carried out by elopement. Local families are quite ambivalent when their menfolk, particularly sons, go off to work at the ranch-companies. They usually need the cash, but they are fearful that their sons will "become peons" and adopt peon attitudes and values. And as happens frequently, the sons of local households, freed from family duties, the tight controls of community gossip, and earning their own money for the first time, do rebel about returning to their regular lives. Instead of delivering their wages to their parents, the young men may begin to participate in the rowdy and dissolute life-style of the other peons. Instead of returning home and buying some essential supplies that the family is short of, or paying off some pressing debts run up at local stores, the sons may waste their money in the red-light district, drinking, gambling, whoring or even getting robbed. One old-timer farm family which had INCRA land, was always highly embarrassed when the researcher visited when their son or son-in-law was in town. The afternoon interviews were always punctuated by the groans and retching of the

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223 young men who had returned home drunk. Everyone ignored the noise coming from the back rooms. Both the son and the son-in-law contributed next to nothing to household income and neither worked in the household's fields. The son-in-law, in particular, was resented because he always left his wife in the care of her parents and lived off them as well when he was in town. At that point he was a common-law husband to the daughter who was pregnant, and the mother was trying to block a legal marriage because she felt that the young man would eventually desert her daughter. The son, the mother had somewhat more control over, and she would frequently persuade him to leave a portion of his wages in her care when he went off to carouse so that he would not lose it all. The savings in her care, however, were always given back to the son who would then spend it, on himself or the household, as he saw fit. This woman summed up the local situation as follows : I don't like the idea of the companies because you are always moving from place to place. The ropa (farm) is no good because there is too much suffering. Just today I saw a man who was almost crying because he has his produce in his fields and cannot find a way to transport them to town I think that the farming life would be best for the children but they don't want it. I think it would be best; you can create an abundance. You can be really poor, but with farming one still has plenty.

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224 Despite the predominance of peon employment at the companies, many young men perceive that the ranch-companies do provide some potential for economic mobility. One method attempted by many is to become a labor contractor instead of a peon. To become a successful "cat," however, is quite difficult. First, most of the companies in the region give most of their contract business to their "regular cats" who tend to retain a monopoly over most of the contract jobs generated by a particular ranch-company. The "professional cats" manage most of the major labor contracts in the region leaving only the smaller and less desirable jobs open for aspiring entrepreneurs. A second reason why most laborers fail to become contractors is that contractors need considerable political and management skills to carry out their jobs. They must be able to successfully negotiate contracts with ranches and maintain cooperative relations with company management. A delay in the delivery of work equipment of several weeks where the contractor is left feeding a non-working labor crew, or a poorly negotiated contract can completely wipe out a contractor's profits. If the contractor miscalculates, on the time required for the job or other factors, he will lose his profit margin. It is not unknown for companies to try and take advantage of labor contractors just as to be a successful "cat" one must be willing to try and take advantage of one's peons. Illiterate contractors are often unable to correctly

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225 evaluate the written contracts. Many men interviewed who stated their occupations as "contractors" were clearly working more often as peons than they were as "cats." Lastly, to be a contractor has negative connotations, since it is common knowledge that "cats" make money by exploiting their peons. Another goal of aspiring workers is to become direct employees of a ranch-company. This achievement, although relatively rare, can bring a measure of economic mobility in terms of better wages and company benefits. The better positions are difficult to obtain. One reason is because most of the better paid jobs on the ranch-companies require special skills and experience which most men lack. Further, the directly hired labor force at ranch-companies is always relatively small, and most openings occur at the lower occupational levels, for manual workers at construction sites, cooks, and so forth. Thirdly, many jobs start at lower salaries and require time before the wages rise; most jobs at ranches are of relatively short duration. Because Brazilian labor legislation requires that company employees receive additional benefits for each year of service rendered, companies periodically fire employees to keep them from accruing benefits. The same employee may be rehired months later and will be considered a new employee. Lastly, company employees have absolutely no job security and can be fired at any time. This places most workers in

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226 an extremely vulnerable position. Anyone considered a trouble-maker will clearly lose his job. The end of a certain construction project or belt-tightening in company economic policies always means that a certain number of direct employees will be let go. Table 6 shows some average monthly wages for various occupational categories at Codeara ranch, as provided by the manager. When compared to informants' accounts of wages paid at other ranch-companies in the region, the Codeara wages appear to be somewhat higher than average. When compared to the Mato Grosso minimum monthly wage of $62.50, it is clear that almost all company positions except the very lowest, are higher than the legal minimum. Most workers also receive some housing and other advantages although these vary considerably from ranch to ranch. The management staff, frequently high school or college educated men from southern Brazil, are clearly wellpaid. In addition to their regular wages, some management level staff also receive hardship wages which may amount to $100 to $200 a month extra to compensate for their assignments to such remote and primitive locations. Most upper echelon company staff interviewed expressed little committment to either the company or the region; most were primarily interested in accumulating savings so that they could buy their own ranch or start a business elsewhere. Most view their Mato Grosso assignments as temporary.

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227 Table 6. Monthly Wages at the Codeara Ranch Company TYPE OF WORKER MONTHLY WAGES (in US dollars)* ADMINISTRATION: Manager (Agronomist) 3,500 Manager (Veterinarian) 1,500 Resident Manager 1,000 Accountant 800 SKILLED AND UNSKILLED LABOR: Auto Mechanic 250 Heavy Machine Operator 175 Skilled Saw Mill Operator 150 Driver 120 Experienced Cowboy 87 Manual Laborer (direct) 67 Domestic V7orker 50 Office Worker 4 0 *Wages are listed to the nearest cruzeiro or .05 US dollars.

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228 For the men and their families who do succeed in securing direct company employment this step may represent a significant improvement in wages and living conditions, although conditions of employment vary a good deal from ranch to ranch. Few of the direct workers, either living at work sites or in the town, consider their jobs permanent, but some families interviewed have succeeded in accumulating some savings and in one case, two brothers working as cowboys had managed to save up enough money to purchase some land at the new Servap private colonization project (see Figure 5 ) where they planned to start a ranch of their own. Very few men interviewed in Santa Terezinha had managed to secure direct employment with nearby companies. When they did, it was frequently short-term. The lower level occupations generally secure an income level of between $60 to $150 a month and since the men cannot farm and must purchase all their foodstuffs and frequently have a wife and dependents to support, this income does not go far. Local men with direct employment at the companies who lived in the town did not live significantly better than their neighbors although their households did more often contain items like radios and gas stoves. Employees who go to live at work camps were less frequently observed by the researcher, but several visits to a number of camps did demonstrate that resident workers do receive free

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229 housing and some subsidized foodstuffs on the more established ranches. The number of people, however, who do manage to secure relatively permanent ranch-company employment and benefits remains quite small for the region as a whole. But the fact that some better opportunities do exist at the companies motivates many young people to try to secure this type of employment. In summation, the majority of employment opportunities at ranch-companies throughout northern Mato Grosso continues to be relatively poorly paid manual worker positions as peons hired by labor contractors. Younger men entering the region and local people periodically work as peons, primarily during the dry season, to augment their cash incomes. Job security, benefits and health services are inaccessible to the majority of the company labor force. Economic mobility, through becoming a labor contractor or securing a more permanent position at a company, is relatively rare since company direct employment positions remain small and the better paid jobs generally require skills and experience that most local inhabitants lack. The fact that some advancement possibilities do exist and that wages paid to direct employees at most companies are above the state legal minimum wage, does motivate and attract younger people who are disenchanted with farming to try their luck at the ranch-companies.

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230 Commerce Commerce is the third major livelihood alternative pursued in Santa Terezinha and the one which carries the most prestige as well as the greatest chances of shortterm success in the frontier. The proliferation of commercial ventures is apparent from the very large number of enterprises, 88, in a town the size of Santa Terezinha. The 88 commercial establishments counted do not include the numerous unofficial commercial activities pursued in homes such as the selling of farm products or sewing. Official commercial establishments may be strictly a business or also contain a residential unit; the distinguishing feature of legal commerce is a state permit, usually posted in a prominent place of the wall, which shows that the business is registered and pays taxes. As predicted by Roberts (1976: 106), the town commerce evolved to meet two major needs related to the presence of the cattle companies: (1) to serve as a commercial outlet for the sale of imported goods, and (2) to provide temporary accommodations for rural migrants. The town functions as a regional service center/labor pool for the cattle companies. Retail stores and boarding houses predominate in the tertiary sector. The current expansion of commercial activities can be contrasted to previous commercial activities reported in the 1940s when the town had only two or three poorly stocked shops (Wagley, 1977)

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231 The main function of Santa Terezinha commerce is to retail manufactured commodities imported from urban industrial centers, provide temporary room-and-board to transients, and to provide leisure-time facilities for workers such as the cabaret and bars. The orientation of the town commerce toward the cash earnings of transient workers is further illustrated by the absence of certain commercial establishments normally found in Brazilian towns. Santa Terezinha does not have any bakeries, restaurants, auto repair shops, or beauty parlors. There is no local manufacturing of any kind. The wife of a southern Brazilian engineer hired to do some surveying for a company, stayed for one month in Santa Terezinha and was shocked to find that she could not buy many common items, such as nail polish remover, in the local shops. The commercial establishments depend largely on a clientele of paid company workers who periodically spend time and money in Santa Terezinha; local commerce is oriented to their needs and interests. The dependence of the town commerce on cash generated by cattle company employment is further illustrated by what happens during the rainy season. Employment at companies is drastically reduced during the rainy months because clearing and maintenance must be done during the dry season. The reduction of paid workers has immediate repercussions in the town. The red-light district barely operates

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232 and some bars there shut down. Store-keepers begin to remind customers about their over-due accounts and stop extending credit as freely as they do during the dry season. Some store-keepers even give children who are sent out to shop with cash some free candy to encourage the children to return to the same store. There is a local saying: "Cash here has its seasons, just like oranges and mangoes." The small farmers of the region never provided much of an impetus to commercial development. The relatively small population of farmers with minimal cash to spend was serviced instead by itinerant river traders and a very few small shops. The lack of success of the agricultural cooperative in Santa Terezinha testifies to the extremely low level of economic transactions in the agricultural sector. Originally designed to provide lower cost manufactured commodities than the high priced river traders the cooperative today can not compete with the more efficient Planta which, often has lower prices on certain items than the cooperative. The small farmers of Santa Terezinha, as will be explained in the following chapter, are peripheral customers for most commercial establishments who prefer to operate on a cash-and-carry basis. Most persons and households in the town, including more or less permanent residents, do not exclusively patronize one store with whom they establish an ongoing relationship. To the contrary, most people shop at various stores and try to take advantage of some competitive pricing on selected items.

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233 The growth of the town, from 40 houses in 1940, 140 houses in 1967, and 380 houses in 1978, is causally linked to the presence of the cattle projects. Migrants, evicted from locations within the region by companies or the Park Service, or arriving in the region seeking land and/or jobs, continue to arrive although many are also leaving to try their luck elsewhere. The services and facilities in the town — the elementary school, health clinic and the red light-district — are rudimentary but sill superior to the complete lack of services on remote backland homesteads, and they attract people to the town. The growth of the town, in turn, helps support the commercial ventures. The more people who can not grow food, the larger the number who must purchase foodstuffs in the shops. Urban growth also spawns the development of a whole series of marginal economic activities. Although many people begin small commercial ventures in Santa Terezinha — usually a tiny combination bar and store with small stock of tinned food — most of these establishments are highly marginal operations with a tendency to fail. The most common response to the question of where the money had gone from the sale of some cattle or a piece of land was: "We used the money to start a shop, but it failed." For a number of reasons, it is not easy to develop a successful commercial establishment in Santa Terezinha.

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234 Some of the major problems of merchants in Santa Terezinha include: (1) lack of investment capital, (2) lack of direct access to wholesale goods, (3) inability to extend sufficient credit to customers or manage operating expenses during long pay-back periods, (4) lack of literacy skills and commercial experience, (5) inability to withstand shortterm emergencies such as the rainy season commercial lull or demand for tax payments, and (6) inability to compete with other commercial establishments of the same type in town. Anyone opening a shop must secure a permit from the state tax collector and pay taxes on the volume of business conducted. Taxes are also paid by all those who transport commodities over state borders; all manufactured goods entering the town are imported and taxed commodities. Selftrained accountants, usually school teachers, generally manage the books of the more profitable enterprises. The more successful local merchants also periodically travel to the city of Goiania where they purchase wholesale goods on credit and supervise the truck and boat transportation of the shipment back to Santa Terezinha. They either do this themselves, or send a trusted employee, to make sure that nothing will go wrong along the route. Smaller operators of shops, which are in the majority in town, usually can not make these expensive trips and so they are compelled to purchase their stock from the larger commercial establishments at higher prices. To make a profit, they, in turn.

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235 must mark up their prices. The smaller stores are unable to compete with lower prices of larger stores so they frequently try to compete in terms of location or convenience. They also try to compete in extending credit to customers, but are least able to absorb losses from delayed payments or customers who renege completely on their debts. A good number of small businesses, then, manage to make ends meet only by engaging in other economic activities at the same time. It is not uncommon to find wives and daughters in charge of small shops and bars while the men are off working at other remunerative activities. The more successful stores and boarding houses also diversify by investing their profits into other economic enterprises. Only ten of the 88 commercial establishments are relatively large and successful. Eliminating two from consideration, the Planta and the agricultural cooperative, there are about eight "strong" stores. All the boarding houses do a brisk business although one, which has its own electricity, does better than the others and is more often occupied in the quiet rainy months. The owners of these more successful ventures can be considered the local elite. All the more successful merchants have better-than-average literacy skills, and they have invested in other economic ventures. Almost all of the more successful merchants own land in the vicinity, often gained in the

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236 INCRA distribution of land (usually squatters' rights). Almost all have tenant-farmers on their land, and cowboys tending their herds on Bananal. They are the owners of most of the local transport, both boats and vehicles. Merchants also generally invest profits in other commercial ventures in town, opening additional bars and second stores, or buying and renting urban lots and houses. Sr. Sebastiao is an old timer in the region and one of the most successful merchants in town. He is originally from the Northeast and has lived and worked in many places throughout Mato Grosso and Para, as a farmer, tenant, nut gatherer and miner. A man of enterprise and energy, he began small business ventures a number of times, but his really big start came when he married Dona Delma whose parents had left each child an inheritance of several hundred head of cattle. Sr. Sebastiao used the cattle to capitalize his commercial ventures in Santa Terezinha. He was one of the first of the local merchants to realize that shopping directly in Goiania and supervising the transportation of the goods back to Mato Grosso facilitated the quality and quantity of stock and lowered its cost. Sr. Sebastiao today owns the largest dry goods store in town, a bar, and a large dance hall which he rents. His cattle raising enterprises are located on Bananal where his cowboy manages a herd of several hundred head. Although he would not admit it directly, it was fairly clear that Sr. Sebastiao was evading legal requirements placed on

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237 operations on Bananal; he was paying no taxes and planting fields which are expressly prohibited by Fork Park regulations. Sr. Sebastiao also owns the largest of the three electrical generators in Santa Terezinha and sells ice produced in his freezer. He owns a truck and a motor-boat which are used for his business enterprises and for generating additional income. As one of the two town councilmen Sr. Sebastiao cultivates contracts in the state capital and municipal seat. By means of his position he has managed to purchase a large number of the prime town land lots and properties, and to receive a construction contract for a state-funded building. He is currently trying to secure a lucrative position for himself as a state appointed notary public so that he could make deeds and legal documents for the local population for payments. Sr. Sebastiao utilizes almost any opportunity available for making additional money and he has few scruples about taking advantage of other residents who are less knowledgeable. One example that became known to the researcher was that he let it be known in town that he would mail letters in urban centers for a fee of $1. Postal stamps were then $.10 and a common courtesy of almost all travelers in the interior was carrying and posting letters for free. It was difficult to determine the full extent and details of Sr. Sebastiao 's business enterprises because he refused to discuss them. Some of his

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238 illegal practices caught up with him, however, because in 1978-1979 he was being investigated for federal tax evasion. Sr. Sebastiao maintains a house in Goiania where his children live. He supports his children in the city where they are full-time students. Two of his children were about to take college entrance examinations. Although Sr. Sebastiao has few relatives in the region, his wife comes from a large local family. Many of her siblings lost their inheritance (cattle) and have fallen upon hard times. Sr. Sebastiao carefully limits the help he gives to relatives and he often uses relatives' children as servants in his home or as clerks in his enterprises. Payment is primarily in the form of room and board. He always tells everyone that he is one of the most generous men in town, and that everyone tries to take advantage of him. However, even his step-mother had unkind words to say about his well-advertised generosity. When her husband (Sr. Sebastiao 's father) died. Sr. Sebastiao brought his step-mother from Maranhao to Bananal and put her to work at his ranch. One reason for Sr. Sebastiao 's success in the frontier town is that he was fortunate enough to have sufficient beginning capital. He is also conniving, alert, and industrious. He has few scruples about taking advantage of the local people and he drives very hard bargains. He is always aware of opportunities to make more money. When backyard vegetable gardening started to become popular in Santa

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239 Terezinha, Sr. Sebastiao was one of the first merchants to bring in the seeds for tomatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers and the like. The price of a packet of seeds in the urban areas was $.20 but Sr. Sebastiao charged $.50 an envelope in Santa Terezinha. Sr. Sebastiao also travels a good deal and he often contracts to do errands for local people such as processing a document or purchasing a needed car part. Needless to say, his fees for such services are quite high. The markup on the prices of most commodities sold in the frontier town are well above what might be expected even when the expenses of freight costs and import taxes are added. A rough estimate of shipment costs and taxes would add some 20-25% to the selling price, yet stores in Santa Terezinha tend to jack up prices from between 30-150% of the original cost in Brazilian urban areas. The rationalization offered by merchants for their high prices are: (1) the high costs of transportation, (2) the supposedly high rate of losses caused by people reneging on debts, and (3) inflation. Despite these supposed factors, it is clear that the larger stores with significant turn-over are making relatively high profits in the frontier town. Competition between the many stores in town does cause merchants to reduce prices on a few of their goods. However, in order to take advantage of such "specials" a buyer would have to first walk all over town to comparison shop and then shop at a half dozen different stores where the

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240 desired item was priced the lowest. Most local inhabitants and more temporary residents do not take the time and energy to comparison shop. Further, some households in town try to cultivate personal relationships with one or two merchants, giving the store almost all their business and expecting an advantageous credit arrangement with that store. A steady customer can usually count on as much as $15 to $20 worth of credit extended over a period of several months. Although merchants interviewed could not give a systematic account of how they determine the amount and duration of their customers' credit ratings, a few critical variables are clear. Merchants prefer to extend credit to people who are known locally as opposed to transients and strangers. They also try to find out about the economic situation of a particular household, particularly the livelihood activities of the males, before extending credit. Households which always eventually pay their store bills and which regularly patronize a particular merchant will tend to continue to receive credit. Despite the relatively accurate evaluations made by merchants and a certain hard-nosed attitude toward most pleas made to them, local merchants are periodically cheated by customers who manage to leave town without paying their bills. Although it is impossible to quantify, it is suspected that this occurs far less frequently than local merchants claim. Most people view being in debt (i.e., shopping on credit) as somewhat shameful and embarrassing

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241 and most are extremely conscientious about paying their bills as soon as they can. Most economic transactions are unwritten and verbal agreements are considered extremely binding. To go back on one's word is considered highly shameful and morally degrading. Some transient households and peons do periodically act "shamefully" and renege on debts, usually by leaving the town surreptitiously at night. This creates a situation where new arrivals in the town, particularly those in rather desperate straits, have difficulty obtaining even small amounts of credit. Sr. Manuel, described in the previous section as a peon who had arrived in town with only a piece of paper promising eventual payment of wages, did not expect, and indeed, did not receive, any type of credit in the town. Tired, hungry and ill, with at least $50 owed to him, he could not purchase any needed supplies or services. The cooperative and the Planta generally have the lowest prices in town but most of the local and transient population can not shop at either place. Both the cooperative and the Planta sell on a cash-and-carry basis and allow very few customers the privilege of credit. Since so many households have relatively small and quite irregular sources of income, shopping on credit is often the only way that needed commodities can be obtained. The Planta only gives credit to a few families in known good economic standing, members of the local elite and certain permanent employees of the

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242 ranch-companies. The cooperative only provides 30 daycredit to its members. Coop members also receive a 10% discount on items classified as essential commodities. Only farmers with more or less regularized titles, to their land, however, are eligible for coop membership and dues are also quite high. Many of the farmers are currently disenchanted with the cooperative and have cancelled their membership. For the majority of people the cooperative's prices are the same as at other stores, and credit is unavailable. Therefore, fewer and fewer households continue to shop at the cooperative which further weakens the coop's financial basis. Even families who belong to the cooperative frequently do the majority of their shopping from a local merchant who has fewer formal rules and will extend credit during difficult months or in other ways will be relatively supportive during an emergency. In the largest residential neighborhood of town, Rua do Campo, there were three medium sized stores which, on the average, had prices from $.10 to $.50 more for all items than the stores located in the commerce streets. Most neighborhood people patronized these higher priced stores because: (1) the merchants were local men, considered neighbors and friends who would give one easier credit, (2) the stores were five minutes away rather than ten to 20 minutes which makes a difference when shopping is carried out frequently and in small quantities, and (3) the

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243 neighborhood stores were more willing to sell tiny quantities, such as one onion rather than half a kilo of onions. The higher prices of these stores, in turn, were justified by neighborhood merchants whose overall sales volume is often lower and who takes more credit risks over longer periods of time than merchants elsewhere in town. To tocar comercio or have a commercial establishment is often the stated dream of parents for their children or for themselves. In particular, to have a store where one can make an adequate living without back-breaking labor, with plenty of leisure time to talk to customers and sit in chairs in the shade outside, is considered to be the best life-style in Santa Terezinha and Brazil generally (Harris, 1971) Relatively successful merchants in town had better houses, gas stoves, kerosene refrigerators, radios, store-bought furniture, and expensive blown-up photographs of their children on the walls. If the business really thrives, the merchant will have a vehicle, land and cattle and other items of prestige and wealth. They may be engaged in farming, usually by means of tenants, but as many local people pointed out, they can always afford to transport and store their produce until the price goes up. Likewise, the store allows them to survive problems of cattle raising such as excessive flooding or price fluctuations, and to sell at the moment of greatest advantage. Few successful merchants depend exclusively on one type of

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244 business, but rather hedge their bets. Thus, they can often survive set-backs better than the majority of the population In often repeated questions to adults and children about the most desirable occupation, commerce was always selected. Some farm families, particularly older and more traditional people, stressed the advantages of a farm life, but further questioning usually revealed that they were selecting farming because they realized that they did not have the necessary skills to enter commerce. To be in business is also considered highly desirable because it means that one is self-employed. To work for oneself rather than others, to be free to make one's own decisions and structure one's own time, is a value held dear by persons of all classes and occupations. The motivation to work hard, save, invest and improve an enterprise, informants pointed out frequently, is strongest when one is working for oneself. Since farming is viewed as a relatively deadend activity and the ranch-companies offer only a relatively cold employee relationship, the major focus of aspirations for socio-economic mobility and improvement available in the region is commerce. Thus, despite all the aforementioned problems of capitalization, regulations, taxes and stocking, many people begin commercial establishments in Santa Terezinha. Little bars, small stores and thatch-covered dance halls spring up

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245 all over town. Many of these low-productivity enterprises are run by women whose husbands have either left them permanently or who are frequently away working at the companies. Most of these small businesses do not generate much income, averaging from $25 to $200 worth of a business a month depending on the season. Although the businesses rarely expand and the income generated is quite small and irregular, many choose to continue them because the small additional income is deemed critical to the economic survival of the household. Further, even the smallest venture gives one the right to call oneself "a merchant." The majority of new enterprises begun over the last five years are located on the Rua da Palha side of town, not far from the red-light district and on or close by the road that connects the town to the neighboring ranch-company and from there to the other ranch-companies in the region. Here businesses have the best access to ranch-company workers and benefit from the attraction of the red-light district. The red-light district itself is somewhat separated from the town proper by some small hills. It contains a variety of establishments, from tiny bars to large dancehalls and boarding houses for the prostitutes. Although there is some element of shame involved in running any kind of venture in the red-light district, many people do try to start businesses there because during the times of the

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246 influxes of paid workers a large amount of cash moves through the district. Among the people interviewed who operated business in the red-light district was a woman who ran a small bar and store whose husband had abandoned her, a woman who ran a bar whose husband worked as a cowboy at the ranch-companies, and a man who ran a brothel whose family were landless tenant farmers who had arrived in the region too late to qualify for any land in the INCRA distribution. Another man, an elderly farmer who had received a land lot, decided to open a small bar there to augment his income from agriculture. He had recently entered into a common-law marriage with a former prostitute some 30 years his junior and she worked in the bar into which the old farmer had invested his savings. The prostitutes in town are usually younger women between 15 to 3 0 years old. Frequently, reputed loss of virginity at an early age and subsequent rejection by their families has caused them to enter "the free life." From the relatively small number interviewed, it appears that the women spend between six months to a year in various towns and cities, and are constantly on the move between red-light districts in the states of Maranhao, Para, Goias and Mato Grosso. In the frontier town of Santa Terezinha, prostitutes either lived in the cabaret or in their own houses in the residential areas. In the red-light district the women are apparently primarily utilized by the male

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247 owners of bars to encourage the men customers to drink. Prices of drinks and prepared foodstuffs in the cabaret are high, and the sale of alcoholic beverages appears to be the major profit-making activity of the owners. The prostitutes, informants stated, set their own prices for sex and do not deliver a percentage of their "private" earnings. Prostitutes in the red-light district, however, must pay for their room-and-board provided by the male owner, and this charge is usually between $40 to $100 a month. Public opinion acknowledges that the life of the prostitutes in the cabaret is a rough one and that prostitutes who ply their trade outside the district usually do better, however, most "decent folk" prefer that the prostitutes remain behind the hills in the red-light area. The delegado, particularly, actively discourages the prostitutes or other female residents of the cabaret from entering the rest of town and socializing outside the district. The only known way to leave the endless round of cabarets that the life of a prostitute entails is to have a male customer "take one out of the life" either by setting the woman up as a mistress, giving her a small business, or by common-law or legal marriage. Prostitutes who have been legitimized by marriage usually become fully accepted women in the frontier town; their pasts are rarely referred to. Few girls from local families enter the red-light district. Today, even fairly strict and traditional families will sometimes decide

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248 to tolerate a daughter's dishonor rather than condemn her to a life in the cabaret. Community moral assessment of one's character, particularly of females, however, continues to carry weight and most suicides and suicide attempts in the town are carried out by girls who have been shamed or prostitutes who have been disappointed by lovers. In summary, the goal of many households is to open a business in Santa Terezinha although the majority of the commercial establishments in town are hole-in-the-wall places which rarely generate more than subsistence earnings. The failure rate of small businesses is quite high thus to invest one's resources in one is a high risk venture. Many of the marginal stores and bars in the town represent only one of a number of sources of household income. Only households which have other, non-commercial sources of income and/or foodstuffs can survive the fluctuations of the cash shortage season. Larger commercial establishment owners also diversity their economic activities as soon as possible. In conclusion, this chapter demonstrates some critical aspects of livelihood options in the frontier. The majority of wage-labor opportunities are at ranch-companies throughout the region. Most workers participate as peons, temporary lowly paid manual laborers with no job security and

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249 almost no employment benefits. Persons and families detached from agriculture become dependent on expensive commodities and foodstuffs imported into the region. Fully proletarianized people are generally on an endless round of migration between short-term jobs with companies in northern Mato Grosso and southern Para. Some advancement opportunities — for labor contractors or skilled laborers — exist at companies and these and the cash earnings attract many young adults. Older people are generally extremely wary of full-time participation in the labor market and try to convince their children to remain in agriculture, or enter commerce. Commerce, oriented to the dynamics of the capitalist enterprises present in the region, is the main route for becoming "economically successful." Almost all store owners, large and small, engage in other economic pursuits. This is done in part to meet livelihood needs or generate further income, but also because many people perceive that when the BR 158 road, which passes some 100 km to the west of town, is completed the local commerce will lose its reason for existence. If the river ceases to be the main transportation route, then Santa Terezinha will lose its function as distribution point for the region. The new road will connect this part of the country directly with the Center-South and the new road network of the Transamazon highway to the north. Indeed, the Servap colonization project.

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250 which is located directly on the route of the new road, has ambitious plans for urban development. For the time being, however, this development remains in the future. The more successful Santa Terezinha merchants, however, are already anticipating the changes which will result from the road In general, one may state that small farming is on the decline in Santa Terezinha. Increasing numbers of persons are either becoming wage laborers or entering commerce. In most cases, however, neither option offers a significant improvement in the economic situation of households. Most frontier persons/households must find other ways to insure basic subsistence and these other ways, the "survival strategies," are the subject of the next chapter. End Notes The proper Portuguese term for a labor contractor is em preiteiro and a contract of any kind is an empreito The common slang for a labor contractor is the term "cat," or gato. The_men hired by the contractor are called in Portuguese peoes which is translated here as "peons." Another common slang term used in the frontier is the word "shark" or tubarao which refers to anyone who takes advantage of poor people. Usually the term "shark" is used to refer to land-grabbers but it can refer to any "rich person who takes advantage of poor people Land-grabbers are also called grileiros and the process of land grabbing by deceit and manipulation is called grilagem. The term "cat," which has wider predatory connotations is almost always used exclusively for labor contractors.

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251 I have been unable to find any documentation of a federal investigation of company labor practices in Mato Grosso. Several informants related a story that in 1970, an escaped peon managed to travel to Brasilia and tell an important minister about what was happening in Mato Grosso. They said that some kind of commission was sent to look into the matter, and that after 1970, the conditions of workers were somewhat improved. Informants did not know which agency or branch of the federal government was responsible for this investigation.

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CHAPTER VI SURVIVAL STRATEGIES This chapter will examine what Lomnitz (1976: 141) has called the "survival mechanisms used by marginals." This is not to say that the behaviors and strategies of the majority of the population can be evaluated as successful but only that despite tremendous obstacles and a general feeling of despair, frontier households continue to try to better their situation. Often, the result of such efforts provides little more than the basic minimum for physical survival and that is why the term survival strategies is employed instead of a word with more positive connotations such as adaptations. The term strategy also implies both constant evaluation and continual adjustments in a situation of flux. The situation in the frontier is one characterized by rapidly changing variables. Critical factors in the equation of basic survival can change as rapidly as overnight. An eviction notice, a delayed payment of wages, a new fence blocking previously available grazing land, rapid changes in the selling price of rice, and other such events can radically alter a household's resources, options and plans. A basic assumption about human nature, supported by fieldwork observations, is that no matter how dismal the 252

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253 situation may appear, human beings continue to try and eval uate the consequences of different choices and make decisions about behaviors which they perceive to be in their best interest. Many people interviewed expressed profound feelings of despair and hopelessness about improving their economic situations. One saying heard in the town was tudo bom e nada presta which can be translated as "every thing's fine, but nothing works out." Yet, persons and fam ilies continue to try and work things out, seeking in various ways, a betterment of their situations which they often suspect is unobtainable. Sometimes this involves the sacrifice of short-term benefits for a more desirable longterm goal. This was the case of a farmer who had abandoned his usufruct-owned homestead, located some 40 km to the north of town, to move to Santa Terezinha and work as a peon so that his children could attend elementary school there. More often than not, however, pressing subsistence requirements compel families to favor short-term benefits. Whatever strategies are followed, it became clear during fieldwork that persons and households constantly evaluate available information and try to make the best decisions possible regarding their course of action. The focus here is primarily on the majority of the frontier population, the small farmer migrants, and not on the much smaller number of relatively successful entrepreneurs. An analysis of the local elite would reveal that

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254 they possess special skills and advantages, such as employment by external organizations, education, or a windfall inheritance, generally unavailable to the general population. An analysis of local elites would also require a somewhat different direction for research and inquiry into the topic of entrepreneurial behavior which is beyond the scope of this dissertation. This chapter will, instead, focus on the more typical and numerically larger majority of frontier inhabitants and the survival strategies and mechanisms employed by those one can label "the rural poor." Migration as a Survival Strategy Brandes (1975: 14-15) makes a useful distinction between what he calls "institutional migration" and "transformational migration." Institutional migration may be thought of as traditional migration — an already worked out partial solution to long-standing problems. For example, in a number of countries the emigration of extra sons because of inheritance patterns and land scarcity contributes to the maintenance of the old established order of life in rural areas (Arensberg & Kimball, 1968; Friedl, 1962; Lopreato, 1967) Seasonal or temporary migrations often tend to repeat in certain prescribed and institutionalized patterns year after year. Such types of migration are regularized and institutionalized partial solutions to problems

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255 such as land pressure or cash requirements, and they function to help maintain the old order and status quo. Transformational migration, however, is linked to economic and social changes in a region or country and, as the name implies, tends to radically transform both the distribution of persons and their traditional livelihoods. Transformational migration tends to have a more recent origin, and is less regularized and institutionalized than traditional migration. Clearly, the analytical border separating the two types of migration contains an ambiguous interface zone, as traditional or seasonal migrations may change over time and with changing circumstances become transformational migrations. Transformational migration implies a change from one form, or way of life, to another. Evidence that the massive intra-rural population movements in Brazil constitute transformation migration can be derived from a number of sources. Agricultural economist Ernest Feder (1971: 35-38) states: One of the telling manifestations of rural unemployment is the forced geographic mobil ity of the peasantry" This is the outward sign of a deep-seated malaise in rural Latin America, rather than evidence of a dynamic peasantry attempting to improve its economic and social status. By and large, farm people do not wander around in search of better jobs than the ones they have — they just look for jobs. But not all migration within rural areas is seasonal. A good sized proportion of the labor force is constantly moving from farm to farm, as "professional migrants." Their numbers are probably not recorded in any census

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256 or other statistics. All these population movements testify to a continuous, largescale "milling around" of poor farm people in search of jobs or land, and involve annually several million people in the hemisphere — no doubt the greatest migratory movement in alT history Most people are unaware of this silent march of the poor. Research data from Santa Terezinha support Feder s statements. Analysis of the migration histories collected, however, demonstrated an overall pattern and direction followed in migration. This does not negate Feder 's statements, which in broad outlines, appear to be correct. The study of the individual motivations and decision making of migrants does not, as Samir Amin (1974) points out, reveal the larger societal forces and changes which dictate population movements The person in the countryside frequently does not have the information or ability to analyze sociologically and politically such critical factors as the implications of government development priorities, policy or legislation dealing with labor laws, national parks, land ownership and other topics with direct implication for rural livelihoods. Also, the motivations of persons involved in transformational migration may or may not have to do with a desire to radically transform and alter their traditional way of life. Frequently, as can be seen in the Santa Terezinha data, migration is generally viewed by migrants rather conservatively, as an effort to find a location where they can continue and maintain an

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257 older and already familiar way of life. An examination then, of the motives and decision making of migrants has distinct limitations for the analysis of larger societal causes and the long-term effects of transformational migration. Within the context of anthropological inquiry, however, the investigation of the participants' viewpoints and decision making is valid if caution is exercised about generalizing from the microcosm to macro-structural relationships and causes. An extreme version of the historical structural approach would posit the actors' perceptions, choices and motivations as irrelevant and claim that only an analysis of the larger structure and its development can shed light on the causal factors of social change (Long, 1977) This position is rejected because it negates the influence that individuals may have on their own destinies and considers them instead only as pawns of larger forces. The truth appears to be somewhat more complex as communities, households and individuals not only do not always do what is logically dictated by theories and models, but their varied reactions and adjustments to change take on a multiplicity of forms and may, in turn, effect larger national institutions and policies. The point of view adopted in this section is that migration constitutes a survival strategy from the point of view of the migrants. Their own perceptions and evaluations

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258 result in decision making in which they are attempting to select the best strategy in terms of their own socio-cultural values and goals. To try and understand this process gives insight into the folk point of view and subsequent behabiors, and sheds some light on larger societal factors. It does not presume to attempt to explain the major causal factors of intra-rural migration as generated by the migrants themselves. The analysis here is on an intermediate level which seeks only to examine survival mechanisms utilized by persons already marginalized within the larger system. The general pattern of westward migration has already been discussed in Chapter Three. Analysis of these patterns shows, as Feder suggests, a great deal of variation. For example, one migration history shows a progression from Piaui to Maranhao to Goias to Mato Grosso and then back to Goias and Mato Grosso. Another household started in Maranhao, moved to Para, then to Goias and then to Mato Grosso. There is an overall pattern of movement westward but the paths follov/ed are somewhat varied. Almost all the moves, however, are between relatively rural locations such as homesteads, ranch-companies and towns. Only a small percentage of persons interviewed had ever spent time in provincial or capital cities and those that had were usually accompanying a sick relative receiving hospital care

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259 Another problem with ascertaining patterns in the migrations is that there were clear deficiencies in the accurate reporting of the migration histories.''" For analytical purposes, only 33 out of 81 migration histories collected were sufficiently complete and detailed to allow reasonable comparability. The tabulations on these 33 histories show that 72% (24) households moved on the average of from four to six times within their lifetimes. Since one can still reasonably assume that moves are underreported, especially moves within a region, the actual average number of moves per household is probably somewhat higher than the data suggest. A particularly clear pattern emerges regarding the movement of households into the State of Goias and from there to northern Mato Grosso. While only 27% of the sample were born in the State of Goias, 78% had resided in Goias. The average number of years spent by informants in Goias was 13.8 years. As mentioned previously, the interfluvial island of Bananal attracted many migrants. Twentyseven percent of the sample reported living, farming and tending cattle on Bananal. The average period of residence on Bananal was six and a half years. The migration histories also support Feder's characterization of the intra-rural migrants as primarily small farmers. Ninety-seven percent of the sample had engaged in small farming at some time in their lives, usually in more

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260 Table 7. Decades in which Farm Families Ceased Farmina DECADE NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS Ceased farming in the 1950s Ceased farming in the 1960s Ceased farming in the 1970s Continued to farm 2 10 7 13 TOTAL 32

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261 than one location. Despite the shame involved for many people in admitting that they had worked for ranch-companies, 67% mentioned periods of employment at such places. Table 7 shows the decades in which the sampled households were last engaged in farming. The 1960s were the initial years of the establishment of many of the ranch-companies in the region and the most direct violence against squatters. Therefore, it is nor surprising to find that almost one-third of the sample ceased farming during the 1960s. The rate declines slightly in the 1970s, perhaps because of the stabilization of the land situation due to the INCRA land distribution. Informants were asked to provide evaluative data on the reasons for each move and the reasons for the selection of destinations. Together, the two surveys (n = 99 households) generated 151 statements regarding the decision making process. The accuracy of the analysis of these statements is further supported by non-quantifiable data from intensive interviews and participant observation. The evaluative statements were divided by the researcher into three categories: (1) push statements, (2) pull statements, and (3) neutral statements. Push statements were defined as negative factors in the place (s) of origin which either forced a household to move or were perceived by the household as forcing them to move. Pull statements were positive factors mentioned regarding place (s) of destination, i

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262 perceived advantages, preferences or other reasons. Neutral statements were defined as those statements showing either lack of knowledge (e.g., when the informant was recalling childhood moves) or purely evasive responses such as "I don't know" or "I just wanted to." Push statements were mainly of three types: economic, environmental or familial instability. Economic reasons given for moves included eviction by landov/ners, companies or government agencies (such as the Park Service or the Indian Service) problems with employment such as losing a job, inability to find jobs and/or low pay, and failed enterprises of various kinds. Inability to pay taxes was also cited as a reason for leaving a place. Ten percent of the families had experienced eviction at least once in their lifetime. Environmental reasons cited most often were droughts (in the Northeast) and flooding (in the Amazon Basin) ; 17% left locations because of environmental problems. Many moves were apparently generated by familial instability, such as the death of parent (s) and the subsequent breakup of families, or the breakup of marriages with subsequent redistribution of the children. A strong case can be made that many of the reasons for the frequently cited familial instability are actually related to conditions of poverty, malnutrition, poor health, lack of medical care, and the economic pressures working against stable marriages such as when the husband leaves to find employment

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263 with a distant company. Sixteen percent of the push statements referred to family breakups. Combining the quantitative and qualitative data on push factors, one can generalize that many households decided to migrate because of economic/environmental pressures and constraints on household subsistence. In many interviews informants stated proudly that they had not been evicted from a location because they had seen eviction approaching and had left before they had been forced to in order to avoid being humiliated. Disasters of various kinds, such as droughts and floods, were also frequently mentioned by informants as reasons for moves. The dominant theme of the migration data emphasized economic/environmental constraints perceived by migrants in their place (s) of origin. In summary, the perception of severe constraints on livelihoods appears to be one of the major motivational factors and a root cause of decisions to move to a new location. The population movements are not, as some ranchcompany managers claim, caused by an inherent rootlessness and inability to settle down. Such critics of the local population call them "the floating population" which implies that they prefer to keep moving around the countryside and are unable to "settle down and work hard at something." This type of reasoning blames the fact of frequent migration on the migrants, and implies that they are lazy

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264 good-for-nothings. Company officials often commented on the "lack of stability" of the local population, and the lack of proper "human elements" necessary for a "civilized and stable community." They did not relate the regional problems to the companies' control over the majority of basic resources nor to the conditions of employment commonly found in the region. The research showed that most people intensely dislike moving around but that their perceptions are that many moves are unavoidable. The preference of the migrants is clearly to stay settled in one place where they can farm, earn sufficient cash and become part of a community. Newly arrived migrants, both single people and families, always described the difficulties faced by strangers in a place where they have no kin or friends to depend on for information, advice or help. Migration then, is a choice but a choice v;hich is frequently perceived as the only alternative The negative assessment by the migrants of their chances for survival in the place (s) of origin and along the route suggests that rural inequality and poverty operate as root causes of intra-rural migration as indeed was indicated in a worldwide survey of the phenomenon conducted by Connell et al. (1976). The investigation of the migrants' perceptions, of course, does not in and of itself prove the existence of severe economic constraints although the data is highly suggestive. When the data is combined with macro-level

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265 analyses of Brazilian agrarian structure and development policies, such as those of Cardoso and Muller (1978), Davis (1977), and Feder (1971), it appears that the migrants' evaluations of the situation in the countryside are valid and accurate. The hundreds of individual and mostly tragic stories collected during fieldwork add up to an overall composite picture of a relatively powerless people reacting to severe economic constraints and oppression. Informants also made positive statements regarding the selection of destinations. Such pull factors, however, have been interpreted broadly so that any statement which is not clearly negative or clearly neutral was classified as positive. While 27% of the informants mentioned the desire and/or goal of trying to improve their economic situation, many were quite vague as to the specific idea, opportunity or plan for obtaining an improvement. For example, eight reasons given were that the people were "seeking betterment," two stated that they thought that the places of destination would have more opportunities (unspecified) and hence be easier to make a living in, and two statements mentioned the desire to find a job of any kind. This kind of orientation appears to be what Feder (1971: 37) is referring to when he stated that "farm people do not wanter around in search of better jobs than the ones they have — they just look for jobs ..." The fact that many households have reached a point of desperation in which they are oriented

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266 toward seeking any kind of opportunity is further supported by data from intensive interviews. Questioning usually revealed that informants had specific desires and livelihood preferences. The most frequent one was the wish to have their own land to farm. Repeated failures and pressing poverty had compelled them to reorient themselves toward basic survival and most had adopted the attitude that they had to utilize any livelihood opportunity presented to them. The response to the question of why they selected X location over Y location became the constantly repeated phrase: "We thought things might be better for us there." Another pull factor of significance which operates in the countryside are kin networks. Despite the absence of postal service, telephones and other means of rapid communication, relatives try and often succeed in keeping track of each other even when the various branches of a family are located in a number of different states. This is accomplished in various ways the most important of which are by means of travelers who carry messages, and by radio announcements. Sometimes families do lose track of certain members or there are breaks in communication for several years, but on the whole related persons manage to maintain contact with a surprisingly large number of their relatives. As might be expected, networks of relatives do try to provide mutual aid. But, in many cases the economic constraints severely limit the amount and extent of help that

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267 people can offer one another. Sixteen percent of the informants stated that destinations had been selected because of relatives already located in that particular place who had "called them to come." The already settled relatives frequently make promises to share access to land or other commitments to provide initial support, information and other kinds of help to newcomers. Composite households (which contain more than the nuclear family) represented about 30% of the sampled households, and the additional members were frequently relatives who had been "called" from other locations. Many of the people interviewed stated that they had selected destinations where they had relatives. It seems both logical and prudent on the part of the migrants to favor destinations where kin are available for help. The same types of networks, of kin or people from the same town, have already been noted in the literature on rural-urban migration (Mangin, 1970) and it is not surprising that these types of networks also function in intra-rural migration. Some informants were rather precise about their major motivation for moves. As might be expected, economic reasons played the most important role. Nine statements were made regarding the hope of finding work at ranch-companies and one family had been brought to northern Mato Grosso by a labor contractor. Employment at the ranch-companies does operate as a pull factor, however, it is usually only a

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268 secondary reason. Younger men will sometimes give ranchcompany employment as their major goal, but most families still consider ranch-company work as a final alternative only when all else has failed. Some reasons why company jobs are rarely a primary goal include: (1) the insecurity of employment and the need to keep moving constantly from one ranch to another, (2) the low wages and frequently poor living conditions, (3) the companies' policy of discouraging workers from bringing their families to live at the ranches, (4) the preference for being self-employed, and (5) the companies' rules which frequently prohibit workers from using the land to raise their own crops. Most families consider company jobs as either a last resort or as a temporary way to generate some cash income. Other economic pull statements included five informants who stated specifically that they were motivated by the desire to find some land of their own, three who had moved to work in mining camps, two who mentioned the commercial opportunities of Santa Terezinha and one who had come because of a job with FUNAI One problem with questionnaire data is that both the type and style of questions shape responses in certain ways which can cause distortions in interpretation. It is from the participant observation and intensive interviewing that it became clear that the deepest desire of most migrants was to find some land where they could establish themselves as independent farmers. Many informants.

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269 however, when questioned, have ceased to discuss this topic because the goal seems unobtainable. The evaluation of the situation is so negative that many consider the goal of having their own land to be only a dream. The following fragments from indepth interviewing gives some common patterns of migrant reasoning: Question : Where would you prefer to live ? Answer: Here in Santa Terezinha will have to do. The backlands ( sertao ) are better; there one can raise animals better. But there is no place to live that we could call our own. Because the ranch (company) threw out all the people. Question ; Why did you move to Santa Terezinha? Answer : V/e came here bee was very bad and was better. The keep trying, bee any more places is full! Now my as a peon, doing We have no land (sertao) ause (there) where we were news arrived that here only way is to try, to ause really there aren't left to go! Every place son Antonio is working clearing and weeding work, to work in the backland Question: Where would you prefer to live? Answer; I'd prefer the wilderness ( sertao ) if we had forest ( mata ) to work and live in. We'd have our fields and chickens and pigs. The wilderness ( sertao ) is definitely better, but since we don't have any land we have to stay here or any other place that suffices. The reasons, then, given for moves and selection of destinations are more accurate as an assessment of how migrants view the realities of the situation than they are a

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270 reflection of what is really desired. Most pull factors are stated in terms of the hope to find a place where the family can survive and perhaps improve their situation. The motivations stated were all economic except for one, which was the desire to secure an education for children. Sixteen families stated that the household had moved to a location where the children would be able to attend school. The migrants consider education (literacy) an important goal. They hope that their children will learn skills which will enable them to make a living in another way. Many adults, when interviewed, not only expressed a preference for life on a farm in the countryside, but pointed out that they lacked the skills and training to do anything else. Generally, the small farmers accept the stereotype that they are backward and ignorant people who "know no arts," and their perception that people such as themselves are becoming more and more marginalized leads to the conclu sion that they must help their children find another way of life. Hence, even education can be considered an economic motivation, since the long-term goal is improvement of live lihood The neutral statements, which represent some 25% of all statements, were generally evasive. Twenty-three infor mants said that they had moved because they had accompanied their family and/or spouse. Eight merely stated that "they wanted to" and seven said that Santa Terezinha was as good

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271 as anywhere else. It is nor surprising that about onefourth of the responses were evasive since many of the concerns of families are considered private and it is considered improper to tell a relative stranger about the problems and crises of a household. In summary, repeated migration can be viewed as a survival strategy because it is an adaptive response to socioeconomic marginalization. Households and individuals leave places judged as having insufficient livelihood opportunities and try to select destinations where their livelihood chances are increased. The fact that the strategy frequently does not work is more related to conditions in the countryside than it is to faulty evaluation. Given the educational and skills background of the peasant farmers and their expressed preference for self-employed agricultural activities in the rural zones, it seems reasonable that their own negative assessment of their chances in urban areas is an accurate one. But the "positive" evaluation of pull factors in the frontier should not be misinterpreted. The farmers' objective of finding unclaimed land in the frontier is becoming increasingly more unlikely, leaving only a more vague goal of economic betterment which, for the majority of the migrants, is an unrealized aspiration.

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272 Diversification and Intensification The fact that most Santa Terezinha households engage in diversified livelihood activities posed the problem of occupational classification for the researcher. Into which occupation/livelihood category does the following household fall? Are they peasant farmers, merchants, wage laborers or urban poor? The male head of the household is a tenant farmer, producing primarily for the household but selling surplus rice. During the dry season he performs manual labor at the ranch-companies. The eldest son helps his father in the fields and drives a truck for a local merchant. The second son works fairly constantly as a peon for labor contractors. The third son helps on the farm, makes bricks for sale during the dry season and does yard work and other odd jobs. The wife is in charge of running a tiny bar in the Cabaret which is open mostly at night. During the day she does her own domestic work and takes in laundry for extra cash. During the rainy season two sons spend several months at home unemployed and the third goes on a buying trip for a local merchant. The daughter finds employment as a maid. As the dry season approaches, the head of the household is offered a job as caretaker for a local farmer's herd on the island of Bananal. His pay will be every fifth calf born to the herd. The husband, two sons and a female cousin leave to live on Bananal where they will tend cattle and farm illegally. The daughter marries a heavy machinery operator at the local ranch-company and moves into a company village some 80 km away from Santa Terezinha. The wife stays in Santa Terezinha where she runs the bar and takes care of her elderly mother. A nephew arrives from Para, moves into the house and starts working periodically as a peon at the ranch-companies

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273 The above story is quite typical for many frontier households. The livelihood activities are diversified both synchronically and diachronically The cash income and amount of home produced conmiodities can vary from week to week. If one arrives at the door and makes inquiries about the males' occupation the answer will usually be "farmer" and the wife will probably respond "domestic" or perhaps classify herself as "a merchant." Only with time, intensive questioning, and observations, does the full complexity of the shifting constellation of livelihood activities emerge. The above household is a rural poor family with a farming background who are trying to survive in the frontier. The diversified activities and intensification of household labor can be considered a survival strategy, an attempt to maximize available options for both basic subsistence and an attempt to get ahead. An ordinary census-type questionnaire would most likely classify this family as tenant subsistence farmers and draw conclusions of "underemployment" in the rural sector. It is argued here that superficial conclusions which do not take into account the varied and shifting livelihood activities present a distorted and inaccurate image of both the rural poor and their economic situations. One must consider the different types of contributions that household members make, the ability of the household to support nonproductive members for extended time peiods and other variations. The key to understanding the

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274 survival strategies utilized by frontier households is best summarized by two words: flexibility and multiplicity. Flexibility to adjust to constantly changing conditions and options, and a multifaceted approach to livelihood where ones' "eggs are always in several baskets at one time." The majority of frontier households encountered, whether they have access to land or not, engage in diversified economic activities. Almost all farm families, for example, contain members who work periodically at the ranchcompanies. Often the young adult members of many farm households will frequently try to pursue other occupations full-time. Female members of households may become maids, domestics at the companies, do laundry work, or, if literate, become store and office clerks. Generally all income is used for household subsistence. The removal of labor from agricultural activities to wage earning activities often puts a severe strain on the labor requirements of farming. The decision to diversify, however, appears to be maximally adaptive given the economic constraints described and the constant changes in the frontier situation. Although many farm families dislike the fact that many members of their household are often away working at companies they do not deny the importance of this additional cash income. Given the insecurities of agriculture on the frontier, the primary goal of farm families is to produce household provisions rather than to create surplus for the market.

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275 Hence, agricultural activities tend to be neglected in favor of other concerns. In the context of the frontier, this survival strategy, appears to be an adaptive response. Other frontier households, landless ones and those depending primarily on company employment or even commerce, also diversity if possible. One informant, an elderly widow, lived with a ten year old grandchild. One of her adult sons worked at the companies and the other had moved to Parana. This woman, an old time resident, had received land in the INCRA distribution but her sons had decided to sell it and they used part of the money to build their mother a sturdy house. During 1978-1979, she depended for her cash income on the rent of half her house and her laundry work which gave her a total regular monthly cash income of about $25. Her brother owned and worked land nearby and every year he invited his sister to come harvest rice which she is allowed to keep for herself. She acquires her yearly rice supply this way. Her brother also keeps her supplied with f arinha and some fruits and vegetables. The sons periodically send their mother money. Further, this women is a skilled midwife and occasionally receives payment for services. She also raises and sells chickens. Thus, from diversified activities and sources, this older woman is frequently able to meet all her basic subsistence needs

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276 Another household, composed of a man and his wife and their eight children, used slightly different strategies. The wife's mother had had 100 ha of land (via the distribution) where she and her daughters' families had farmed. Shortly before the mother's death, however, she decided to sell the land because she thought that her children's lack of documents (birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc.) would prevent them from inheriting it. The daughter's husband then began to pursue a number of occupations, such as construction work, odd jobs in town and work at the companies. The wife began to do laundry several days a week for ranch-company personnel. She also augmented her backyard garden. The older children began to peddle greens and fried batter cakes in the streets of town. She placed her eldest daughter as a maid in the home of a local airplane pilot. She also began to learn how to crochet and was trying to augment her flock of chickens. When a traveling rodeo came to town, she and her husband rented a space inside the rodeo compound (for $10) where they set up a table and sold drinks and snacks. By means of cordial relations with a neighborhood storekeeper, this fam.ily had relatively dependable credit and can run up debts as high as $30 at any one time and pay it off when they are able. By means of their local network of friends, relatives and conpadres (ritual co-parents) they are often able to harvest produce in other peoples' fields

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277 at no cost to themselves except the labor involved. Because they are established and respected community members they have received several offers to farm on other peoples' land at no charge. They have not yet taken advantage of this option because they are busy at other activities and because they fear that the risks of farming are too high for the time and money to be expended. If the household needs farinha, they can go work in another household's f arinha shed and earn one-third of what is produced. They will be invited to a number of their neighbors' fields during the rice harvest and will receive every fourth sack of rice harvested by themselves as payment. By means of all these activities, they manage to secure a basic subsistence for the entire family. In 1979, the family faced a crisis when the wife became ill and was unable to continue her laundry work and other activities for a while. Fortunately, the husband obtained a short-term contract with a local merchant for construction work during this period. In February 1979, this household was debating whether or not to try and bring the husband's elderly mother from Maranhao to live with them, but they were somewhat uncertain about their ability to support her. At the same time they received a message for help from the wife's pregnant sister whose husband, a company worker, had abandoned her and her four children in another river town. The household finally decided to bring the

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278 elderly mother from Maranhao but refused to send the pregnant sister the requested passage money to come to Santa Terezinha. The wife explained to me that they could raise the money for the boat fares, but that they were unable to assume responsibility for the pregnant sister and the four hungry mouths she would bring with her. It is, thus, that families often have to make difficult decisions about the extent of mutual aid under conditions of poverty. The family, in this case, wanted very much to assume responsibility for both the grandmother and the indigent sister. However, economic realities dictated how far they could go in terms of offering help and support. It is thus that household survival strategies evolve and change over time with decisions based on current evaluations of economic possibilities In addition to the three major livelihood alternatives already discussed, there are a myriad of relatively marginal ways of making a living or contributing to basic subsistence. Somewhat exceptional of course, and few in number, are the men with special skills, particularly in construction, plumbing and carpentry. Skilled and experienced men often managed to make a better than average living by means of local and company contracts. However, even skilled workmen tend to diversify their economic activities. One mason in town purchased land and hired men to farm it for him. He was also engaged in the illegal sale of pelts and

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279 was making plans to start a herd of cattle. His wife also sewed and did handicrafts for extra cash. Respected skilled workers are few, but the handling of vehicles and boats is also considered to be a skill and many men try to become drivers and pilots for vehicle and boat owners. Heavy machinery operators were considered even more skilled although their only employment is with ranch-companies and they can only make higher wages on overtime during the summer months. Airplane pilots constitute a select elite, are usually from outside the region, and often are residing temporarily in Santa Terezinha. They can make excellent money because of the heavy dependence on airplanes by companies, merchants and even poor people who often sell everything they own to pay for plane rental to fly very ill relatives to hospitals. Other ways for males to make money include doing odd jobs, such as yard work and well digging, becoming vendors of various types, and brick making in the dry season. A skilled well digger for example, can earn approximately $15 to $20 a meter. Hired farm workers or yard workers usually earn about $3 a day, and mason's assistants usually earn about $4 a day (whereas a master mason can command between $9 to $10 a day) Males are rarely involved in vending commodities associated with female production, such as greens and backyard vegetables, chickens, eggs and most snacks. Males will vend snacks of roasted meat and sell drinks and snacks if they can manage to set up a semi-permanent stall.

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280 Males are also more frequently involved in collecting and selling firewood, whereas the sale of collected wild fruits is usually monopolized by females and children. Men are also the major producers of fired bricks, a relatively lucrative dry season activity. Fired brick making, like other construction related work, is primarily a dry season activity. Men worked for their own families, sometimes on contract from others, or sometimes to make a structure for sale or rental.^ Brick making is one of the most lucrative of construction activities, and does not require a great deal of skill. During the dry season the river returns to its bed leaving an area of exposed flood plain to the north of town which is rich in clay deposits. The land belongs to the town, and men go, individually and sometimes in partnership with a friend or relative, and stake out a small portion of the land where they want to work. Then they spend days and sometimes weeks at the site producing bricks, often living in a temporary hut there. The brick makers hire trucks which deliver large quantities of firewood. They pay $35 a truck load, and the usual amount required to fire 2 0,0 00 bricks is three truckloads which involves a fuel/transportation cost of $105. The fired bricks, which are stronger and more durable than sun-dried adobe, are sold for $25 per 1,000 bricks and the purchaser must provide his own

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281 transportation for hauling the bricks away from the production site. The researcher calculated costs and benefits for two brick makers working together. Twelve full days of labor and $105 (fuel) were required to produce 20,000 bricks which were sold for a total of $500. When production costs are subtracted, each man earned $16.45 a day. This is clearly an excellent daily income for the frontier town. One must remember, however, that brick making, as are a number of other activities, is dependent on good weather. An unseasonable and unexpected rain during production can completely ruin days of labor. Not all men can incorporate full-time brick making into their schedules, and more importantly, many cannot afford the necessary capital investment for fuel. The reason for describing in detail the brick making enterprise, an economic activity available only four months a year, is not purely ethnographic, but is included to demonstrate how productive some of the unmentioned and uncounted sideline activities can be. Despite the relatively good profit, the researcher counted only eight brick sites in the clay area north of town. This may be related to the fact that the dry season is the time of year of optimal employment opportunities, requirements for field clearing, and that the local demand for fired bricks will not support more 3 brick producers.

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282 There are also a number of money making activities which men, for cultural and economic reasons, will not do. No adult male will work for less than about $2 a day, whereas women will, and frequently do. Women, as might be expected, tend to predominate in the lower earning types of enterprises and occupations, and their economic activities tend to be those which they can more easily combine with their regular domestic duties. Women's and even children's contributions to household subsistence are more difficult to ascertain and measure than are men's, in part, because so often the activities are not considered as economic contributions. Their cash earning activities are often informal and periodic, and cultural values place a premium on presenting an image of the wife as a homemaker rather than as a breadwinner. Women's work within the home is considered desirable, whereas women working outside the home for wages or running a business is common yet culturally downplayed. Many households do apparently depend on female generated income, either partially or completely, and there are a number of relatively successful female entrepreneurs in the town. The ideal is, however, that women remain within the domestic sphere. This constitutes a gap between ideal values and reality, where economic realities are eroding the strength of cultural preferences and values. Together, the aforementioned

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283 factors make assessment of female economic activities somewhat difficult and imprecise. It was found that 36.5% of the sampled wives or female household heads admitted being engaged in income-generating activities. This figure does not, of course, include any kind of regular domestic work for the home such as cleaning, cooking, gathering, washing, ironing, animal raising, child care, backyard gardening and the like. It also does not include women's agricultural work such as planting, weeding, harvesting, processing manioc or small-scale selling. All the normal work of running a home and/or farm is subsumed by women informants under the category of housework. The small-scale selling of agricultural produce (produced primarily by males) and very intermittent income sources such as part-time sewing, the selling of crocheted hear scarves, or the occasional sale of a half dozen eggs, were almost never considered by informants as full-fledged economic activities and were rarely reported as such. Other occupations, such as that of midwife, are only periodic jobs. The 36.5% of women reported as "working" referred to more regularized earning activities. Approximately 15% of the sampled households were female-headed households where the breadwinning and decision making was carried out by an adult female. These femaleheaded households are usually the result of either the death of the spouse or the increasingly common phenomenon of

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284 abandonment by the male. Three of the 15 stated their occupations as boarding house owners and two said that they were merchants. Two of the 15 female heads of households work for wages, one as a bar girl and the other as a cleaning woman. Wages for women in town and at the companies are always significantly lower than for men. Store clerks, office workers, cleaning women, and cooks generally earn between $15 and $40 a month. Most of the women's jobs do not provide either housing or meals. Not one woman with an employee (worker) identification card was ever encountered by the researcher. An optimistically averaged monthly wage for females is $27.50 a month which is a daily wage of $1.05. Almost no men will work for such low wages and it is difficult to see how a woman could support a household at frontier prices on such low earnings. The general earning power of women is clearly lower than men's as can be seen on Table 8 which shows their estimated monthly income. Clearly, the majority of women working for wages are not those who have complete responsibility for the support of a household. Many office and shopgirls are the daughters of local families and their wages are either used by the household along with its other resources or a portion may be set aside for the use of the girl as she sees fit. Adult women who work for wages usually make special arrangements for their children. For example, one woman who worked as a store clerk for $35 a month merely delivered her three

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285 Table 8 Estimated Monthly Cash Income for Household Heads and Spouses, Santa Terezinha (1978-1979) Monthly Cash Income # Males # Females (in US dollars) Nothing 2 30 2 to 25 2 5 26 to 50 3 5 51 to 100 7 2 101 to 150 6 2 151 to 250 4 0 Over 250 3 0 Unknown 17 0 TOTAL 44 44

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286 year old son every morning to her mother-in-law and picked him every night after work. Another fairly reliable source of income for females is sewing. Hand or foot powered sewing machines are used and the women are able to carry out their business directly from their homes. Two of the female-headed households were supported primarily by sewing work; in the entire 99 household sample, three seamstresses were counted. In order to be a seamstress, one's sewing skills must be somewhat above average. Most women know how to sew in a rudimentary fashion, well enough to make ordinary clothing for their families, so seamstresses must cater to the local elite and clothing for special events. The market is therefore, somewhat limited, and few women manage to develop more advanced sewing skills. Seamstresses questioned about their monthly income were vague, perhaps in part, because they do piecework. One seamstress that the researcher knew well seemed to be clearing an average of about $100 a month, and another informant stated that a good seamstress can m.ake as much as $10 a day which amounts to some $260 a month. But work is not regular and other duties interfere and it seems more probable that seamstresses probably average somewhere between $80 to $150 a month. Sewing for a living has some distinct advantages. A woman can have some control over the volume of work she takes in and when she does it, although just prior to some

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287 important event seamstresses usually have to put in some very long days. More importantly, the seamstress can work in her home, interrupting her work when she needs to for domestic and other concerns. It was noted that one seamstress who supported herself and six young sons, had trained her older boys to do many of the domestic chores usually assigned only to females. Thus, on busy days this woman could usually depend on her sons to run the home and provide meals and even supervision for the younger children. Another reason why seamstresses tend to obfuscate their economic situations may be because they do not want to be considered as business enterprises by officials who would then require permits and various taxes. Seamstresses also diversify their economic strategies, engaging in other economic activities and sometimes depending on children's labor as well as their own. The seamstress best known to the researcher was considering opening a restaurant in the town. In 1979, she had managed, through her political connections, to get a sinecure, a state paid job as the school cleaning woman. This job pays $25 a month but requires only about an hour s work a day and she planned to have it done by her sons. The last relatively reliable occupation for women in the frontier town is washing laundry for other households and/or boarding houses. Ten percent of the sampled women stated that they regularly earned money by laundry work;

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288 only one of the 15 female-headed households supported herself by laundry work. Laundry work has some distinct advantages and disadvantages. Women again have some control over the volume of work and to some extent control their own time. Most laundry women do their domestic chores at dawn and leave their houses early to collect their customer's dirty clothing. Usually the morning, and sometimes longer are spent in washing and hanging clothes. Women frequently manage to cook lunch which is the main meal of the day, and do other chores while the laundry dries. Often, relatives and/or children of laundry women not only assist in certain phases of the laundry work, but are also expected to take over some domestic chores. Late afternoons and sometimes evenings are spent pressing the clothes, usually with an iron heated by coals, and the neat package is delivered either that night or the next morning. A disadvantage of laundry work is that it is relatively low paying. A woman must usually work about 26 days a month for six to eight hours a day to earn a monthly income of between $60 and $65. The work is considered obnoxious and tiring which, indeed, it is. Heavy bundles of clothes, wet and dry, must be moved around, as well as metal basins, soap and bleach. Most women wash at the river, and this involves a good deal of walking and carrying heavy loads on the head. The laundry women are wet almost all day which aggravates skin problems and arthritis. In the

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289 rainy season the work becomes ten times more difficult since the hike to the river is through the flooded areas. During the rainy months, women stay out all day in the rain and/or drizzle and run back and forth to put the clothes out to dry when the sun is out and collect them when it bebegins to pour again. During the rainy season almost everyone in town suffers from various festering ulcers such as acutely infected hangnails which make the entire finger swell up and ooze painfully, and laundresses suffer the most since they spend so much time wet. Laundry women usually charge a household between $8 and $15 a month, depending on the size of the household and whether or not the customer provides soap and bleach. A laundress usually does a household's laundry two times a week. One laundress who had a contract to do a boarding house's laundry 26 days a month was paid only $25 for this service. People who hire laundresses on a temporary basis pay a much higher per piece rate. Although laundresses can make more money on piecework they tend to favor the lower paid arrangements with steady customers, probably because this provides regular work and a dependable income, and also because regular customers usually provide the laundry woman with some small presents and favors. If a steady customer's laundry bundle becomes unduly large, laundry women will complain and bring pressure on the customer to pay more. Usually they can get the customer to give a

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290 raise of about a dollar or slightly more. A highly disgruntled laundress will terminate doing business with a household which she does not like. Laundry women in the frontier town are usually treated by all with respect. Their customers often ask them to stop and have some coffee and/or a snack, and will periodically give them presents of cloth, cooking oil or medications. One reason for the respect is that a commonly held opinion in the town is that washing clothes is the most onerous occupation possible. In repeated questions to informants about livelihood preferences, laundry work was almost always mentioned as the most tiring and least rewarding. Many women will cease doing laundry work as soon as the economic situation of their household improves, so there are never too many laundresses for the demand in town. Generally the laundresses were the same women who were or still are peasant farmers; they lack the skills necessary to become employed as clerks or seamstresses where younger, more "modern" women predominate. In the predominantly peasant subculture of the town, the older hard working farm women who wash clothes for money are awarded a certain measure of respect. This respect, however, does not make the job more desirable or better paid. Women have developed a number of other ways of contributing to household subsistence in the frontier town. Many of these activities, while marginally remunerative, are

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291 relatively regular. A number of women bake a rather tough kind of bread in clay ovens every morning. Some sell bread regularly to the boarding houses and Cabaret establishments, to customers on the street, and one woman sends her breads directly to the agricultural cooperative to be sold over the counter Several women compete for the right to sell snacks to the elementary school children during recess. Many women also produce various types of fried cakes. Fried pastries and breads are often peddled on the street, usually by children, and are sometimes made on contract for individuals for special events. Another way that women make money is by augmenting backyard production. For the last several years, Santa Terezinha women have been experimenting with and improving their techniques of platform gardening for vegetables such as lettuce, cucumbers, green onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, herbs, and eggplants. The women construct raised boxes which they fill with a mixture of soil, cattle dung and sometimes rice hulls. Pests, such as caterpillars, are picked off by hand. Women also try to increase their chicken flocks, although they are rarely successful because of inadequate feed, diseases and theft. Pigs are raised in small numbers on the household's garbage but if several pigs are being raised the household must locate additional food sources for the animals. Women are also primarily responsible for the care and harvesting of other backyard

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292 convmodities which can include: mangoes, oranges, bananas, avocadoes, okra, limas (sweet limes), lemons, maracu jas (passionfruit) hot peppers, beans, sweet m.anioc, corn, papayas, ata (sugarapple) medicinal herbs and barks, and in a very few yards, coffee plants. Very common fruits, such as lemons, mangoes and papayas are rarely sold. Some families, and often children, will sometimes pick fruit from family and unclaimed trees and peddle them on the street. Usually, however, surplus production is given away to friends and relatives. What is more regularly raised and sold on the street is the produce of the platform gardens. The sale of chickens is very intermittent and usually the customer has to check at many households and do a great deal of urging before he can convince a woman to sell one of her chickens. Occasionally someone in need of some fast cash will send a child out to the street to sell a chicken. Slaughtering a pig is usually a family affair and neighbors are notified in advance so that they can come and buy some of the extra meat. Women also sell eggs, usually in tiny quantities since the chickens do not produce much and eggs must be hunted in the brush. Eggs sell for as much as $1.50 a dozen and are generally all consumed by the household. Other home produced products which were occasionally sold in the town included wooden spoons and mortars, acrylic painted stove and gas tank covers, and baked clay water pots.

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293 Only one woman produced wooden implements, and only one woman was known to be producing water pots. More traditional crafts such as spinning, weaving, hammock making and lace making (the fringe for hammocks) are dying arts in the frontier zone. Only a few of the older women still know these crafts and they are producing less and less because they have difficulty selling the products at a decent price. A skilled lace maker, for example, can produce approximately a meter a day for which she can command about $1 in payment. A shortage of locally produced cotton, and the time and effort involved in spinning, has caused most weavers to turn to factory produced thread. When the cost of factory produced thread doubled in 1978, the subsequent cost of the hand woven hammocks also went up. A weaver needs to sell a hammock with fringe for between $150 and $200 in order to make a reasonable profit. One of the only women still producing hammocks in Santa Terezinha found that the only way she could sell her work was to sell bingo chances. Since even at inflated frontier prices an industrially produced hammock still only costs about $35, most weavers do not continue to practice their craft. The same process of substitution of industrial goods for home produced ones has occurred in relation to a number of other products. Almost all farmers grow some sugar cane and in the early days of the settlement of the region they pressed cane in wooden hand presses, and cooked the liquid

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294 to produce brown sugar blocks called rapadura Informants stated that it was no longer worthwhile to produce rapadura People also used to collect the small coconuts of the macauba palm and produce cooking oil; again they say that low prices for the oil does not compensate for the labor involved. Many women continue to make their own soap from cattle fat and lye. They stated, however, that most inhabitants now prefer to purchase factory made scented soaps. Many home produced products, such as rendered pig fat for cooking, soap, benches and the like are manufactured exclusively for household use and are not sold at all. A major way to raise money in a hurry was by games of chance such as bingo, rife or by auction. In bingo people usually play for a desirable prize such as a home-made hammock. In rife there is a special placard with covered names, such as female names, with a winning name which remains covered until all chances are sold. The prize is often something like a crocheted child's dress or a radio that a family has decided to sell. This way, in a poor town with marginal cash flow, people can sell commodities at a better price. The auction method is used primarily to raise money at community events for institutions such as the Catholic Church, saint celebrations and the elementary school. Residents contribute desirable items, usually roasted chicken, a coconut cake or a watermelon, to the event and these are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Another method of

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295 raising money is to hold a yard sale and sell off the contents of the house. This method is sometimes used by families in emergency situations or by people who have decided to migrate to another place and need cash for travel expenses Almost all households contain members who are simultaneously engaged in a number of economic activities which all contribute to the basic household subsistence. Often two or more members of a given household contribute to subsistence, although the percentage that each contributes varies over time depending on employment and other opportunities. By means of constant hard work of several family members, households such as the one described of Jose and Luisa who depend on farming and laundry work, can secure a fairly reliable though poverty-level existence. Certain kinds of activities rarely involve any remuneration. Child care of various kinds is a service that relatives and even neighbors exchange without payment. Everyone is involved in the difficult business of making a living and few opportunities to make a few pennies are lost, however, people who sell services and commodities which are customarily exchanged will come under social pressure. By common agreement certain behaviors, services and hospitalities continue to be "free." It v;ould be unheard of for a woman to charge a guest for a cup of coffee but poverty may prompt her to say that she has given up coffee because it

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296 upsets her stomach and that she no longer keeps coffee in her house. Generosity is always admired and anyone giving a party, for example, is expected to provide all the food and alcohol necessary; the concept of a "bring-your-own" party is considered rude. In summary, it appears that most frontier households respond to the previously described economic constraints by developing livelihood strategies that are usually quite diversified and which tend to intensify the use of available household labor. If possible, several economic activities are pursued simultaneously to maximize returns and to compensate for sudden dead-ends such as terminated employment. Most income of all kinds is utilized for basic subsistence, although if a household manages to get ahead it will usually invest surplus capital in additional economic ventures such as cattle. As stated previously, the key words are flexibility and multiplicity and the basic strategy is to not "have all of one s eggs in one basket at a time Many households are compelled to choose short-term and immediate benefits, such as wage labor, over planning for the long term. Women and children frequently become involved in remunerative activities. Ways to earn additional income are varied and sometimes imaginative but are restricted by conditions of local demand and limited local cash resources both for capital investment and potential

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297 customers. Money making activities are also shaped by customs and values. Male and female work spheres still remain rather sharply defined. Some types of activities are, by custom, not supposed to enter the economic sphere. Survival strategies then, reflect both the socio-economic realities of the frontier and cultural ideals, preferences and values. Mutual Aid and Patron-Client Relationships The topic of mutual aid has already been touched upon in previous chapters and sections. The focus of this section will be on types of mutual aid extended within families and extended families and on exchanges between households and individuals in the frontier. It is clear that mutual aid within kin groups continues to function strongly in the frontier. Households, twothirds of which were composed of nuclear families, operate as cooperative socio-economic units. Resources and income of various kinds are usually pooled. In a number of families the pattern sometimes breaks down to a certain extent. Men are supposed to be the sole authority and decision makers in the home, however, many wives have more domestic and public power because of their increasing contribution to basic subsistence. "Clever" wives tend toward a "power-behind-the throne" strategy whereas many abandoned wives are publicly criticized as having

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298 failed in their marital duties and obligations of respect and obedience to their husbands. Local opinion usually blames the female when marriages, either legal or commonlaw, break up. There may be some truth in local explanations, however, the socio-economic pressures resulting from frontier economic constraints and the insecurity of the males' ability to provide for families seems a more adequate though more macro-level explanation of increasing family instability. Another point of friction and divisive behaviors involves the breakdown of control by the family over adult sons. While still not a dominant pattern in the town, some fcimilies find themselves hard pressed to exercise authority and control over their sons and the sons' earnings. Both landed and landless families find that their "more modern" sons resist pressures to farm with other household members, and want to go out and find ways to make money and improve their socio-economic status positions. Particularly sons who work at the ranch-companies often fall into what has been previously described as "peon behavior patterns" where they waste much of their earnings in drunken carousing during their time off, neglecting their own families and their kin. Although difficult to quantify, it appeared to the researcher that relatively dutiful sons still outnumbered the sons involved in open rebellion. The customary patterns of

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299 loyalty to family and kin remain strong despite the forces operating to erode the institution. Many sons remain tied in various ways to their families of orientation even if they are married and have a family of their own, and even if they are living and working elsewhere. Many continue to help their fathers in the fields or in other ways remain linked into mutual aid networks with their extended families. On the whole, it was found that the traditional Latin American emphasis on family — respect for family, loyalty, and mutual aid — remained an important value among frontier households. The preoccupation and almost exclusive loyalty to one's kin was perceived by the local Catholic priest as a value which needed changing and several of his sermons tried to illustrate the advantages of class consciousness and group loyalties over more parochial family loyalties. Frontier people, however, have difficulty comprehending this kind of logic, or they agree in principle that poor people ought to "be united" but they despair of it ever happening. Meanwhile, primary loyalties to family and kin continue to play an important role in the frontier. The types of mutual aid extended and the kin networks activated are quite varied both synchronically and diachronically. Survival strategies in the frontier, as has already been pointed out, tend to be highly flexible and subject to a great deal of variation and change depending on shifting circumstances. On the whole, the extent of loyalty and

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300 mutual aid offered diminishes as one moves from the residential unit of the nuclear family, to the extended family located in various houses in town and nearby, and then to relatives scattered and located in the various parts of the state and other states. While mutual aid is extended to relatives, newly married couples favor the establishment of a residentially independent nuclear family and the first loyalty is usually to this unit. The second important claim on loyalties is generally to one's parents to whom most inhabitants feel strong obligations. Households, even on the edge of economic survival, will usually do all they can to take care of elderly parents in need and repeated examples were found of families who had brought their parents to live with them in Santa Terezinha. Adult children with any modicum of success are expected to provide aid to their parents even if the parents are still economically productive. Children located elsewhere will send money to their parents in Santa Terezinha and periodically ask them to come live with them in their work locations. Adult children who can, will set up their parents in a new livelihood. One Santa Terezinha man brought his parents from Maranhao and set them up in a small boarding house. Parents can also expect a certain amount of labor and services from their adult children located nearby, even if they are living separately. Farm labor, child care, and sometimes even domestic chores are

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301 often exchanged between adult children and their parents. In times of illness, adult children are expected to do all they can for their parents. The reciprocity also works the other way, as parents will provide many free services, produce and even lodging to adult children and sometimes the children's own families. Especially within the frontier town the ties between related households and especially in relation to the parents' households remains strong and active. One middleaged couple encountered was in the process of selling their house and constructing a new one to reduce the distance between themselves and their adult children from about 12 minutes walk to three minutes walk. While the ideal of an extended family of several generations working and living on a farm homestead is becoming increasingly rare, the general pattern is repeated by the alliances and constant exchanges that occur between related households in the town. The following example demonstrates continued links between related households. The backyard of Dona Luisa and Jose joins the backyard of the house of their adult married son. This son, Manuel, works with Jose periodically in the fields, pumps gas at the town airstrip, works odd jobs and generally makes bricks in the summer. His wife, Nadi, spent a good deal of time in Dona Luisa 's house, exchanging chores and child care with her mother-in-law and often the two women were company for

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302 each other when their men were gone. Nadi could, by asking, receive free child care and various agricultural products from her in-laws. The second son, Pedro, lived in a house ten minutes away from his parents. He had previously worked with his father in the fields, and his wife Maria also visited and exchanged with her in-laws. Since Maria's parents and adult siblings also lived in town, she spent more time and exchanged more often with her own family, and her husband started to work on his father-in-law's land rather than his own father's. This bothered Jose somewhat and the researcher heard him one day admonishing Pedro to carefully separate the gardens after clearing work was completed so that the father-in-law would not make unjust claims on the produce of Pedro's fields. Delmina, the daughter of Luisa and Jose, lived with her husband about five minutes away from her parents. Delmina worked with her mother every day washing clothing at the river. Their customers were different but they would help each other out, picking up laundry for each other or even doing the other's wash during times of illness. Delmina 's husband, Carlos, also worked in Jose's fields, and he worked at the companies and did odd jobs. Delmina 's adolescent children would often be recruited to do chores for the two women, usually to carry wet laundry on their bicycles or to run errands to get firewood or travel to Jose's fields to get agricultural produce or manioc tubers to feed the pigs.

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303 The third son, Jaime, had left town several years previously. He had gone to Goias where he worked at various jobs and eventually became the owner of a small ranch. When rising property taxes compelled him to sell his ranch he brought his herd of cattle to Bananal and bought some land 4 to the north of Santa Terezinha near his parents' land. In 1979, Jaime asked his sister Delmina and her husband to become caretakers for his herd on Bananal and they agreed. They lent their Santa Terezinha house to another family and left with their children to live on Bananal for an extended period. It is thus that many frontier families remain linked together in terms of mutual aid and exchanges. Siblings, as we see from the above example, cooperate although the pivotal link is frequently the parental household. Despite loyalties and exchanges, not all parties are satisfied. Jose and Luisa were disappointed that their children did not more fully participate in the farming enterprise and most probably if their children could be persuaded to live at the farm in the forest, the parents too would give up town residence and live at the farm full-time. But it is a stalemate, because the adult children prefer to remain in the town pursuing other economic activities, close to the school for their children and medical facilities, and Dona Luisa cannot face the idea of living at the farm "alone. So the commuting farm work continues, mainly because Jose

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304 devotes himself to it full-time and works in the fields alone most of the time. The adult children farm or participate sporadically in the farming, and they receive some agricultural commodities and opportunities to make f arinha or harvest rice in their father's fields. The older couple are not sure what will happen to their land when they die. Depending on the success of their adult children, some day Jose and Dona Luisa may be able to "retire" with some security, although Dona Luisa, the pessimist, thinks it is more probable that she and Jose will be hard at work until the day they die. Clearly, in terms of quantity and frequency, the most mutual aid and reciprocal exchanges occur within and between two or more related households, especially with regard to parent-child links. The help that relatives can expect and receive from other relatives, however, must be within the realm of logical possibility given the precarious financial situations of most frontier households. As one of the examples from the previous section illustrated, families are sometimes forced by limited resources to make painful decisions about what kinds and to whom they will extend aid. As predicted by generalizations ventured here, the family in question did choose to help a parent in favor of an indigent sister when aid to both was out of the question. The bond between parents and adult children, and particularly to the mother, often endures a lifetime, and

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305 children take their obligations to their parents quite seriously Primarily single male peons, prostitutes and newly arrived migrants are the ones who may have no kin in the area although a certain percentage of newly arrived migrants do come because of kin in the region. Persons without relatives often mentioned that this is a severe disadvantage in the frontier town. The importance of the help received via a kinship network can be measured against the acute dis comfort of persons who are deprived of this type of network Newly arrived migrants with no relatives in the town would frequently make statements such as, "People in this town are the strangest I have ever encountered" or "No one helps each other in this town" and other similar statements. One recently arrived family interviewed was composed of a husband and wife and three small children who had just been evicted from their farm in the Porto Alegre area of northern Mato Grosso. When encountered, they have been in town in a rented house for about a week, and were rapidly spending the compensation money which they had been paid by the company during the process of eviction. The husband was looking for work and wanted to farm on someone's land. When asked about how he planned to arrange this, he stated: "I have relatives everywhere because I know how to make friends fast." Several weeks later, when the researcher came to visit, the family was gone, and neighbors stated

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306 that they had become tenant farmers on a local farmer's land. The survival potential of a network of relatives should not be underestimated, even when the general resources and financial capacities of households is quite low. Brazilians in general, and the frontier inhabitants in particular, give a high priority to having, raising and caring for children. The third most important claim on peoples' loyalties (and often the first since nuclear families frequently contain small children) appears to be responsibilities and obligations to children. While the acute situation of poverty and desperation in Brazilian urban areas has resulted in the problem of several million abandoned children in the streets of the cities, there are no abandoned children in the countryside, or at least none in the region studied. In the various cases investigated of marriage breakups, subsequent remarriages, deaths of the parents or needs of working mothers, the children were either placed more or less permanently or temporarily cared for by a relative. Very frequently, when the researcher questioned informants about their children, the informants neglected to make precise distinctions about the exact nature of the relationships between themselves and their children. Households were encountered which included children from a previous marriage of one of the spouses, children of dead parents or siblings, or grandchildren. Primarily through

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307 the kin network, a new home will be found for children who need care. Such adopted children are sometimes called crianpas de criapao (adopted children) While many middle and upper class Brazilian families tend to treat adopted children as servants, the frontier households are not motivated by the goal of obtaining cheap domestic labor. Permanently adopted children are usually treated almost identically with biological children. It was even frequently difficult to get informants to specify the exact nature of their relationships to children in their households. Only with further questioning would informants explain that the children in question were really their nephews or grandchildren or whatever. In most cases, children move through the consanquineal or affinal kin network and are not given to friends or strangers. Giving a child to an acquaintance or stranger would be viewed only as a last resort of a desperate person. In line with the value accorded the care of children and the nature of reciprocal exchanges in the town, both relatives and neighboring women frequently provide child care for one another. Child care, whether for a few hours, a week or on a more regular basis, is not a service for which payment is expected. If a woman cannot find a relative near enough and/or available for child care, she will frequently depend on either her comadres (ritual co-parents) and/or more trusted female neighbors. As might be expected, a

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308 family's more trusted neighbors are often compadres with the adults, i.e., ritual co-parents of the baptism or the fires of Sao Joao (Wagley, 1976) A gift might be given for special services received, but payment appeared to be out of the question. From the point of view of basic survival strategies and adaptive behavior, the importance of accepting responsibility for children appears to be advantageous. In the short run, the additional burdens created by extra children or child care may be a drain on a household, however, in the long term the result is the defense of the young where almost all children gain access to a home, emotional and physical nourishment, parental guidance, training and a family unit with which to identify. Hence, while over two-thirds of the frontier households are composed of nuclear family units, in actuality the households of related persons are usually involved in exchanges and mutual aid of varying intensities. It would not seem out of place to suggest that in many cases one might consider several cooperating houses as one functional household. One advantage of establishing separate residences seems to lie in the maximization of flexibility in terms of cooperation. Like other frontier survival strategies, the cooperation patterns of several households changes over time and the separate residential units enable the members to participate more or less actively depending on the circumstances. In other words, it facilitates

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309 fusion and fission of cooperating units which can more easily respond to changing conditions. Composite households in the frontier town were generally some form of the extended family. In one survey nine homes contained siblings of the heads of household, three contained grandparents, two contained cousins and only two contained friends and one had an employee. Frequently the grandparents who live with adult children are single because of the death of a spouse; living alone was considered to be a terrible thing and there were no households 5 in town composed of one person. In the case of a widow, widower or abandoned wife, children and/or other relatives often move in on a temporary or permanent basis. Siblings, cousins, nephews and the like who join family units are fre quently from outside the town itself. Children of farm fam ilies residing in the forest are frequently sent to live in town with relatives so that they can attend the elementary school. Siblings and other relatives may arrive from outside the region and live for as long as several years with relatives until they marry and/or become permanently established in their own home. Because the time, cost and expertise involved in building a thatch or wattle-and-daub house are minimal, and because a good deal of the land in the town has not yet come entirely under the formal legal control of the local government, most families can and do construct and move into their own dwelling as soon as

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310 possible. As controls over the town lots tightened in 1978-1979, some more recent arrivals began to construct houses in the backyards of their kin. In order to discover the patterns of reciprocity and mutual aid, the researcher often asked informants questions such as: If you were very ill, who would take care of your children? If your family had an emergency such as a serious illness and money to be raised for expenses and such, to whom would you turn for help? If your husband lost his job, what would you do then? If you decided to begin farming again, to whom would you go to gain access to land? The answers to these and other real and hypothetical situations revealed some consistent patterns of mutual aid and also highlighted the variety of arrangements that sometimes occur in the frontier.^ As expected, informants generally stated that they would appeal to and rely first on their nuclear families. Secondly, people rely on other relatives, mothers, in-laws, siblings and the like. Thirdly, informants would appeal to persons considered to be "good friends" ( amigos ) who were also sometimes compadres The fourth alternative was patrons, and the fifth and last resort was persons considered as friends but classed as "only acquaintances" (conhecidos)

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311 Another factor which influences the decision of to whom one can appeal for aid and help is the type of help re quired. Help which can most often be obtained from relatives includes: relatively free room and board, child care, help with domestic and agricultural chores, help in the preparations for special events such as a marriage, birth or funeral, advice and information about a myriad of subjects, reciprocal exchanges of goods and services such as "trading days" of labor already described, loans of equipment such as bicycles and work animals, and access to farm land and/or f arinha making or rice harvesting. For most of the above, relatives and sometimes close friends and/or compadres are contacted. Another type of help which may occur are loans of cash, but given the general situation of cash shortage in most frontier households, this kind of aid appears to be relatively rare. Most of the aforementioned types of aid move along rel atively symmetrical or horizontal lines. That is, the exchanges and favors are participated in by persons/families who are of more or less equal socio-economic status. This is not to say that some persons/households do not have more of some item than others. Some families which received INCRA land allowed certain relatives and friends to farm the land for free, without any stipulated payment whatsoever. Usually, however, the disadvantaged party acknowledges his or her debt to the "benefactor" and tries to even

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312 out the exchange by immediate and concrete reciprocity such as doing favors, offering some extra labor or promises to help with land taxes if the need should arise. Persons allowed to farm for free on the land of others must also make a verbal commitment to never press a claim of squatters' rights against the landowner who allowed them to use his land. Generally, exchanges occur between households which are more or less equal, or perhaps more importantly, between persons/households who consider themselves as equals. Most persons interviewed also mentioned the important role that "good friends" play in their lives. Good friends, who are frequently one's neighbors, are often but not always further bonded by means of godparenthood. The two most important ways of establishing a godparenthood relationship in the frontier town in order of importance are: (1) by asking someone to be a godparent of your child's baptism, and (2) by jumping over the bonfires lit for Sao Jdao (Saint John's Eve). In the baptism, the critical relationship established is between the compadres that is, between the biological parents and the godparents, and only secondarily the relationship between the godparents and the godchildren. In the ceremony of jumping the fire, the central relationship established is between the two persons who jumped together (Wagley, 1976) The latter is considered a bond of lesser importance and some informants

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313 were almost ashamed to admit that they were "so silly" as to have done it; usually two persons who are already very good friends further cement their link by this ritual. It is also not unusual for two persons who are already relatives to further cement their relationship by adding to it the one of being compadres Not all persons who stand in a compadre relationship are considered good and trustworthy friends, and not all good friends are compadres although there is a tendency to reinforce strong friendships with the tie of ritual coparenthood. In part because of the frequent migrations of the majority of the population, many people have not remained in a place long enough to build up the knowledge and trust necessary for this type of fictive kinship, or they may have even established co-parenthood ties a half dozen times in many different places only to lose contact with the "related" people because of the migration of one or both parties. The concept of a "good friend" whom one trusts and would appeal to for help, was clearly articulated by informants and contrasted with the concept of "acquaintance," that is, friends and neighbors with whom one tries to have a good relationship but who are not considered either close or trustworthy. It was clear that in many cases the people considering each other as close friends did not feel that it was necessary or important to augment the relationship by ties of ritual co-parenthood. Thus, a generalization may be

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314 ventured that under current frontier conditions the institution of ritual co-parenthood is diminishing and being substituted for by the less formalized and certainly less ritualized type of bond of friendship. Considering the rather precarious situations of most frontier households it is not strange that the list of mutual obligations between friends or between co-parents provided by informants was usually quite short. People commented that, for example, godparents should always bless their godchildren and, if possible, provide some additional presents to the child such as help toward the purchase of school books and uniforms if the parents of the child could not afford them. Godchildren were expected to visit their godparents as frequently as possible to ask for their blessings, and to heed the advice and admonishments of godparents. Informants never mentioned that godparents would take full responsibility for the godchildren in cases of emergencies, and the relationship between compadres the adults, was also downplayed. When informants were questioned further on these points, they usually made the statement that both compadres and good friends were expected to provide help but only help within the realm of logical possibility. Since the majority of these relationships are relatively horizontal ones between frontier households in marginal circumstances, it appeared highly reasonable for informants to assume that their friends and compadres would, most

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315 likely, be unable to help them in major ways. Another facet of such close relationships stressed by informants was that good friends and/or compadres would not have to be asked for help but they would perceive that help was required and provide it if possible. Generally, people view direct requests for help as humiliating, expecially when the request is addressed to an equal. Requests to "superiors" are also considered humiliating, but less so because it appears more justifiable to ask a "wealthy person" to help the poor than to further pressure a poor person to do something that might hurt him/herself and/or family. Observations demonstrated that the flows of mutually exchanged goods and services between close friends and/or compadres often resembled the exchanges between relatives already described. As previously stated, people tend to avoid rigid definitions about such mutual obligations and instead favor a more flexible and shifting series of exchange configurations. One such "favor" between compadres was observed in a household. A male neighbor stopped by and placed about four kilos of fresh beef on the woman's table. It turned out that the man was a compadre who was periodically hired to butcher meat and who had taken advantage of his access to the meat (which was rare in town) to get a supply for his own family and the family of his

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316 compadres before the butcher began selling it and the rush of persons wanting beef descended on the butcher shop. The relationship of friendship is contributed to by the parties in the form and style which best suits their circumstances. The researcher, over the period of a year, developed a number of close friendships and while she contributed commodities and services such as store-bought goods and medical information, she received in exchange commodities and services that frontier families could provide such as a few eggs, corn, avocadoes and, of course, the time and patience of informants for research purposes. Even in such a relatively asymmetrical relationship as this most persons were careful not to make excessive demands with which the researcher could not comply and they often waited for the researcher to figure out what was needed and then to provide help. In the realm of agricultural activities and access to land, the same generalizations hold true as were made for other types of mutual aid. The persons/households given free access to land, participating in the trading of work days or working in f arinha making or rice harvesting for a percentage of the produce, tend to be first the nuclear fam ily, then relatives, and then good friends and/or compadres Clearly, in many cases there is a crucial element of time, the time necessary to get to know and trust one's neighbors and acquaintances in order to establish friendship and

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317 other ties. And indeed, observations demonstrated that the more years a family had spent in the community, the more ties and other mutual aid networks it generally had. But because there is so much general movement occurring continuously within the frontier zone, there appears to be a tendency on the part of the frontier people to speed up the formation of critical relationships. Not all are equally successful at maneuvering and manipulating interpersonal relationships. The general concern of inhabitants with their public images and community opinion already described now appears to be functionally linked to the potential for survival success in the frontier. The frequency of statements and discussions about one's "popularity" and ability to be liked and trusted that occur in the frontier town are issues of critical concern exactly because they do relate back to the facts of mutual aid and livelihood concerns. The man who said "I have relatives everywhere because I know how to make friends fast," was summarizing a very important aspect of the nature of interpersonal relationships in the frontier and how these function in terms of survival strategies. The opposite of maintaining a good social standing and access to mutual aid networks is provided by the concept of vergonha or shame. Julian Pitt-Rivers' (1969) description of the various meanings of the Spanish concept of shame is fundamentally the same as that held by Brazilian frontier

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318 inhabitants. The more important meaning of shame in relation to this discussion is the concept of shame acknowledged for antisocial or disapproved behavior by both the party who did the disgraceful act and the persons related to him or her. The insulting remark sem vergonha (without shame) is one of the major insults that angry people hurl at each other. This is because deviant behavior harms both the perpetrator and the people related to him or her. A person without shame, then, is one who, as one informant explained, "is like a dog or any other animal; he does wrong things and instead of feeling ashamed and correcting his behavior he just continues doing the same wrong things without guilt or remorse for his actions or their effects on others." In a situation where people are so highly dependent on each other and where the community's opinion is important to access to mutual aid networks the person who brings disgrace, ill-feeling and shame to himself /herself and his/her relatives can seriously threaten other peoples' basic survival. This may be generally true but appears to become intensified within the already described constraints of frontier existence. Families often prefer to sell their house, give up jobs and already mature food plants and move away, rather than remain and live down the shame that has been brought upon them by the disgraceful behavior of relatives. Both the active participation in various types of mutual aid networks with its stress on maintaining the good

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319 opinions of others, and the avoidance of shame can be viewed as important components of frontier survival strategies. When a person/household is in a somewhat better-thanaverage situation or its fortunes are rising, the nature and frequency of its exchanges often begin to change in the direction of a more asymmetrical or vertical relationship, that is, one between nonequals. Because many of these more vertical relationships in the frontier are often with persons/households only marginally better off, and because the nature of these vertical links are often rather rudimentary, attenuated and unstable over time, they cannot be classified as full fledged patron-client relationships of the type described for some areas of the Andes or the Brazilian Northeast. These unequal relationships in the frontier town are usually between persons/households with similar backgrounds and values where there is only a small, though often critical difference, in most cases, between the differential access to wealth, power, influence, or other strategic goods and services. The most powerful persons in the frontier — those connected to the companies — try and usually succeed in avoiding on-going relationships with regional inhabitants. Company management tend to view their relationship to local people as a strict employer-employee relationship within the framework of a rational hierarchical business organization. They view labor in capitalistic terms as a commodity

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320 which will continue to be a low-cost factor in production. They do not acknowledge responsibilities and obligations to workers (outside of those stipulated by law which are often side-stepped) the local community or the region. This "factory mentality" is far removed from the patterns of the semi-feudal plantation system where the landowner operated as patron and v/as intimately caught up in various levels of mutual obligations with the peasant population. This aloof attitude on the part of company officials confuses and distresses the small farmers who do not understand how the rich can refuse to acknowledge their responsibilities or at least allow the peasants a small share of strategic resources in order to ensure basic survival. There is no noblisse oblige in the frontier. Relationships are fundamentally "economically rational." For example, any wife of a company employee discovered to be either selling 7 or giving company beef to noncompany persons (a common but secret practice) will cause the immediate firing of her husband from his job. The really powerful figures on the frontier, company owners, managers, labor contractors and even various government officials passing through, do their best to side-step any attempts by local people to initiate patron-client relationships. The once common arrangement of large landowners allowing tenants to farm parts of their lands is not done in the frontier where companies actually patrol their lands and boundaries to make sure that no

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321 peasants enter or begin working on company land. One informant summarized the situation in the following words: "What we need here are men with conditions (resources) to notice us. Here the rich take from the poor and do not help us Similar to the Brazilian police who are routinely rotated to new locations every few years to make sure that the officers do not have time to develop vested interests in a place, most company management do not spend more than about five years in a location. In addition, they are imbued with an ideological perspective that regional inhabitants and migrants are worthless, backward peasants who are periodically stirred up by radical agitators to organize, invade and steal from the companies. Company management then, pursues a policy of avoidance. One example will illustrate this. A middle-aged couple arrived in Santa Terezinha from another river town (60 km to the north) stating that they hoped to return to their former farm nearby which they had fled six years previously during the conflict between company and local farmers. The husband went to Codeara Ranch headquarters one day and managed to talk with a man on the board of directors of the company who was spending a week in the region. This official, perhaps a kindly man, listened to the old farmer's story and "promised" him that the family could have its old homestead back. The official then

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322 left the region. The farmer then made several trips to company headquarters to see the resident manager to try and obtain some papers showing that the company had indeed agreed to his claim to his land. The manager avoided seeing the farmer. The farmer and his wife, explaining the situation to the researcher, said, "We will get our land back because the 'owner' (sic) told us that we could have it." As the weeks passed with no success, the family began to get suspicious. Planting time was approaching. The researcher, in an interview with the company manager, asked several questions about pending claims on company land. The manager stated that all deeds that would be given out had already been given out and no more land would be distributed unless the claimant had a document of some sort. Needless to say, the farm family had no documents. They did not want to plant long-term crops and fruit trees until they had some assurances of security, but they went ahead anyway. Needless to say, the farmers' chances of another meeting with the "kindly" director are minimal, and even if they did manage to contact him, the changes of holding him to his "promise" are remote. Hence, most of the more vertical relationships established in the frontier are with other frontier persons/ households, particularly with members of the local elite. Vertical relationships observed in the town show some variation, depending in part upon the length of residence in the

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323 area and on the type and extent of access to wealth, power, and strategic goods and services. By whatever criteria one selects to measure power — capital, land holdings, cattle, buildings, political influence — the members and aspiring members of the local elite really do not have very much. The local elite do have some limited powers and access to strategic goods and resources that can often help frontier households. Certain needs of many poor families which often cannot be met or satisfied by means of horizontal contacts but which can be facilitated through vertical contacts include: (1) access to some strategic resources such as land or a job, (2) access to valuable services such as transportation, communication, medical care and free military flights, (3) access to social welfare benefits such as retirement payments, (4) access to various types of credit and/or loans of capital or equipment, (5) help in dealings with officials and legal paraphenalia such as deeds, permits, taxes, school requirements and other documents, (6) help during major emergencies, and (7) general information of all kinds. Clearly, some of the above are taken care of by means of horizontal exchanges. For example, it already has been stated that a number of the local peasant landowners allow relatives and friends to farm on their property at no charge. Information of all kinds moves rapidly through the town and countryside. Some emergencies are met by rallying

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324 relatives and friends. Still, the relatively powerless frontier people cannot always provide what is needed. Obviously, the frontier families often do not have the economic resources necessary to provide the necessary aid. Thus, many households must depend on significant others for certain important goods and services. A number of factors, however, work against success in establishing viable vertical relationships in the frontier. Foremost is the fact that many persons/households in better-than-average circumstances are not interested and often actively discourage the formation of patron-client relationships. Because of the marginal financial situation of most frontier households and the transience of many, the majority of merchants do not perceive much advantage in developing more personal relationships that would encourage a steady and loyal clientele. A good portion of the commercial turn-over in the town is the direct or indirect result of ranch-companies' activities. Because so many of the more successful local merchants have already diversified into agriculture and cattle raising, they do not need to receive these commodities from potential "clients" either in trade or as presents. Filling local labor requirements — for store clerks, cowboys or tenants — poses no problems. In other words, the local elite generally do not need what frontier people have to offer by way of exchange — for

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325 example, labor, chickens or manioc flour — because the elite already has access to these items. The same reluctance to enter into either reciprocal or patron-client relationships can be seen on the part of most other members of the town elite, such as school officials, tax collectors and the police. Persons paid from outside the region rarely have the same local vested interests as do the majority of frontier inhabitants. When there is no particular advantage — either socially, or more important, economically — to be gained from assuming obligations and responsibilities for one's poorer neighbors, these exchange relationships are generally avoided whenever possible. Another factor is that many of the so-called local elite, it should be remembered, are not that far removed from the situation of the majority of the rural poor. Many of the better-off families often claimed that they were "poor" and "powerless." Indeed, a family considered relatively rich and well-off in Santa Terezinha would probably not be classified as middle class by national standards. While it is debatable whether or not some of the local elite could actually afford to provide more for their neighbors and their community, the fact remains that they generally resist doing so. Not only do better off households resist entering exchange relationships but, when they do participate in them they often carefully limit demands and/or requests which can

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326 be made. The following example shows the relatively marginal nature of the type of exchanges that one rather successful Santa Terezinha entrepreneur engages in with neighbors, employees, clients and even compadres Dona Clara ran the most successful boarding house in the town. She and her husband, Joaquin, have resided in Santa Terezinha for seven years and they have bought the squatters' rights to a total of 60 ha in the Chrisoste area to the north of the town where Joaquin spends most of his time farming and raising cattle. Their backgrounds were similar to those of other migrant households. They are currently doing well, yet they consider themselves to be "poor people" and they support the opposition party and the Catholic Mission. Although Dona Clara is clearly a shrewd businesswoman she is also known for her generosity to friends and acquaintances. Despite some reluctance on her part, she became godparent to some five children of different local families; all these households were significantly worse off than Dona Clara's. Her generosity, however, generally takes the form of giving small gifts such as a can of oil, some tomatoes or a piece of cloth, or free meals and/or cups of coffee from the boarding house kitchen. She makes no effort to seek out her less fortunate compadres but if they should happen to stop by Dona Clara will make sure they receive some refreshments, and if they hint at a small request for the godchild. Dona Clara may provide aid.

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327 Dona Clara is active in community affairs and donates electricity from her generator to the Catholic Church. Most persons/households with whom she maintains a semi-patron-client relationship, however, are aware that there are narrow limits to the help that they can expect to receive from Dona Clara. Her laundry woman, Dona Luisa, accepts small presents from Dona Clara but was having a difficult time convincing Dona Clara that she ought to pay a higher monthly wage for her laundry service. When Dona Clara's maid quit and her cook became ill at the same time. Dona Luisa was very amused and not a little vengeful in her descriptions of the "poor Dona Clara who suddenly had to cook and clean all day." Not surprisingly, the vertical links to her "clients" were of less importance to Dona Clara than her own horizontal and sometimes vertical exchange relationships with her socio-economic equals or superiors. What Dona Clara and Joaquin receive from their subordinates is primarily the "good opinion" of the community. By such "benevolent" behavior the entire family maintained good public relations and an excellent inflow of information of all kinds. Dona Clara and Joaquin's most important "friends" in town, since they had no relatives there, were two relatively successful fellow merchants and their families. Dona Clara had jumped the Saint John's fire with the wife of one of these men, and her daughter had jumped the fire with the

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328 wife of the other merchant so fictive kinship had been established with these most trusted friends. The three families were very close and exchanges of goods, services and information went on daily. One of the merchants had originally made the loan necessary to purchase the boarding house which generated the capital for cattle investment with which they eventually paid off the loan one year when 80 head were sold. Dona Clara and Joaquin had been instrumental in the start of the other merchant who had only been in town for four years; he, in turn often provided them with transportation in his truck and so forth. The list of exchanges would be very long. Dona Clara and Joaquin also maintain other exchange networks with a series of "useful" people in town such as one of the butchers who always reserved a large portion of the best cuts of meat for Dona Clara's boarding house whenever he slaughtered a steer They also maintained socializing relationships to other "im portant people" in town, some of whom were their political opponents such as a delegado and his family, the state tax collector and the family of the director of the elementary school. The researcher once saw Dona Clara run next door to a neighboring merchant's house (not one of the best friends) and borrow $100 cash from the merchant's wife which she. Dona Clara, needed to send her daughter on a plane trip for an eye examination in Gurupi. Needless to say. Dona Clara's credit and trustworthiness were beyond doubt.

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329 Thus, it is frequently the case that subordinates cultivate patron-client relationships but that the superiors discourage them and many needs, favors and so forth of the poorer families remain unsatisfied. Clearly, the more recent arrivals and those that have few or no kin or friends in the area tend to have the most acute problems with both horizontal and vertical exchange relationships. It is not surprising then, that many of the worst off arriving families often decide to leave the town. Whenever the researcher visited all the streets of the town conducting interviews with a random sample, she found that a significant portion of the most desperate families were gone when revisits were conducted. Thus, data on the most marginalized and uprooted of the frontier migrants were the most difficult to obtain because of the difficulty of maintaining continued contact. Despite the general reluctance of the local elite to engage in patron-client relationships, many do actually provide some important commodities and services for their less fortunate neighbors. Help from superiors — such as typing up a document or giving a ride in a truck or plane — is either "sold" or "given" although the former is certainly far more common in the frontier, especially within the context of vertical relationships. In horizontal relationships noneconomic exchanges predominate and in vertical relationships economic exchanges, especially payment in cash.

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330 predominate. Sometimes superiors "give" an essential commodity or service, usually because they are relatively permanent community members and want to cultivate a good public image. In summary, the more traditional form of patron-client relationships appears to be quite attenuated in the frontier. Lack of choice, lack of consumer power, and the very frequent great need of persons/households, facilitate the circumvention of the social and personal aspects of exchanges on the part of local officials and merchants. Loyalty and favors are not desired as much as hard cash. Most customers/clients are not so valuable that they have to be "courted." The local elite, in turn, try to "court" the ranch-companies, but are also generally unsuccessful in establishing ongoing contracts or commitments. Therefore, horizontal (symmetrical) exchanges between persons/households that are relatively equal socio-economically tend to predominate in the frontier. And, constellations and unspoken rules of these relationships are, like other survival strategies described, increasingly flexible to accommodate changing circumstances and frequent migration. The increasing importance of informal and deritualized friendship over the more formal and ritualized godparenthood relationship illustrates this phenomenon. While economic marginalization operates to undercut some of the more traditional horizontal and vertical relationships previously

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331 described for Brazilian rural areas, the dynamics and necessities of frontier life have shaped the evolution of an altered set of survival motivated relationships. This section has tried to demonstrate the necessity of linking aspects of social organization, network formation and mutual aid patterns with both cultural preferences and values and larger structural constraints which shape peoples' lives. To discuss small farmers' cognitive orientation of limited good (Foster, 1965) or their "poverty mentality" (Crist & Nissly, 1973) or their essential inability to cooperate, is to misrepresent both the actual mentality of the small farmers and seriously distort the constraints of past and current events and forces in the Latin American countryside. The position taken here is that the flexible horizontal relationships observed in the frontier are a logical and adaptive response to the conditions of frontier existence which are, in turn, determined by larger structural forces outside the consciousness/ awareness of the frontier residents and migrants. Institutions and Organizations The Santa Terezinha Catholic Mission is one of the most powerful and certainly the major institution in the frontier which operates as advocates and tries to provide aid and services to the rural poor. It was the Mission

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under the leadership of Padre Jentel which helped establish the town in its present site, built and staffed the first elementary school, health clinic, and was the driving force behind the creation of the agricultural cooperative. Later the Mission played a crucial role in the struggle between local farmers and the local cattle company. While hundreds or perhaps thousands of similar land conflicts occur unnoticed and unrecorded throughout the Brazilian Amazon Basin, the Santa Terezinha conflict and inprisonment of Padre Jeng tel received documentation and publicity which led to the INCRA intervention. A complete report and analysis of the local Mission and the organization, ideology, projects and goals of the "radical Catholic movement" in the Amazon, Bra zil and Latin America would require a dissertation in and of itself. The treatment here will necessarily be quite brief and superficial. The ideological commitment of the local Catholic Mission is to a revitalized Catholic faith and to its goal of acting as advocates for "the poor, disinherited and oppressed peoples of the Amazon." The Mission, staffed by a priest and several lay missionaries, tries to work, lobby, organize and provide needed information and services for lo cal inhabitants. A number of its activities, organizations and services have already been mentioned in previous chapters

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333 Although a number of the Mission projects, such as the cooperative and the health clinic, have been transformed into "community run" organizations, the Mission's support and leadership remain vital to the continued existence of these organizations. The Mission has also been instrumental in the formation of two additional local organizations, the "Committee for the Emancipation of Santa Terezinha" which hopes to make Santa Terezinha a separate municipio from Luciara, and a branch of the federally controlled Workers' Union which was founded in 1979. The elementary school, as mentioned previously, was removed from the control of the Mission by the state government about five years ago and the ideology, curriculum content, and administration of the school (controlled by the "conservative" director) have been issues of debate and conflict in the town ever since. Representatives of other institutions in the town, the state employees at the school, the state police, tax collector and even the municipal councilmen and submajor carry out certain functions, but are generally considered by most inhabitants to be ineffective and rather useless. For example, one of the first actions of the councilmen after elections (they ran on the MDB ticket, the opposition party) was to tighten controls over town land lots. This action, together with the fact that the councilmen managed to obtain for themselves a number of prime properties, was

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334 extremely unpopular and criticism was organized by means of the diocese regional newsletter. One councilman. Sr. Sebastiao, used political connections to secure lucrative building contracts. The submajor is best known for his con stant trucking of peons to various ranch-companies. Aside from a very few sinecures and some control over access to free military flights out of the region, such officials are viewed locally as unable and/or unwilling to provide either community or individual aid. It is far more likely that a person or family trying to process retirement benefits (few succeed) a deed, seeking vaccines or help for other problems will go to the Mission directly or to Mission related organizations. During the heavy flooding of 1978, for example, about ten families arrived in Santa Tere zinha after fleeing their flooded homes and the Mission pro vided temporary housing for these families. Other religious groups present in the town include the Pentecostals the Baptists and Vovo Rosa The Baptist church was founded in 1979 by a minister from Cazeara and since he infrequently visits Santa Terezinha, two American missionaries from New Tribes Mission hold services in a small wattle-and-daub hut; interest is small and potential new members included about three adults and ten children. The Pentecostals, (Assembly of God) have been present in the frontier town for about 20 years. In 1979 the congregation received its first minister from the outside and

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335 commenced construction of a large and permanent church. The Pentecostals composed primarily of a group of four better off families have a stable membership of about 30 persons including children. Their church, with its strict rules, attracts many though few remain permanently. Pentecostals pay a tithe to the church and provide some services to permanent members. Most of the members' free time, activities and projects center on the church rather than on the rest of the community or politics. The Vovo Rosa sect is a kind of fundamentalist branch of Catholicism, preached over the radio from Sao Paulo. In Santa Terezinha it has 15 converts, primarily laundry women. It also forbids drinking, dancing, smoking, etc. and requires modest clothing and other rather puritanical behavior. The converts are not yet organized, although they occasionally meet in one person's house to listen to the radio sermons together, and sometimes small groups plan trips to Cazeara and other cities where they will attend services run by ministers of this new religion. None of these religious groups confront socio-economic problems head-on as does the Catholic Mission, but rather tend to stress acceptance, hard work, self sacrifice, and support for the status quo The smaller groups cannot, as yet, provide much concrete aid to members. The great appeal and popularity of these and other religious movements and groups in the frontier is a complex

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336 subject which will not be examined here. It appears obvious that the religions offer potential solutions and alternative ways of dealing with the difficulties of the present situation. For example, some participants feel that major needs are met by means of religion when they accept various types of faith healing. These issues of ideology and faith will not be debated here. There are clearly economic components for members of such organizations such as the cooperation demonstrated by the Pentecostals While there are advantages to be gained by joining groups such as the Assembly of God, most local inhabitants tend to find the demands and restrictions too rigid and confining. The Catholic Mission, in contrast, has no formalized membership procedures or strict rules for church members (except for baptism which almost all Brazilians undergo either in church or at home ceremonies) Although the Mission tends to favor a smaller group of active participants, they also extend services to all regional inhabitants including Indians. Their focal population has been the rural poor, especially small farmers ( posseiros ) and in 1979, they were reformulating their goals by developing projects which would reach the peon populations of the companies Because there are so many persons and households in the region with pressing concerns and needs and because Mission personnel and resources are limited, the Mission cannot possibly satisfy all the demands made upon it in a perfectly

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337 just fashion and this leads to some dissatisfactions and complaints. The effort to have the health clinic and the agricultural cooperative function as autonomous community run organizations has not been particularly successful. Many initially enthusiastic members became discouraged and frustrated when the self-help organizations did not meet their expectations. The health clinic, designed to provide some basic health care and low cost medications, like the agricultural cooperative, operates with some serious constraints. Because of the rising costs of drugs and transportation, a low profit margin, and an overworked staff, the clinic, according to many informants, has continued to raise membership dues annually while the quantity and quality of its services has fallen. For example, while previously the payment of membership dues entitled a family to up to four free home visits from the clinic nurse, the number of free visits had been cut to one and people complained that it was increasingly difficult to get the staff to actually come to peoples' homes. The health clinic, which still sells medications at close to cost and extends credit, continues to have more members than any other community or regional organization. One-fourth of the sampled households belonged to the health clinic; four households were encountered which had previously belonged but had left because of dissatisfaction. All members are eligible to come to policy and planning meetings, however, most meetings

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338 have sparse attendance. Few people volunteer services for committee work and the like. It does not seem unreasonable to assume that while almost all frontier households want and need medical services, very few can afford the time and energy from their own household concerns to significantly contribute to the organization. Everyone recognizes the fact that persons/households must look after their own and their family's interests first. In theory, most informants interviewed agreed that such community organizations and a general "unity among poor people" was necessary and crucial, however, they often conclude: "We are too disunited for that here." The reasons for this disunity are clearly linked to the already stated requirements of flexibility, multiplicity and intensification necessary for survival in the frontier. Even mutual aid between close relatives is rarely in the form of a stable long-term commitment, as described previously. In terms of agricultural mutual aid under frontier constraints the short-term, temporary and dyadic arrangement of trading days of labor makes more "sense" than attempting what would be required for a mutirao the traditional large-scale peasant labor parties. Hence, while the Catholic Mission's activities are almost all designed to promote regional and community self help organizations, there are powerful forces which work against the success of such endeavors. The survival strategies themselves are often antithetical to long-term

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339 planning and commitment, and group endeavors. Nor surprisingly, some of the most active participants in Mission supported organizations are the slightly better off households, such as Dona Clara the boarding house owner, and not the households on the edge of subsistence. While the survival strategies described and analyzed in this chapter can be considered as adaptive and functional responses to frontier constraints, they will only with great difficulties be expanded to sustain the required efforts for largerscale cooperation. Emigration As mentioned previously, many persons and households eventually leave Santa Terezinha as they have left so many places before. Generally, the shorter the time of residence and the more insecure the livelihood, the greater is the likelihood of continuing migration. Some leave temporarily, some with plans to return, and others who know that they will never return. Emigration, like migration into the area, is less a free choice than an alternative dictated by limited options. The primary concerns and impetus are livelihood and survival. The push factors in this case are the constraints already described and analyzed for Santa Terezinha. Since it is extremely difficult to obtain data on persons and households who have already left Santa Terezinha,

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340 we will utilize a sample of adult children of 44 Santa Terezinha households who "live outside the natal home." A total of 79 "children" living outside the home were reported, only nine of which were children under the age of 16 v;ho had been placed in the homes of relatives. Of the remaining 70 adult children it was determined that 20 had never come to Santa Terezinha; in other words, 20 adults had either remained in other migration sites or moved from a previous site to a location of their own choosing. The data show that 60% of these adults were located in major urban centers and were reported to have reasonably secure occupations. Twelve adults of the 20 that had never come to Santa Terezinha were located in Brasilia, Goiania, Terezinha (Piaui) or Fortaleza (Ceara) Their occupations included: soldiers, office workers, bakers, butchers, hotel clerks, garage mechanics and employees of trucking companies and governmental agencies. Two were students who lived with employed siblings. The remaining eight adults were located in Goias, Para and Mato Grosso. Three had remained in Luciara (the county seat) working as wage laborers, two were in the city of Sao Miguel in Goias working in carpentry and cattle transportation, one was a tenant farmer in Goias and two females, thought to be prostitutes, were in unknown locations in Para. The remaining 50 adults had been born in Santa Terezinha or had accompanied their parents to the town.

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341 Slightly less than 40% continued to live in or nearby Santa Terezinha. The occupational profile of the 40% who remained in Santa Terezinha was comparable to the rest of the population previously discussed in Chapters Four and Five. Approximately 60% had left Santa Terezinha more or less permanently. Where do the adults who leave Santa Terezinha go? Only four were residing in major urban centers, three in Brasilia and one in Goiania. The three Santa Terezinha persons residing in Brasilia came from small farm families; one was trying to make a career in the army and two were students. One of the students lived with her grandmother and the other worked and lived as a maid in a middle class home while she attended high school. This data, together with the qualitative data, definitely suggest that ruralurban migration from the frontier zone is extremely limited. Other Santa Terezinha residents (not in the sample) known to be residing in either Brasilia or Goiania were all students, children of the wealthiest town (merchant) families who had been sent for an education. It does not appear likely that these city educated children, in the long-run, will choose to return and settle in Santa Terezinha. The majority of the adults who left Santa Terezinha are located in Mato Grosso, Para or Goias. Approximately one-third of the adults who had migrated (12) were in Mato Grosso, three in Sao Felix do Araguaia, two in Luciara, one

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342 in Xavantina and rhe rest in rural locations, farms, small ranches or ranch-companies. The major occupations included: five company workers, two cattle caretakers, a tenant farmer, a small ranch owner, a teacher, an employee of the Catholic Mission in Sao Felix and one unknov/n. Nine Santa Terezinha adults had moved to the State of Para where six worked at the ranch-companies (five as laborers and one as a labor contractor), one was farming his sister's land, one female worked as a store clerk, and one female unknown. Six Santa Terezinha adults had moved to the State of Goias. The livelihood situations of the persons in Goias included: one farmer who was in the process of being evicted from his farm, a man farming his sister's land, a tenant farmer, a cattle caretaker working for his godmother, and two unknowns. In summary, the occupational-livelihood situation of persons emigrating from Santa Terezinha is almost identical to the livelihood situations in Santa Terezinha itself. Then, why leave? Clearly, it was impossible to interview the 31 adultchildren of Santa Terezinha families who already resided elsewhere, however, interviews were conducted with persons/ families in Santa Terezinha who were about to move somewhere else. The major motivation mentioned was the search for a betterment of their economic situations. Information and rumors about "better places" were fairly common in Santa Terezinha. During the year 1978-1979 five families known

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343 to the researcher and probably more, moved to a place in / 9 Para called Entrucamento one of the latest "boom" spots where many people were going because of the completion of some major roads, a rumored INCRA distribution of federal land on either side of the highway, and wage labor opportunities at several companies just beginning operations. One man interviewed in Santa Terezinha who was about to leave for this location in Para, explained that many people were now going to Entrucamento because it would be a very good location for new businesses. This man, whose married sister and parents lived in Santa Terezinha, had sold his squatters' rights to about 80 ha of land for $500 and was planning to open a house of prostitution in Entrucamento. He explained that many people were attracted by the rumored land distribution and the wage labor opportunities available near Entrucamento, but when questioned he stated that he was hoping to give up farming and enter "commerce. Another woman seen selling all her household goods explained to the researcher that her husband had already gone on ahead and secured a job at a ranch-company in southern Para and that she would raise some money and travel to join him. Other families interviewed, often located on the outskirts of town, frequently mentioned that they would be leaving soon. They did not state that this was a choice

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344 but rather that they no longer had any alternative than to remain on an endless round of travel from one company to another In summary, we have noted that the same forces which operated to bring persons/households to Santa Terezinha are also operating in the process of emigration. Although difficult to quantify precisely, it is clear that the major population movements currently occurring are not to either larger cities or urban centers but rather to other frontier locations that are largely similar to Santa Terezinha although at a different stage of frontier expansion. From the Santa Terezinha data one can suppose that companies are expanding operations currently in southern Para which indeed, appears to be the case (Schmink, 1980) The constraints and limited potential of livelihood in Santa Terezinha certainly contributed to the emigration of over 60% of Santa Terezinha adult children sampled. This movement can be considered a survival strategy because it is clearly an attempt to secure basic subsistence Yet, again, as in the other survival strategies examined in this chapter, the potential for success of any kind is extremely low. Many of the frontier people, for whom migration has become a way of life, simply move continually from frontier areas in later stages of expansion to frontier areas which are just beginning to be opened up In the last 15 years the cycle of these frontier stages

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345 has speeded up, and there emerges a clear pattern of the constant movement of labor to each successive location of the installation of capitalist enterprises. Since so many of the corporate projects in the Amazon require significant labor power only in the initial stages, it is not in their interests to encourage the formation of a landed peasantry which would act as a permanent low-cost labor force. Within the context of such powerful socio-economic constraints and general insecurity and instability, the relatively fragile and limited survival strategies of frontier residents are rational. But to point to either the logical nature or rationality of the survival strategies is not to say that they are more than marginally successful. If measured at all, the success must be assessed at the level of survival and not in terms of expansion. In short, such strategies are more accurately characterized as a "holding action" of people swimming against increasingly strong currents. Therefore, it should not be surprising that multiplicity, flexibility, shortterra goals and such, are also dysfunctional for long-term planning and organizing. The final point is, however, that any solution to the acute problems of the rural poor in the frontier areas of the Amazon cannot begin with either the changing of small farmers' attitudes and values, or the introduction of technological

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346 and infrastructural changes, unless the fundamentally dichotomized structure of frontier expansion is confronted head-on End Notes The collecting of migration histories tended to be a long involved process during which it often became clear that informants had forgotten some of the moves, were confused about details of dates, times and locations, or were even occasionally not mentioning certain time periods of their lives. Unfortunately for the analysis, the households with the most extended and complicated migration histories were frequently the ones who were unable to give a complete account. 'The cost of renting a house in Santa Terezinha was relatively low and houses were usually rented for between $7 to $15 a month. This was probably so because almost all residents had the necessary skills to construct a simple house. The "fanciest" houses in town, with plastered and painted walls, tile roofs and cement floors, rented for as much as $4 0 a month. Even these nicer houses, however, had no electricity or plumbing. ^Since most people make houses from mud, clay or thatch, there is not a large demand for the more expensive baked bricks. Most families, however, would prefer to live in a brick house if they can afford it. The ranchcompanies generally build with lumber produced in their saw-mills, and they never buy bricks from local manufacturers ^The land which Jaime purchased near Santa Terezinha was part of a 100 ha lot distributed by INCRA to a local family. Many families have already sold part of, or all of the land that they received from INCRA. There will be problems later over this land, however, because most deeds processed by INCRA stipulate that the land is not to be sold for a certain period of time, usually ten to 15 years. Local farmers are not aware of these regulations. When they sell parts of the INCRA lots, it is unclear if either buyer or seller actually does the legal paperwork necessary for a legal transfer of the title. In 1979, there were already rumors circulating in Santa Terezinha that

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347 INCRA planned to take back land which had already changed hands. It was impossible to either confirm or deny these rumors The only house in town occupied by one person was the researcher's house. The list of questions and topics covered in the gation of the "survival strategies" is included dix 3 The Codeara Company sold beef to company employees once a week for one-half of the price of beef sold in the town. The availability of this beef was more important than its reduced price since for almost six months there was a severe beef shortage in the town. One example of the "fame" of the Santa Terezinha conflict is that Shelton Davis (1977) devoted an entire chapter of his book. Victims of t he Miracle to events in Santa Terezinha in order to illustrate the situations of peasants and land conflicts in the Amazon. Entrucamento is now named Xinguara. It is located at the intersection of the Maraba-Conceipao road with the, as yet uncompleted new road going west to Sao Felix do Xingu. investiin Appen-

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CHAPTER VII CONCLUSIONS The case study presented in this dissertation has demonstrated that the nature of frontier expansion in northtern Mato Grosso has changed radically over the last two decades. This formerly semi-isolated region, inhabited primarily by Brazilian subsistence farmers and Indians, is now undergoing a complex transformation. The establishment of the large cattle projects, owned by national and multinational companies has significantly altered frontier dynamics From the turn of the century until the 1950s, immigration into the region can be labeled as the expansion of the demographic frontier. Squatter farmers, pushed out of the Northeastern states because of economic and environmental constraints, found many forested areas in which to settle along the middle Araguaia River. Both Indians and settlers used land and other natural resources freely, claiming usufruct ownership to the land where they dwelled. Agricultural production was primarily for subsistence, and settlers sold small amounts of surplus and a few other extracted commodities to satisfy their cash needs. Trade was carried out by river traders from Conceifiao do Araguaia. Manufactured goods came from Belem to Concei^ao do Agaruaia to Santa 348

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349 Terezinha. A few regional products, such as animal pelts, found their way to urban markets in Belem. In the late 1950s and 1960s, the Brazilian government intensified efforts to integrate the nation and, in particular, to settle and exploit the vast Amazon region. A number of changes occurred elsewhere which had immediate consequences for the middle Araguaia. The shift of the federal capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia and the construction of the Belem-Brasilia Highway marked the beginning of major changes in the neighboring States of Goias and Maranhao. Immigration into northern Mato Grosso increased because many small farmers moved west from Goias and western Maranhao during and after the construction of the highway. Trade networks changed and goods began to be imported into northern Mato Grosso from urban centers in the center-south, and by river to Santa Terezinha. Also critical during this period were the governmental programs designed to encourage Amazonian "development." Fiscal incentives and other governmental supports provided the necessary impetus for corporate investments in the Amazon region. In northern Mato Grosso vast tracts of land were sold relatively cheaply by the State to the capitalist enterprises. Most companies then began to process and obtain legal titles to the land they had purchased. The fact that much of this land was already settled and inhabited by

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350 Indians and Brazilian farms and villages was not taken into consideration either by the government or the companies. The local inhabitants of the Middle Araguaia, many of them migrants who had moved west seeking unclaimed land to farm, did not become fully aware of the land transfers until representatives of the companies arrived in the region during the mid-1960s to install the cattle ranches. As in many other locations in the Amazon, a situation of violent conflict developed between the companies seeking to evict the squatters, and the settlers attempting to remain on their land. The conflict in Santa Terezinha was unusually well-publicized both nationally and internationally, and in 1972 INCRA intervened and organized a land distribution for Santa Terezinha farmers. Despite the land distribution, small farming activities have declined rapidly in the region since the 1960s. The major cause of this decline is the monopolization of land and other productive resources by the large companies. A second reason for the decrease in farming is that there is almost no market, either locally or outside the region, for agricultural commodities produced there. The ranch-companies import into the region both manufactured goods and foodstuffs. Companies export beef cattle, on the hoof, to the south and are exempt from paying interstate taxes. Local farmers, on the other hand, can not afford to send their products to outside markets. Small farmers are not

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351 eligible for the tax exemptions, credit and other governmental supports given to the corporate projects. A third set of critical factors which retard and block small farming enterprises are: (1) lack of access to improvements in agricultural technology and expertise, (2) lack of credit for investment in small farms, and (3) lack of basic infrastructure such as transportation and communication. A fourth set of factors which impede small farmers include: (1) the movement of labor, especially young adults, from self-employed farming to wage labor jobs (at ranch-companies) which depletes the household labor force available for farming, (2) the inability of the small farmers to recover from environmental or other disasters because of their highly marginal position which frequently results in the abandonment of agriculture, and (3) the increasing movement of persons attracted by the short-term benefits (pull effects) of other livelihood options or emigration to other frontier areas in earlier stages of expansion. The two major livelihood options other than farming which exist in the region are (1) wage labor at the ranchcompanies, and (2) commercial activities in the town. The majority of the employment opportunities available throughout the region are the low paying temporary jobs for manual workers at the cattle companies. Cattle ranching requires a large labor force only in the initial phase of

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352 implementation and creation of improved pastures. Once pastures are established, the maintenance and operation of a ranch requires only a small staff. Local men and migrant workers find jobs available on ranches still creating pastures; the jobs are primarily in deforestation and the planting and maintenance of the improved pastures. In the 1960s, gangs of workers were brought to Mato Grosso from other regions of Brazil by labor contractors because there was not enough m.anpower available locally. These first workers, like the rubber collectors of an earlier era in Amazonian history, found upon arrival that they were indebted to the contractor for their travel expenses and tools. Dependent on company stores, constantly in debt, and guarded by hired gun men, the workers found that they were trapped in a system of debt peonage Increasing immigration into the region during the 1960s augmented the available labor force. Some companies reduced their labor forces because they already had established pastures and a very few began experimenting with machinery for deforestation. These two factors contributed to some improvements in the situations of ranch-company workers in the region. Most company employment in northern Mato Grosso, however, continues to be handled by labor contractors so that ranches do not directly hire the majority of their labor force and are thus able to circumvent Brazilian labor laws designed to protect workers. The number

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353 of management and skilled worker positions available at companies is very small and most of these positions are filled by men sent from company headquarters in southern Brazilian cities. The changes of local people obtaining a better paid and semi-permanent job at the ranch-companies is very small The town of Santa Terezinha expanded rapidly after the companies began their operations in the region. Much of the growth of the town is linked to an increase in tertiary sector activities which are, in turn, linked to the presence in the region of the capitalist firms. Santa Terezinha currently functions as an outlet for imported commodities (both manufactured goods and foodstuffs) which arrive in the town by barge. The two main functions of the town commerce are (1) to retail the imported goods, and (2) to provide temporary accommodations for rural migrants and/or company workers. The local small farmers contribute minimally to the commercial activities in the town. Rather, the source of most of the cash flow in the town is the ranchcompanies, primarily in terms of the paid workers continually arriving in Santa Terezinha. Most of the commercial establishments, however, are quite small and marginal businesses. Many of them remain small or fail because they: (1) lack investment capital and credit sources, (2) do not have access to wholesale foods, (3) can not extend sufficient credit to customers

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or manage operating expenses during long pay-back periods, (4) often lack previous commercial experience, literacy and other related skills, (5) can not withstand the periodic cash shortages in town during the rainy season when companies cut back their number of paid employees, and (6) can not successfully compete with other commercial establishments of the same type in town. The function of the town as a service center/labor pool for the regional companies will be undermined by the construction of the BR 158, a new road currently under construction. The BR 158, located some 100 km to the west of Santa Terezinha, will serve as the major artery connecting Mato Grosso with both the south and the State of Para. If the river ceases to be the main transportation route, the commerce of Santa Terezinha will be threatened. The majority of Santa Terezinha households find it increasingly difficult to obtain even a minimum basic subsistence. Almost all depend on two or more of the major livelihood options for income, and most depend on other marginal activities to augment the household economy. Survival strat egies was the term chosen for the investigation of the adaptive responses and informal economics of households trying to survive under the increasing severe socio-economic constraints of current frontier conditions. It was found that marginalized households use a number of different and shifting strategies designed to ensure the

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355 survival of the unit. Migration was analyzed as a survival strategy used by families and persons in situations of severe economic constraints. Push factors, such as eviction, inability to pay land taxes, or lack of sufficient employment to satisfy cash needs, were found to be the most critical variable involved in the intra-rural migration process. Pull factors were found to be less important although migrants clearly tried to select destinations where their chances of success were maximized. Many select destinations where they already have kin so that they will have an immediately available mutual aid network in the new location. The major conclusion was that the migratory process was, in Ernest Feder's (1971: 37) words, not a "search for better jobs than the ones they have — they just look for jobs." Most settlers, however, were small farmers whose major goal had been the acquisition of land for the establishment of a farm homestead. Most immigrants, and particularly those who had entered the region more recently, had been unable to acquire land or access to land. A second survival strategy utilized by most frontier households is the diversification and intensification of household livelihood activities. Household members are increasingly engaged in a series of remunerative activities, usually temporary, periodic or seasonal, in order to augment the household income. Activities such as brick making, washing laundry, sewing, yard work and odd jobs, have become

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356 more frequent and sometimes constitute the main source of a household income when other livelihood options are unavailable. As households become more marginalized, the number of household members who engage in remunerative activities increases. The key words to describe these activities are "flexibility" and "multiplicity." Generally, families are forced to choose activities which provide short-term and immediate benefits rather than those designed to fulfill long-term goals or planning. The result of such strategies is that labor for agricultural activities is increasingly unavailable and this contributes to the general decrease in farming in the region. A third category of survival strategies analyzed was mutual aid and patron-client relationships. It was found that the more traditional forms of patron-client relationships (assymetrical relationships) were quite attenuated on the frontier. The ranch-companies avoid any kind of exchange relationships with local people. The local elite in Santa Terezinha act as patrons to their poorer neighbors in a limited and often temporary way. Loyalty and favors are not desired so much as hard cash. Godparenthood relationships between socio-economically unequal parties is becoming infrequent. As predicted in Chapter One, the major exchange relationships are those between relatively equal parties, i.e., symmetrical or horizontal relationships. Persons tend to

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357 rely on their families, their kin, and their neighbors and friends. The analysis of the types of exchanges of commodities and services demonstrated that these relationships tended to be between relatively few parties and were frequently of short duration. Because of the constantly changing situation of most frontier people, they tend to make only short-term commitments even to other family members. Thus, the types of exchange relationships noted tended to be more informal and deritualized ones. Friendship is replacing institutions like godparenthood, and short-term dyadic labor exchanges are replacing communal work parties. While these more flexible and attentuated exchange relationships are functional under the conditions of severe economic constraints and insecurity, they tend to be dysfunctional for long-term planning and larger-scale organization. It was found that most of the self-help organizations in the frontier town — the health clinic, cooperative and the new union — were most actively supported by a certain segment of the local elite. More marginalized households were less able to actively participate in these organizations. The last strategy analyzed was emigration. As the ranch-companies become further established in northern Mato Grosso and continue to reduce their labor force, young adults are increasingly emigrating to other frontier areas. ; This process is clearly related to the increasing socioI economic constraints and difficulty of obtaining a living ] j i I

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358 in Santa Terezinha. Data show that almost no frontier people move to either provincial or larger urban centers. Rather, they tend to move to "newer" frontier zones in Mato Grosso and southern Para. The data available on those who have already emigrated from Santa Terezinha suggest that migration does not result in any significant improvement of their socio-economic situation. In summary, the survival strategies analyzed are clearly short-term adaptations to conditions of rural poverty and marginalization. Such strategies constitute more of a "holding action" than they do a plan or program for economic betterment or upward mobility. This is less the fault of the migrants themselves or faulty evaluation of the options on their part, than it is a function of the increasing constraints which accompany the expansion of the economic frontier. The future of Santa Terezinha small farmers appears to be far from promising. Small farming activities will probably continue to decline as the older people die and the young adults continue to find other employment or emigrate. The land base for small farms will continue to shrink as the last few remaining areas open to squatters are claimed by their "rightful owners." When the elderly parents die, the children are increasingly selling the INCRA lots because they no longer care to be subsistence farmers and they hope to use the cash acquired to begin

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359 other enterprises or to emigrate. Entrepreneurs, both outsiders and a few members of the local elite, continue to buy available land and all indications are that the plans for such areas are for cattle raising. Complications and disputes over the titles of INCRA distributed land will probably ensue since the deeds stipulate that the land can not be sold for 15 years. It is predicted that either INCRA will intervene and reclaim these already exchanged lots, or more likely, that the company will simply reabsorb them. There are currently no governmental plans to provide any assistance or support for small farms in this region. Therefore, all the aforementioned problems with lack of technology, credit and infrastructure will probably not be solved. When the new regional roads are completed and the cattle companies begin producing a few other agricultural crops with modern methods, the small amounts of agricultural surplus created by the small farmers will be superfluous. There is very little chance that even with improvements in regional transportation facilities that the small farmers' products could compete in urban markets with the more modern farms located nearer to urban centers. The wage labor opportunities at the ranch-companies in the region will continue to decline as the ranches complete the initial phase of the preparation of improved pastures. Each large ranch will then be run by a relatively

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360 small staff. Former workers will, most likely, emigrate to newer frontier zones where other companies are just beginning operations. A gradual depopulation of the region is predicted over the next ten to 2 0 years. The commerce in the town of Santa Terezinha will deteriorate when and if the river ceases to be the main transportation route for the region. The construction of the highway (BR 158) promises to move the focus of commercial activities some 100 km to the west of the Araguaia River. One cattle company has already planned a private colonization project and model city to be located on the BR 158. When the road, which has already been started, becomes passable, this new town will probably take over most of the functions now performed by Santa Terezinha. Both imported goods and cattle will probably travel on the road in the future It is predicted that within the next ten to 20 years, the town of Santa Terezinha will diminish in size and importance to be replaced by the new town which will be created on the BR 158. As people leave Santa Terezinha and the commercial establishments begin to close, the aforementioned survival strategies which function in relation to the other activities, will no longer be viable. As livelihood alternatives shrink, the people will continue to emigrate. Emigration will be to other frontier zones where the entire process will be repeated once again.

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APPENDIX 1 LIFE HISTORY INTERVIEW Elicit: 1. A complete list of places where the informant has lived and amount of time and the dates in each place. 2. A description of the types of places lived for each stop in the migration history, such as: (a) the sertao (b) small village, (c) small city, or (d) major city. 3. A list of economic activities pursued at each stop in the migration history, with special emphasis on aspects of land tenure and tenancy, types and varieties of employment, ways of earning money, and success of strategy pursued in terms of quality of living. 4. A list of the reasons why a decision was reached to leave each stop in the migration history. 5. A list of reasons why a new place was selected for settlement for each stop in the migration history. How was the new place evaluated in advance and what criteria were used? Who was known to the informant in the new place before the move and what was this person's relationship to the informant? 6. A list of kin left behind in places during the migration history and kin joined in new places, as well as who made moves together and what their relationships were 7. Special attention to folk concepts of ownership of property and animals as these vary from Brazilian legal definitions, and types of inheritance utilized, if any. 8. Special attention to the selling of commodities or labor, and the ways of making purchases in each stop during migration history. Types of products sold and places sold. How products were transported to market. What types of products were considered necessities which had to be purchased. 361

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362 9. A complete list of the number and types of marriage unions entered into by the informant and why these did or did not last. 10. Attention to children: how many still alive and how many died; how many were given to someone else to raise; and how many children were adopted and from whom? 11. Try to elicit informants' opinions on preferred types of living places and preferred types of economic activities and life-styles. What is considered a good life? Had the informant ever experienced it, and if so, when? What is considered the most desirable way to live? What are the obstacles that prevent them from realizing their ideal? 12. What kinds of places and types of economic activities are considered undesirable? Has the informant ever done these? Why are they undesirable? Was there anything that could have been done to improve the bad situation? 13. What are/were the most pressing problems of life? 14. What are/were the major disappointments in life? 15. How did the informant come to live in Santa Terezinha and does he/she plan to stay or leave? 16. Current information on the informant's situation in Santa Terezinha (see Appendix 4 for questions and topics utilized and Appendix 2 for complementary information on relatives)

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APPENDIX 2 GENEALOGICAL INTERVIEW 1. Elicit all known relatives of a particular informant with type of relationship specified (siblings listed in order of age from left to right) 2. Find out for each person on the chart: (a) birth date (b) birth place (c) spouse and children, if any (d) current location/dwelling place (e) current occupational status (f) property ownership status (g) living or dead I 363 1

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APPENDIX 3 SURVIVAL STRATEGIES: OUTLINE OF TOPICS AND QUESTIONS 1. Material Possessions : Note type of house construction (walls, floor and roof) Note the type of furniture present in the house. Note type of cooking facilities. Note method of water storage. Note special possessions such as a radio, refrigerator, sewing machine, bicycle or car. Note the distance of the home from a main street. Note lighting source in the home. Note any special equipment present for crafts, such as a loom. Note storage areas and what is stored in them. Note if there are commercial activities carried out in the home, such as a small bar. Ask if the house was made by the owners, was bought, is rented or borrowed from someone else. Was the lot purchased? Do they own any other urban properties? 2. Kinship Information : (See Geneological Interview, Appendix 2) 3. Relatives in the Town and in the Area ; Who do you visit regularly? Who visits you regularly? To whom do you give presents? Who gives presents to you? Do you receive or give agricultural products to any of your relatives? With which relatives do you trade child care? Are you raising any of the children of your relatives? Do you provide child care for any of your relatives on a regular basis? With which relatives do you work? What kinds of work? What kinds of help could you expect to receive from your relatives? What help have you already received from them? From which relatives could you borrow money or equipment? Have you lent any of your relatives money or equipment lately? Do any of your relatives farm on your land or do you farm on their land? What arrangements are made for the agricultural work? What kind of payment is made for the use of the land? 364

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365 4. Children at Home ; How many children are still at home? What are their sexes and ages? Whose children are they (exactly) ? Do they attend the elementary school? What grades are they in currently? Do any of the children work outside the home? What are their jobs and how much do they earn? What is done with the money that they earn? Do the children do chores at home? Which chores? What do the children want to do when they grow up? Do you think that they will want to follow the same livelihood as their parents? Why, or why not? Do you want them to have the same kind of life that you did? Do you have any children currently being raised by someone else? Who are they, and who is raising them? Do you provide any support for these children? Why are they living with someone else? Whose idea was it to have them live somewhere else? 5. Children already out of the Home ; Where are your children who have already left home or who are currently living away from home? What are their sexes and ages? What are they doing (and working at) in these other locations? Will they remain away permanently or are they planning on returning to Santa Terezinha (or home)? Do you visit them? Which ones do you visit most? Do they come visit you? When, and how often? Do they contribute to your support in any way? Do you contribute to their support in any way? How do you remain in touch with your children who are located far away? When was the last time you heard from them, and how? Do you have any children from whom you have not heard in a long time? Do you have any idea what happened to them? 6. Ritual Co-Parenthood ; How many people here are your compadres? Who are they? Compadres of what? Which compadres are relatives, which are friends and which are acquaintances? How long have you been compadres with them? How long have you known them? Do you see your compadres frequently, sometimes or rarely? Do you also socialize with your compadres ? How often do you see your godchildren? Do you provide any help or services for any of your godchildren? Do any of your compadres provide help and/or support to you? Do you help your compadres ? What was the last service or gift you received from a compadre? What was the last service or gift that you provided to a compadre?

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How many (and where) compadres do you have in other places? (Repeat the above questions) How many godchildren do you have in other places? (Repeat the above questions) Can you borrow things from your compadres ? What was the last thing you borrowed from a compadre ? For each compadre relationship, ask whose idea it was to become compadres? 7. Friendship : Who are your good friends (not acquaintances) in this town? How long have you known each one? Did you know them from other places where you lived before you came to Santa Terezinha? Which friends do you visit the most? Which friends visit you the most? What kinds of help can you expect from your friends? What kinds of help do you provide for your friends? What was the last service or gift that you gave a friend? Can you borrow from your friends? What? What was the last thing that you borrowed from your friends? Have you ever borrowed money from a friend? What do you think is the main difference between a friend and an acquaintance? How can you tell who your real friends are? Are any of your closest friends also your compadres ? Which of your relatives do you consider as good friends? 8 Livehihood ; (See questions in Appendix 4) 9. Property Ownership : (See questions in Appendix 4) 10. Additional Female Livehihood Questions : Have you ever worked for anyone else? Where? Doing what? How were you paid? Who did you work for? Were they a friend or relative? What did you charge? How much did you generally earn? How long did you work (at each) at that activity? Why did you stop working?

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367 Do you now wash laundry, sew, make bread or engage in other remunerative activities? Who helps you with this? How long have you been doing it? How many (regular) customers do you have? Who are your regular customers? How do you sell what you produce? Who sells it? How much do you generally charge? How much do you generally earn? If you stopped working, would your family have enough to live on? Have you ever stopped working before? When, and why? Do you plan to continue these activities or stop soon? Do you plan to begin any other (commercial ventures) activities to earn money in the future? How many hours do you generally work a day in these activities? Do you generally receive presents from your customers? What kinds of presents? Which customers generally give you presents? Do you think it's a good thing for women to work and make additional money? What do you do with the money that you earn? Who decides how it will be spent? Which family member generally pays the bills at the stores? Does your husband mind that you are working? Would he prefer that you stop? 11. Church Activities : What religions are the various members of your household? Does anyone from your house attend a church regularly? Which church? Does anyone attend a church periodically? Which church? This month, how many times did you attend church services? Do you have friends in your church? Do the various church members visit each other? Does the church help members? How? Do you pay anything to your church? What? Have you ever helped in the fund raising activities of your church? Do you belong to any church committees or groups? Did you used to belong to another church? Which one? For how long? What made you decide to change your religion? What do you think of the other churches here? What do you think of the Santa Terezinha Catholic Mission? Do you receive the diocese newsletter? Has the Catholic Mission here ever helped you or anyone in your family? Have you participated recently in any saint celebrations? Have you recently fulfilled any vows? Have you ever been a sponsor to a saint celebration or hosted a prayer session? With whom did you work when planning and carrying out the celebration?

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368 12, Other Organizations ; Do you belong to any other organizations in town (church, health clinic, agricultural cooperative, workers union, the Committee for the Emancipation of Santa Terezinha, etc.)? What is your role? In what ways do you participate? Are you on any committees? Do you perform any work for these organizations? What are (will be) the benefits of belonging to this/these organization (s) ? What are the disadvantages of belonging to this/these organization (s) ? Did you formerly belong to any organization which you later left? Which one(s)? Why? Did you belong to any organizations in other places you have lived? Do you currently belong to any organizations other than the ones here in Santa Terezinha? Do you have a worker identity card? Do you, or have you ever received any federal benefits such as retirement benefits or health care? Where did you receive these services? When, and for how long? 13. Shopping and Credit : Where do you usually shop? Do you shop all over or generally mostly in one or two stores? How do you decide where you will shop? Do you have credit in the stores? Which stores allow you to shop on credit? Do you generally shop with cash or on credit? What is your credit limit? How long does it generally take you to pay off your store bills? In which stores do you currently have debts? Approximately how much do you currently owe? When do you think these bills will be paid? Have you ever paid for any merchandise in kind? What items do you regularly buy at the stores? Do you belong to the cooperative? If so, do you do most of your shopping at the cooperative or somewhere else? Have you ever bought anything on credit from either the cooperative or the Planta? Who generally does the shopping in your family? When was the last time your family ate beef? Where did you get the meat? Does your household receive or buy agricultural products from local farmers? From whom do you receive products? Have you ever worked in someone else's f arinha shed or rice harvest in order to receive f arinha or rice? What items do you generally buy "in the street"? 14. Selling : Do you or your family sell anything? What? Who produces it? How is it transported? How do you sell it

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369 (from the house, to stores, etc.)? How much do you generally charge for these products? Do you give products to anyone without charging? To whom? Do you think that you generally receive a fair price? Why, or why not? Have you changed production plans recently because of changes in the prices of items that you sell? What changes did you make? Who is generally in charge of selling these products? Are you planning to or currently experimenting with products which will bring a higher price? What? Do you think that the agricultural cooperative is a good idea? Do you think it is advantageous to sell your products to the cooperative? How many sacks of rice and f arinha did you sell last year? 15. Emergencies ; Ask about the most recent emergency or crisis which the family experienced (e.g. eviction, serious illness, etc.). Inquire about what happened during the criris, what people did, who helped, how money was raised, decisions made, treatment obtained and whether or not the problem was resolved. If you were ill, would your family be able to manage? Who would help out during a difficult time? Who would take care of your house and children if you were sick? If you had a serious emergency, to whom could you turn for help? What kinds of help could you expect to receive? 16. Id eal Life: Where would you prefer to live (big city, small city, village or the backlands) ? Why? What livelihood would you prefer? Why? What would you describe as a "good life"? Do you consider your life as a good one? Why not? What was the happiest time in your life? What was the most difficult time of your life? Do you think that things will work out for you (plural) in Santa Terezinha? Have you considered moving somewhere else? Where? Why? VJhat was your original motivation for moving to Santa Terezinha? Did you change your plans after you arrived here? How so? What occupation would you prefer for yourself and what occupation would your spouse prefer? Is this a possibility? Why, or why not?

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370 Have you ever visited a big city? Which one? When, and why? What did you think of the city? What did you like the best about it? What did you like least? Would you ever consider going to live in a big city? Why, or why not? 17. Problems : What are the most serious problems and/or obstacles that you and your family are now facing? Is there anything that you can do to resolve these problems? What? Are you planning to obtain help from anyone else? What kind of help and from whom? 18. Success ; Which people in town do you consider successful? Why? Which families here are the most wealthy? Which families are the most respected? How do you think that these successful people achieved their success? Which of the more successful people here provide the most help to their neighbors and the poor? What kind of life (and livelihood) would you prefer for your children? Do you think that they will remain in Santa Terezinha or move somewhere else? What qualities and factors are important in success? 19. Leisure: When you are not working, what do you like to do? With whom do you generally spend your free time?

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APPENDIX 4 SURVEY 2: OUTLINE OF QUESTIONS 1. Note if the structure is a residence or a residence combined with a commercial enterprise. If the structure is only a commercial establishment (residence elsewhere) stop and continue to next household in sample 2. Note the type of house construction: floors, walls, roofing material. 3. Did you make this house, buy it, are renting it, or are you borrowing it (for free) from someone? 4. If the house was purchased, how much was paid? If the house is rented, how much rent is paid monthly? 5. Do you or members of your family have other "urban" properties? Lots or houses? How many? 6. Do you cook on a fire, a gas stove, or both? 7. Do you have a refrigerator? 8. Do you have a radio? 9. Do you have any type of transportation? What? 10. What is the name of the male household head"*" (dono) and how old is he? If he is dead, or missing, how many years has he been dead or missing? 11. What is the name of the female household head (dona de casa) and how old is she? 12. What type of marriage do you currently have? (Civil, Church, Common-law, Of the Fire^)? 13. The male has been "married" how many times? The female has been "married" how many times? 14. How long has the male household head lived in Santa Terezinha? 371

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372 15. How long has the female household head lived in Santa Terezinha? 16. When you came here, did you come with your parents, alone, or with a friend? Was there someone in Santa Terezinha who called you to come here? Who? 17. How many children are living at home? (Name / Sex / Age / Level at school / Employment) 18. Which of your children live outside your home? Where do they live? (Name / Sex / Age / Place where they live / Occupation [males])? 19. Do you have anyone else living with you in your house? Who? Relatives or friends? What are their occupations? 20. Where were the parents of the male household head born? (State and more specific location, if possible) 21. Where are they (the parents) living today? 22. What was the occupation of the father of your husband? (If he was a farmer, ask if he owned the land or was a tenant. If he was a cowboy, ask if it was for his own cattle, a private ranch, or a company.) 23. Where were the parents of the female household head born? (State and more specific location, if possible) 24. Where do they (the parents) live today? 25. What was the occupation of the wife's father? (Repeat #22) 26. Where was the informant born? (state and place) Was this a big city, medium sized city, a town or village, or homestead in the forest? 27. What places have you lived in? (Place / Time in Residence / Occupation in that place / Reason for leaving that place) 28. Where was your husband/wife born? (Repeat #26). Note sex. 29. What places did he/she live before (Repeat #27). 30. How much education did the male household head receive? How long did he study? Can he read and write?

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373 31. How much education did the female household head receive? How long did she study? Can she read and write? 32. What religion are you (plural)? (Household heads) 33. Are you (plural) a member of any organization or society, such as the agricultural cooperative, the union, the health clinic, or a club? 34. What is the occupation of the male household head? Where? (If the answers "driver" or "pilot" given, ask if he owns the vehicle or drives for someone else.) 35. Does he also work at other things, for example, brick making, driving, part-time work at the companies or other jobs? Ranch-Companies (#36 to #40: Ask if relevant) 36. What type of work does he do at the companies? 37. Does he have a worker identification card? Does he work by contract (as a peon) or is he a labor contractor, or both? 38. How much does he generally earn per month? 39. How many years has he worked for the companies? 40. At which ranch-company is he currently working, or which was the last company where he worked? Farming (#41 to #58: Ask if relevant) 41. Do you (plural) farm? 42. Do you (plural) have land, or do you (plural) work on someone else's land? 43. If the land belongs to someone else, whose land is it? Are they your relatives, friends or what? 44. Where is the land located, and how much land is there? 45. Was this land distributed by INCRA, bought, or is it owned by squatters' rights? 46. If the land was purchased, how much was paid for it?

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374 47. Does the owner of the land have a deed or a definitive title? 48. (If they are working on someone else's land) How do you (plural) pay for the use of the land? (Delivering half the harvest / Leaving the field planted as pasture / Some other type of payment) 49. Do you (plural) make your fields alone, or work with others? Who? 50. If you (plural) are working with others in the field, does each one make a separate field or do you farm together in one field? (If dividing) Do you clear and burn together, and afterwards divide the area into individual fields? 51. How many people work in the harvest? Who? 52. How many "lines" ( linhas ) or hectares have you already cleared and burned this year? 53. Did you (plural) do this work by yourself? 54. Have you (plural) ever participated in communal labor parties (mutirao) ? When was the last time you (plural) worked in a communal labor party? Where? 55. Do you (plural) use any kinds of machines in your farming? 56. How do you (plural) transport the produce to the town? (In the street / To the stores / To the cooperative / Elsewhere) 58. Do you (plural) pay anyone to work in your fields? Do you (plural) pay per job or do the people remain as tenants? How and what do you (plural) pay? Cattle (#59 to #66: Ask if relevant) 59. Do you (plural) have any cattle? Do you (plural) care for someone else's cattle? 60. How many head of cattle do you (plural) have more or less? What is the size of the herd that you (plural) care for? 61. Where are these cattle?

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375 62. Is the pasture natural (savanna) or improved? Is the pasture open or fenced? 63. Do you (plural) pay for the use of the pasture? How do you (plural) pay? To whom? 64. Do you (plural) employ a cowboy? How do you pay him? 65. What problems do you (plural) have with cattle raising here? 66. Do you (plural) sell cattle more here in the town, or more to the men who transport them out of the region? Commerce (#67 to #70: Ask if relevant) 67. Do you (plural) have a store or bar (any commercial establishment)? More or less, how much do you earn from it each month? (If they don't know, put down the size of the establishment: Big / Medium / Small) 68. Do you own any other stores or bars? How many? Where? 69. How many employees do you (plural) have? How much do you (plural) pay them? 70. How many years have you (plural) been involved in commerce in Santa Terezinha? 71. Does the male household head have any other ways of earning money? What? 72. What is the occupation of the female household head? 73. Does she also sew, make cakes, wash laundry, work as a midwife or do other remunerative activities? 74. How much, more or less, does she earn per month? 75. How much (all activities) does the male household head earn each month? 76. How many people contribute to the household expenses' Who? 77. How much, more or less, is the total income entering the house each month? (If they do not know, ask how much they spend for household expenses each month, approximately. )

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376 78. Why did you come to Santa Terezinha? 79. Are you satisfied with what you found here? 80. Are you planning to remain living here? 81. If you have plans to move, where do you plan to go and why? What do you plan to do there? 82. If you have no land, do you want land to work? 83. If you do have land, are you thinking of selling it, or have you already sold it? To whom did you sell it? What is, or was the price of the land? What are you going to do, or have done already with the money from the sale of the land? 84. Do you prefer life in a big city, a small town such as this one, or in the forest? Why? 85. Do you think that there are enough opportunities here to better your situation? Why? 86. What kind of occupation would you like for your children? 87. Do you think your children will want the same type of life as their parents' lives? 88. Do you think that there are more opportunities for a person such as yourself in Santa Terezinha, or that you would have more opportunities in a big city? 89. What do you need most to improve your situation? 90. What do you think of the land problems in Mato Grosso? 91. What do you think of the future of Santa Terezinha? Do you think it will progress? End Notes I designate as heads of household the adult male and the adult female who are the primary decision makers in the household

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377 A "marriage of the fire" (de f oqueira ) is a form of common-law marriage which has been sanctified by a home conducted ceremony around a bonfire. It was apparently carried out by people living in remote locations in the backlands and was very rarely encountered in Santa Terezinha.

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APPENDIX 5 SURVEY 1: QUESTIONS Observational Exercises I. house construction, 2. furniture (store bought or homemade) 3. refrigerator, 4. radio, 5. what kind of lighting arrangements (kerosene lamps, store bought kerosene lamp, store bought gas lamp, or electricity), 6. drinking water in pot or water filter, 7. beds or hammocks or both, 8. type of stove (gas or fire-place), 9. type of floor in the house (dirt, brick, brick covered with cement, rough cement or polished cement), 10. animals observed around the house, II. water supply to house (pulley on well, hand pump, or machinery) 1. What is your name? and age? (to person responding) 2. What is your spouse's name? and age? 3. How many children do you have at home? (sexes and ages) 4. How many of your children live outside the home (sexes and ages)? 5. Do you have any other relatives living with you? Vlho? 6. Do you have any adopted children? (sexes and ages) 7. How long have you lived in Santa Terezinha? 8. Where were you born? Where was your spouse born? Where were your parents born? Where are your parents living? Where were your spouse's parents born? Where are your spouse's parents living? 9. Where have you lived, names of places, how long, and doing what in each place? 10. What is your occupation? 11. What is your spouse's occupation? 12. Do you have relatives in Santa Tereainha? Who? 378

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379 13. Do you have relatives closeby to Santa Terezinha? Who and where? 14. Was this house built by you, bought, or is it rented? How much did it cost or what is the monthly rent? How long have you lived in it? 15. Ask level of education of respondent and spouse. 16. Ask religion of respondent and spouse. 17. Why did you decide to live in Santa Terezinha?

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APPENDIX 6 INFORMANT SPECIFIC INTERVIEW Example of an interview designed and carried out with an informant with specialized knowledge (i.e., an old-timer in the region, midwife and person with strong traditional rural values and proved accuracy in reporting) Please tell me about your life more precisely, the movements from place to place, the places, the years spent in each place, the activities pursued in each place, reasons for the moves. Please tell me about your life here in the 1940s and 1950s before the companies arrived? (a) What communities existed around here and where? (b) What economic activities were pursued then, such as mining, farming and cattle raising? (c) What did people grow in those days? (d) What did people eat? Was it different than today? (e) Did they buy any foods? What? Where? (f) Did they buy commercial goods? What? Where? (g) What did people used to make that they now buy? (h) Tell me about hunting and fishing. (i) How did people sell produce? What about stores? (j) What kind of land ownership did people use? (k) What kinds of land did people fence then? (1) How often did they move their royas (fields)? (m) How did inheritance work in those days? (n) Did the children mostly stay or move away from here? (o) Did people used to drink (alcohol) like they do now? (p) Were there cabarets then? (q) What kind of get-togethers did people used to have? (Parties, saint celebrations, cooperative work parties, trading labor, and other cooperative endeavors) (r) Do you know what the Bandeira Verde is? Can you tell me more about it? Why do you think the people from the Northeast came out here instead of going to cities? 380

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381 4. How is farming here different than it was in the Northeast? 5. What kinds of changes or adjustments did people from the Northeast have to make to get used to farming and living here? 6. At that time, who were the rich people? 7. Was there a difference between the people who lived in the small settlements and the people who lived on their ropas ? 8. What kinds of people were here then? 9. Who were the inhabitants ( moradores ) and who were the outsiders? 10. When did the peons start to arrive? 11. What did the people here think of these peons arriving? 12. Do you remember Lucio de Luz? 13. Who represented the law around here in those days? 14. Do you think people used to be more law-abiding and moral in those days? 15. When was Luciara settled? 16. When was Sao Felix settled? 17. Do you know when the Indian Park was established? 18. Do you know when the Forest Park was established? 19. Do you know when this area stopped being Para and became Mato Grosso? 20. What kinds of school and education did people have then? 21. Did people travel much? Where to? How? 22. Was there much cattle raising? Please tell me about it. 23. What religions existed here then? 24. What things did people arriving here learn from the Indians?

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382 25. Life in Santa Terezinha today: (a) What communities are the most linked to Santa Terezinha in terms of visiting, shopping and selling? (b) People from how many communities use the cemetary here in town? (c) People from which places shop in Santa Terezinha? (d) Could you tell me more about religions that came to exist here? What about types of espiritism? (e) How did you come to be a midwife? (f) Can you tell me about your time as a merchant, what kind of enterprises did you have? (g) Can you tell me about your time spent in southern Brazil, what were you doing and where? (h) What happens to old people in Santa Terezinha? Who cares for them? Do they receive any special benefits? Are there many old people who cannot work anymore? (i) Do the old people usually live alone or with their families? (j) What does the family usually consider to be their obligations to old people? (k) Here, at what age do people consider someone an adult? At what age do people here consider someone an old person? (1) Do you think old people used to have more respect in the old days? (m) What do you think about the kind of drinking that goes on today in Santa Terezinha? End Notes Bandeira Verde was a prophecy which advised the small Northeastern farmers to move west to places such as Mato Grosso. The Bandeira Verde refers to the "green frontier" of the Amazon region. For more information, Lisansky, 1980.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Amin, Samir 1974 Modern Migrations in Western Africa. London: Oxford University Press. Arensberg, Conrad and Solon T. Kimball 1968 Family and Community in Ireland. Second ed. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Baldus, Herbert 1960a The Tapirape, A Tupi Tribe of Central Brazil. New Haven: Human Relations Area File Translated Source. (Originally published, 1944) 1960b The Tribes of the Araguaia Basin and the Indian Service. New Haven: Human Relations Area File Source. (Originally published, 1948) Beckerman, Stephen 1979 The Abundance of Protein in Amazonia: A Reply to Gross. American Anthropologist 81:533-560. Bennett, John 1976 The Ecological Transition: Cultural Ecology and Human Adaptation. New York: Pergamon. Brandes, Stanley H. 1975 Migration, Kinship, and Community. New York: Academic Press. Bunker, Stephen G. 1979 Power Structures and Exchange Between Government Agencies in the Expansion of the Agricultural Sector. Studies in Comparative International Development. 14:464-482. 1980 Colonization, Rural Development and the State: Settlement along the Transamazon Highway. Latin American Symposia Series, Gainesville: Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida (May, 1980) Cardoso, Fernando H. and Enzo Faletto 1979 Dependency and Development in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press. 383

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384 Cardoso, Fernando H. and Geraldo Muller 1978 Amazonia: Expansao do Capitalismo Sao Paulo Edotira Brasiliense. Casaldaliga, Pedro 1971 Uma Igresa da Amazonia em Conflito com o Latifundio e a Marginalizapao Social. In Victims of the Miracle. Shelton H. DavTi", ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1978 Questao Agraria, Uma Questao Politica. In A Amazonia Brasileiro Em Foco. Rio de Janeiro Comissao Nacional de Defesa e Pelo Desenvolvimento da Amazonia. Chilcote, Ronald H. 1974 Dependency: A Critical Synthesis of the Literature. Latin American Perspectives 1 (1) : 4-29. CIDA 1966 Reports on Land Tenure Conditions and Socioeconomic Development in (1) Argentina, (2) Brazil, (3) Chile, (4) Colombia, (5) Ecuador, (6) Guatemala, and (7) Peru. Washington, DC: Pan American Union, Organization of American States. CNDDA 1978 A Amazonia Brasileira em Foco. Rio de Janeiro Comissao Nacional de Defesa e Pelo Desenvolvimento da Amazonia. Connell, John, Biplap Dasgupta, Roy Laishley, and Michael Lipton 1976 The Evidence from Village Studies. Bombay: Delhi-Oxford University Press. Cotler, Julio 1976 The Mechanics of Internal Domination and Social Change in Peru. In Peruvian Nationalism: A Corporatist Revolution. David Chaplin, ed. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Press. Crist, Raymond E. and Charles M. Nissly 1973 East from the Andes. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. Davis, Shelton H. 1977 Victims of the Miracle. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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385 Ehrenreich, Paul 1965 Contributions to the Ethnology of Brazil. New Haven: Human Relations Area File Source. (Originally published, 1891) Feder, Ernest 1971 The Rape of the Peasantry: Latin America's Landholding System. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co. Inc. Forman, Shepard 1975 The Brazilian Peasantry. New York: Columbia University Press. Forman, Shepard and Joyce F. Riegelhaupt 1970 Market Place and Marketing System: Toward a Theory of Peasant Economic Integration. Comparative Studies in Society and History 12: 188-212. Foster, George 1965 Peasant Society and the Image of Limited Good. American Anthropologist 67:293-315. Foweraker, Joseph 1980 The Struggle for Land. In press. Frank, Andre Gunder 1969 Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America: Historical Studies of Chile and Brazil. New York: Monthly Review Press. Friedl, Ernestine 1962 Vasilika, A Village in Modern Greece. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. FUNAI 19 76 Relatorio de Lavantamento Socio-Economico Realizado Nos Postos Indigenas da Ilha do Bananal. Brasilia: Fundapao Nacional do Indio. (mimeographed) 1978 Transcript of Interviews Conducted at FUNAI. (author's private file). Gamst, Frederick C. 1974 Peasants in Complex Society, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

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386 Gross, Daniel and Barbara A. Underwood 1971 Technological Change and Caloric Costs: Sisal Agriculture in Northeastern Brazil. American Anthropologist 73:725-737. Harris, Marvin 1971 Town and Country in Brazil. Norton New York: W.W. Hutchinson, Harry W. 1957 Village and Plantation Life in Northeastern Brazil. Seattle: University of Washington Press lanni, Octavio 1978 A Luta Pela Terra, IBDF/MEC 1978 IBGE 1977 Petropolis: Vozes. Atlas da Fauna Brasileira. Sao Paulo: Instituto Brasileiro de Desenvolvimento Florestal, and Ministerio de Educa^ao e Cultura. Geografia do Brazil — Regiao Centro-Oeste Rio de Janeiro: Institute Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica, INCRA 1978 Transcript of Interviews Conducted at INCRA, Brasilia headquarters. (author's private file) Johnson, Allen W. 1971 Sharecroppers of the Sertao: Economics and Dependence on a Brazilian Plantation. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Kleinpenning J.M.G. 1977 An Evaluation of the Brazilian Policy for the Integration of the Amazon Region. Journal of Economic and Social Geography 67 (5):345360 (Netherlands) Krause, Fritz 1966 In the Wilderness of Brazil: Report and Results of the Leipzig Araguaia Expedition of 1908. New Haven: Human Relations Area File Source. (Originally published, 1911) Leclau, Ernesto 1979 Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory, don: Verso Editions. Lon-

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387 Lipkind, William 1963 The Caraja. In Handbook of South American Indians. Julian Steward, ed. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute. Lisansky, Judith 1980 Bandeira Verde: A Revitalization Movement Among Amazonia Peasants. Paper presented to the annual meetings of the Florida Academy of Sciences. Tampa: University of South Florida, Lomnitz, Larissa 1976 Migration and Network in Latin America. In Current Perspectives in Latin American Urban Research. Alejandro Portes and Harley L. Browning, eds Austin: Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Long Norman 1977 An Introduction to the Sociology of Rural Development. London: Tavistock Publications. Lopreato, Joseph 1967 Peasants No More: Social Class and Social Change in an Underdeveloped Society. San Francisco: Chandler Publishing Company. Mahar, Dennis J. 1979 Frontier Development Policy in Brazil: A Study of the Amazon. New York: Praeger. Mangin, William, ed. 1970 Peasants in Cities: Readings in the Anthropology of Urbanization. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. Margolis, Maxine 1973 The Moving Frontier: Social and Economic Change in a Southern Brazilian Community. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. 1977 Historical Perspectives on Frontier Agriculture as an Adaptive Strategy. American Ethnologist 4 (1) :42-67. Martins Jose de Souza 1975 Capitalismo e Tradicionalismo : Estudos Sobre As Contradigoes da Sociedade Agraria No Brasil. Sao Paulo: Livraria Pioneira Editora.

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388 Meggers, Betty 1971 Amazonia: Man and Culture in a Counterfeit Paradise. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton. Moraes, Clodomir 1970 Peasant Leagues in Brazil. In Agrarian Problems and Peasant Movements in Latin America. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, ed Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday. Moran, Emilio 1974 The Adaptive System of the Amazonian Caboclo. In Man in the Amazon. Charles Wagley, ed. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. 1975 Pioneer Farmers of the Transamazon Highway: Adaptation and Agricultural Production in the Lowland Tropics. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Florida. Nisbet, R.A. 1969 Social Change and History: Aspects of the Western Theory of Development. London: Oxford University Press. Ortiz, Sutti R. de 1973 Uncertainties in Peasant Farming: A Colombian Case. New York: Humanities Press, Inc. Panagides, Stahis S., and Vande Lage Magalhaes 1974 Amazon Economic Policy and Prospects. In Man in the Amazon. Charles Wagley, ed. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. Picchi, Debra S. 1979 The Fate of Small Farmers in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Mimeographed ms. Pitt-Rivers, J. A. 1969 The People of the Sierra. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Poats, Susan Virginia 1975 Kilometer 42: A Transamazon Highway Community. Master's thesis. University of Florida. Pompermeier, M. 1979 The State and the Frontier in Brazil. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University.

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389 Prado, Caio Jr. 1971 The Colonial Background of Modern Brazil. Berkeley: University of California Press. Queiroz, Maria Isaura Pereira de 1977 O Messianismo No Brasil e No Mundo. Sao Paulo: Editora Alfa-Omega. Quijano, Anibal 1970 Redef inizacion de la Dependencia y Marginalizacion en America Latina. Santiago: Centre de Estudios Socio-Economicos Universidad de Chile. Redfield, Robert 1941 The Folk Culture of Yucatan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1963 The Little Community and Peasant Society and Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press Reis, Arthur Cesar Ferreira 1974 Economic History of the Brazilian Amazon. In Man in the Amazon. Charles Wagley, ed. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. Roberts, Bryan R. 1976 The Provincial Urban System and the Process of Dependency. In Current Perspectives in Latin American Urban Research. Alejandro Portes and Harley L. Browning, eds. Austin: Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin. Santos, Theotonio dos 1968 El Nuevo Caracter de la Dependencia. Santiago: Cuadernos de Estudios Socio-Economicos (10) Centre de Estudios Socio-Economicos (CESO) Universidad de Chile. Sawyer, Donald R. 1977 Peasants and Capitalism on the Amazon Frontier. Paper presented to the meetings of the Latin American Studies Association, Houston, Texas. Schmink, Marianne 1977 Frontier Expansion and Land Conflicts in the Brazilian Amazon: Contradictions in Policy and Process. Paper presented to the meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Houston, Texas.

PAGE 404

390 1980 Sao Felix do Xingu: A sociodemographic and Economic Profile. Mimeographed ms Gainesville: University of Florida. Shapiro, Judith 1967 Notes from Santa Terezinha. Mimeographed ms. Smelser, N.J. 1971 Mechanism of Change and Adjustment to Change. In Economic Development and Social Change. G. Dalton, ed. New York: The Natural History Press Stack, Carol B. 1974 All Our Kin. New York: Harper and Row. Stavenhagen, Rodolfo 1974 The Future of Latin America: Between Underdevelopment and Revolution. Latin American Perspectives 1 (1):124-148. Steinbeck, John 1937 Of Mice and Men. New York: The Modern Library Steward, Julian H. 1955 Theory of Culture Change. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Strickon, Arnold 1965 The Euro-American Ranching Complex. In Man, Culture and Animals : The Role of Animals in Human Ecological Adjustments. Anthony Leeds and Andrew P. Vayda, eds. Washington, DC: Publication No. 78 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. SUDAM 19 7 8 Transcript of Interviews Conducted at SUDAM. (author's private file). Tavener, Christopher 1973 The Karaja and the Brazilian Frontier. In Peoples and Cultures of Native South America Daniel Gross, ed. Garden City: Natural History Press. Thompson, Stephen I. 1973 Pioneer Colonization: A Cross-Cultural View. An Addison-Wesley Module in Anthropology, No. 33.

PAGE 405

391 Turner, Frederick Jackson 1961 Frontier and Section: Selected Essays of Frederick Jackson Turner. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. (Originally published, 1891) Van Es J.C., Eugene Wilkening and Jo'ao Bosco Guedes Pinto 1968 Rural Migrants in Central Brazil. Research Paper No. 29. Madison, Wisconsin: Land Tenure Center. Velho, Otavio Guilherrae 1972 Frentes de Expansao e Estrutura Agraria: Estudo de Processo de Penetrapao Numa Area da Transamazonica. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editores Visao 1978 Minimo vs. Nutripao. Visao. Julho-Agosto : 69-72. Vollweiler, J. Georg 1979a Colonia Fritz: Migration and Social Mobility in a Brazilian Frontier Community. The Florida Journal of Anthropology 4 (2):18-43. 1979b Colonia Fritz: Danube-Swabian Pioneer Farmers in a Southern Brazilian Frontier Community. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Florida. Wagley, Charles 1968 The Latin American Tradition: Essays on the Unity and the Diversity of Latin American Culture, Nev/ York: Columbia University Press. 1971 Introduction to Brazil. Revised ed. New York Columbia University Press. 1976 Amazon Town: A Study of Man in the Tropics. New York: Oxford University Press. 1977 Welcome of Tears: The Tapirape Indians of Cen tral Brazil. New York: Oxford University Press Wagley, Charles, ed. 1974 Man in the Amazon. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.

PAGE 406

392 Waibel, Leo H. 1955 As Zonas Pioneiras do Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Geografia 17 (4):391-392. Willems, Emilio 1975 Latin American Culture: An Anthropological Synthesis. New York: Harper and Row. Wolf, Eric 1966 Peasants. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Wood, Charles H. 1980 Structural Change and Household Strategies: An Integrated Approach to Rural Migration in Latin America. Paper presented to the annual meetings of the Population Association of America, Denver, Colorado. Wood, Charles H. and Marianne Schmink 1978 Blaming the Victim: Small Farmer Production in an Amazon Colonization Project. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC.

PAGE 407

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Judith Lisansky was born in 1950, in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1967, she moved to Puerto Rico and graduated from Commonwealth High School in Hato Rey. From 1968 until 1972, she attended the University of Michigan where she majored in political science and minored in history. In 1974, Ms. Lisansky moved to Gainesville, Florida, to begin graduate work in anthropology at the University of Florida. The master's degree was awarded in March, 1976, and that summer Ms. Lisansky made her first field trip to to the Amazon region. During 1977, she was an adjunct professor for the School for International Training in Brattle boro, Vermont and Director of the Brazil Program. From March, 1978, until March, 1979, Ms. Lisansky conducted dissertation research in Central Brazil. She completed the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in August, 1980. 393

PAGE 408

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Charles Wagley, Chaim Graduate Research Professor of Anthropology I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the deg;t?€'e^f Doctor of Pl^losophy. Solon T. Kimball Graduate Research Professor of Anthropology I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Maxine L. Margolis ^ Associate Professor of Anthropology I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Associate Professor of Anthropology

PAGE 409

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree-^oj Doctor of Philosophy. Charles H. Wood Assistant Professor This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. August, 1980


287
important event seamstresses usually have to put in some
very long days. More importantly, the seamstress can work
in her home, interrupting her work when she needs to for
domestic and other concerns. It was noted that one seam
stress who supported herself and six young sons, had trained
her older boys to do many of the domestic chores usually as
signed only to females. Thus, on busy days this woman
could usually depend on her sons to run the home and provide
meals and even supervision for the younger children. An
other reason why seamstresses tend to obfuscate their eco
nomic situations may be because they do not want to be con
sidered as business enterprises by officials who would then
require permits and various taxes.
Seamstresses also diversify their economic strategies,
engaging in other economic activities and sometimes depend
ing on children's labor as well as their own. The seam
stress best known to the researcher was considering opening
a restaurant in the town. In 1979, she had managed, through
her political connections, to get a sinecure, a state paid
job as the school cleaning woman. This job pays $25 a month
but requires only about an hour's work a day and she planned
to have it done by her sons.
The last relatively reliable occupation for women in
the frontier town is washing laundry for other households
and/or boarding houses. Ten percent of the sampled women
stated that they regularly earned money by laundry work;


149
Another set of folk beliefs which influences agricul
tural activities has to do with the days of the week. Some
farmers believe that Fridays and Saturdays are unlucky for
farming activities. Fridays are considered bad for any
thing having to do with manioc, planting, harvesting or
processing. Saturdays are considered particularly bad for
planting and seeds planted on Saturdays are said to become
weak plants. It is more difficult to suggest an empirical
basis for these beliefs. Although far fewer farmers men
tioned them in interviews it was observed that very few
farmers engaged in agricultural work over weekends.
Fertilizers are not used and are not available locally.
Many farmers had heard of and expressed interest in fertil
izers but lack of technical information, access and financ
ing block the adoption of fertilizers. As will become
clear, the present peasant methods of farming require al
most no capital investment. Most farmers pointed out dur
ing interviews that innovations and expansion of production
would require credit sources. To date there are no credit
facilities in Santa Terezinha. The town does have an agri
cultural cooperative, founded by the Catholic Mission, but
it is a relatively weak organization with precarious fund
ing and cannot provide the needed credit. The only type
of credit which the cooperative does provide is delayed
payments for necessary agricultural implements for members;
however, most other stores in town will give similar


291
relatively regular. A number of women bake a rather tough
kind of bread in clay ovens every morning. Some sell bread
regularly to the boarding houses and Cabaret establishments,
to customers on the street, and one woman sends her
breads directly to the agricultural cooperative to be sold
over the counter. Several women compete for the right to
sell snacks to the elementary school children during recess.
Many women also produce various types of fried cakes. Fried
pastries and breads are often peddled on the street, usu
ally by children, and are sometimes made on contract for in
dividuals for special events.
Another way that women make money is by augmenting
backyard production. For the last several years, Santa
Terezinha women have been experimenting with and improving
their techniques of platform gardening for vegetables such
as lettuce, cucumbers, green onions, tomatoes, sweet pep
pers, herbs, and eggplants. The women construct raised
boxes which they fill with a mixture of soil, cattle dung
and sometimes rice hulls. Pests, such as caterpillars, are
picked off by hand. Women also try to increase their chick
en flocks, although they are rarely successful because of
inadequate feed, diseases and theft. Pigs are raised in
small numbers on the household's garbage but if several
pigs are being raised the household must locate additional
food sources for the animals. Women are also primarily re
sponsible for the care and harvesting of other backyard


311
Another factor which influences the decision of to
whom one can appeal for aid and help is the type of help re
quired. Help which can most often be obtained from rel
atives includes: relatively free room and board, child
care, help with domestic and agricultural chores, help in
the preparations for special events such as a marriage,
birth or funeral, advice and information about a myriad
of subjects, reciprocal exchanges of goods and services
such as "trading days" of labor already described, loans
of equipment such as bicycles and work animals, and access
to farm land and/or farinha making or rice harvesting. For
most of the above, relatives and sometimes close friends
and/or compadres are contacted. Another type of help which
may occur are loans of cash, but given the general situa
tion of cash shortage in most frontier households, this
kind of aid appears to be relatively rare.
Most of the aforementioned types of aid move along rel
atively symmetrical or horizontal lines. That is, the ex
changes and favors are participated in by persons/families
who are of more or less equal socio-economic status. This
is not to say that some persons/households do not have more
of some item than others. Some families which received
INCRA land allowed certain relatives and friends to farm
the land for free, without any stipulated payment whatso
ever. Usually, however, the disadvantaged party acknowl
edges his or her debt to the "benefactor" and tries to even


122
The new village, however, was located at the mouth of the
Tapirap River and far from the forests where the Indians
made their gardens. In 1952, the first group of the Little
Sisters of Jesus arrived from France to provide a mission
to the Tapirap. This remarkable order of working nuns do
not proselytise, but rather are dedicated to helping the
Indians retain as much of their traditional culture and
life style as possible. The presence of the sisters in the
village over the last 26 years has been of the utmost impor
tance to the Tapirap as they entered the phase of perma
nent and sustained contact with national society. The sis
ters live in the Indian village and provide medical ser
vices and information to the Tapirap about the region and
the outside world.
Shortly after the Little Sisters of Jesus arrived to
live with the Tapirap, a French worker priest named Padre
Francisco Jentel also arrived in the region to work with
both Indians and Brazilians. Jentel arrived in 1954 and
for a time maintained a part-time residence in the Tapirap
village. Later he moved to Santa Terezinha. It was the dy
namism of Padre Jentel which shaped the Catholic Mission of
Santa Terezinha and it was his ideological commitment to
the problems of the Indians and squatters in the region
which shaped his actions and the Mission's continued phi
losophy of advocacy for the poor.


385
Ehrenreich, Paul
1965 Contributions to the Ethnology of Brazil. New
Haven: Human Relations Area File Source.
(Originally published, 1891).
Feder, Ernest
1971 The Rape of the Peasantry: Latin America's
Landholding System. Garden City, New York:
Doubleday and Co. Inc.
Forman, Shepard
1975 The Brazilian Peasantry. New York: Columbia
University Press.
Forman, Shepard and Joyce F. Riegelhaupt
1970 Market Place and Marketing System: Toward a
Theory of Peasant Economic Integration. Com
parative Studies in Society and History 12:
188-212.
Foster, George
1965 Peasant Society and the Image of Limited Good.
American Anthropologist 67:293-315.
Foweraker, Joseph
1980 The Struggle for Land. In press.
Frank, Andre Gunder
1969 Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin Amer
ica: Historical Studies of Chile and Brazil.
New York: Monthly Review Press.
Friedl, Ernestine
1962 Vasilika, A Village in Modern Greece. New
York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
FUNAI
1976 Relatrio de Lavantamento Socio-Econmico
Realizado Nos Postos Indigenas da Ilha do
Bananal. Brasilia: Fundapo Nacional do
indio. (mimeographed).
1978 Transcript of Interviews Conducted at FUNAI.
(author's private file).
Gamst, Frederick C.
1974 Peasants in Complex Society. New York: Holt,
Rinehart and Winston.


60
of thatch. The main street on this side of town is full
of stores and bars and little wooden kiosks that sell
cachaba (i.e., raw cane alcohol) or coffee. Although Rua
da Palha is also a residential street and its back neigh
borhoods are completely residential except for the Cabaret,
this part of town has more of the raw frontier flavor than
the quieter Rua do Campo side. Trucks and vehicles go more
frequently down the main street which leads to Codeara
Ranch road which connects to roads of other ranch-companies
in the region. Ranch personnel come in for shipments or
shopping, and truck-loads of workers are taken from this
part of town out to various ranches, or unloaded in town
for the weekend. On weekends and paydays this part of town
is full of movimento and it is not uncommon to see drunk
men staggering about the streets. Three times during the
day and once at night, school children hike to the top of
Rua da Palha to attend classes at the Santa Terezinha ele
mentary school.
The Rua da Palha contains 161 structures of which 120
are residences. Twenty-four of the 120 residences also
contain businesses. The area has a total of 43 commercial
establishments, more than any other part of town. The Cab
aret accounts for 12 of these establishments. Again, the
back streets, aside from the Cabaret, are quieter and sim
ilar to what has already been described for the back streets


153
than a week. The goal of most farmers who plant rice on
about five linhas is to harvest between 40 to 60 sacks
(2,400-3,600 kg). The household reserves ten sacks and
sells the rest.
Thus, the ideal goal is often to produce a sufficient
amount of rice for yearly home consumption and a surplus to
sell. Other factors, however, enter in and alter these pro
duction goals. Problems with the quality of the land se
lected for cultivation and the already mentioned problems
with weather changes, late arrival of rains, excessive
flooding and rains during the harvest time, have signif
icantly reduced farmers' yields. Examples of disappoint
ing yields in 1977 include one family who planted one linha
with a goal of 15 sacks but a harvest of only three sacks,
and another family who cultivated ten linhas hoping to get
at least 60 sacks but who harvested only 38 sacks. Further
problems in obtaining harvest labor and in transportation
of the rice to town also contribute to loss in rice pro
duction. Fluctuations in local rice prices, also affect
farmers' decisions about how much to plant. The low price
of $2.50 a sack during the 1977 harvest discouraged many
farmers from planting enough to have a surplus for sale.
The following year, however, there was an acute local rice
shortage because farmers had planted primarily for home con
sumption and had lost a great deal because of the weather.


388
Meggers, Betty
1971
Amazonia: Man and Culture in a Counterfeit
Paradise. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.
Moraes, Clodomir
1970
Peasant Leagues in Brazil. In Agrarian Prob
lems and Peasant Movements in Latin America.
Rodolfo Stavenhagen, ed. Garden City, New
Jersey: Doubleday.
Moran, Emilio
1974
The Adaptive System of the Amazonian Caboclo.
In Man in the Amazon. Charles Wagley, ed.
Gainesville: University of Florida Press.
1975
Pioneer Farmers of the Transamazon Highway:
Adaptation and Agricultural Production in the
Lowland Tropics. Ph.D. dissertation, Univer
sity of Florida.
Nisbet, R.A.
1969
Social Change and History: Aspects of the
Western Theory of Development. London: Ox
ford University Press.
Ortiz, Sutti R. de
1973
Uncertainties in Peasant Farming: A Colombian
Case. New York: Humanities Press, Inc.
Panagides, Stahis S., and Vande Lage Magalhaes
1974
Amazon Economic Policy and Prospects. In Man
in the Amazon. Charles Wagley, ed. Gaines
ville: University of Florida Press.
Picchi, Debra S.
1979
The Fate of Small Farmers in Mato Grosso,
Brazil. Mimeographed ms.
Pitt-Rivers,
1969
J. A.
The People of the Sierra. Chicago: The Uni
versity of Chicago Press.
Poats, Susan Virginia
1975
Kilometer 42: A Transamazon Highway Community
Master's thesis, University of Florida.
Pompermeier,
1979
M.
The State and the Frontier in Brazil. Ph.D.
dissertation, Stanford University.


331
described for Brazilian rural areas, the dynamics and ne
cessities of frontier life have shaped the evolution of an
altered set of survival motivated relationships.
This section has tried to demonstrate the necessity
of linking aspects of social organization, network forma
tion and mutual aid patterns with both cultural prefer
ences and values and larger structural constraints which
shape peoples' lives. To discuss small farmers' cognitive
orientation of limited good (Foster, 1965) or their "pov
erty mentality" (Crist & Nissly, 1973) or their essential
inability to cooperate, is to misrepresent both the actual
mentality of the small farmers and seriously distort the
constraints of past and current events and forces in the
Latin American countryside. The position taken here is
that the flexible horizontal relationships observed in
the frontier are a logical and adaptive response to the
conditions of frontier existence which are, in turn, deter
mined by larger structural forces outside the consciousness/
awareness of the frontier residents and migrants.
Institutions and Organizations
The Santa Terezinha Catholic Mission is one of the
most powerful and certainly the major institution in the
frontier which operates as advocates and tries to provide
aid and services to the rural poor. It was the Mission


315
opinions of others, and the avoidance of shame can be viewed
as important components of frontier survival strategies.
When a person/household is in a somewhat better-than-
average situation or its fortunes are rising, the nature and
frequency of its exchanges often begin to change in the di
rection of a more asymmetrical or vertical relationship,
that is, one between nonequals. Because many of these more
vertical relationships in the frontier are often with per
sons/households only marginally better off, and because the
nature of these vertical links are often rather rudimentary,
attenuated and unstable over time, they cannot be classified
as full fledged patron-client relationships of the type de
scribed for some areas of the Andes or the Brazilian North
east. These unequal relationships in the frontier town are
usually between persons/households with similar backgrounds
and values where there is only a small, though often crit
ical difference, in most cases, between the differential ac
cess to wealth, power, influence, or other strategic goods
and services.
The most powerful persons in the frontierthose con
nected to the companies--try and usually succeed in avoid
ing on-going relationships with regional inhabitants. Com
pany management tend to view their relationship to local
people as a strict employer-employee relationship within
the framework of a rational hierarchical business organiza
tion. They view labor in capitalistic terms as a commodity


53
The old Catholic Mission buildings on the sand hill by the
river are all but abandoned since the Mission moved down to
town and built a new church on Ra do Campo. Nowadays the
empty buildings on the sand hill serve as shelter for In
dians spending a night in town or as temporary lodging for
recently arrived destitute families who have fled their
homes because of flooding or eviction.
The center of town is Ra do Comercio. Near the prapa
one finds the most successful stores and the homes of many
of the local elite, the most successful merchants and board
ing house owners, the delegado (sheriff), and the state tax
collector. It is primarily a business street along with
Rua da Palha. This center of town is not clearly set off
and actually spills into the two adjoining streets, but if
an imaginary line were drawn around it, we would find 52
structures in this area. Thirty-eight of the 52 buildings
are homes, but 24 of the 38 homes are also business enter
prises.
Although many businesses are located elsewhere in town,
the Rua do Comercio remains the center and has certain dis
tinctive features which differ from the rest of town and,
which bring all inhabitants down to it at one time or an
other. One important service not duplicated elsewhere is
the Mission-run pharmacy and health clinic. Since the State
Health Post on Rua do Campo is closed except for infrequent
two hour visits from Air Force medical teams, the Mission


SANTA TEREZINHA: LIFE IN A
BRAZILIAN FRONTIER TOWN
BY
JUDITH MATILDA LISANSKY
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1980

This dissertation is dedicated with love
to the two women who made it possible.
To my mother, whose love, friendship and
wisdom supported me in bright and dark hours and
whose life is an example of a goal to work toward,
Edith Silverglied Lisansky Gomberg
And to my Bahian friend who taught me to
love Brazil and who inspired me with courage and
faith to try to become a better human being,
Marisbela Vaitsman

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
My interest in Brazil and the Amazon region began in
1974 when I entered graduate school in anthropology at the
University of Florida. Courses with Dr. Charles Wagley
and long discussions with fellow students, particularly
Anthony Stocks, Mercio Gomes, Darrel and Linda Miller,
Georg Vollweiler, Susan Poats, Arlene Kelly, Richard LaPrade
and others sparked my interest in conducting field research
in South America. A fellowship from the Tropical South
America Program at the University of Florida funded my first
research trip to the Araguaia River Valley in the summer of
1976. The following year I became director of the Semester
in Brazil Program for The Experiment in International Living
which gave me another chance to live for six months in Brazil.
I would like to thank a number of Bahianos who encouraged my
attempt to continue research in Brazil, particularly Julio,
Marisbela and Pessia Bina Vaitsman, Thales de Azevedo, Pedro
Agostinho da Silva and Cid Texeira. In 1978 a dissertation
research grant from Fulbright-Hays enabled me to return for
a third time to Brazil to conduct the extended field work
upon which this dissertation is based.
Throughout my career Dr. Charles Wagley has been a con
stant source of support and encouragement. It has been both
iii

an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to work
with him. I would also like to thank the rest of my doc
toral committee, Dr. Solon T. Kimball, Dr. Maxine Margolis,
Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith and Dr. Charles Wood, for their
help and stimulating comments. Other staff who provided en
couragement during my graduate career are Dr. Marianne
Schmink, Dr. Elizabeth Eddy, Dr. Paul Doughty, Dr. Theron
Nunez, Dr. Alexander Moore, Dr. Alfred Hower and Dr. Joseph
Foweraker. I would like to extend special thanks to Dr.
Russell Bernard, Chairman of the Department of Anthropology,
and to Mrs. Lydia Deakin and Mrs. Vivian Nolan for their
help and their special talents for coping with the univer
sity bureaucracy.
I would like to extend warm thanks to my patient and
understanding friends in Gainesville and Ann Arbor for many
years of comradeship and intellectual exchange. Apart from
those previously mentioned, I want to thank Kenneth and
Elaine Konyha, Debra Picchi, Ulli Pfeil, Jaquie Resnick,
Lawrence Carpenter, Catherine Hagen, Anabela Viana, William
Goodwin, Samuel and Elisa Sa, Sandra Russo, Michael Gruen-
waldt, Margrit Eisenmann, Sandra Powers, Elizabeth Higgs,
Larry Hunter, and Nassero and Betinha Nasser.
Research in Brazil was facilitated by many people and
institutions. The Ncleo de Altos Estudos Amaznicos of
the Universidade Federal do Par provided an institutional
base. I would like to thank Dr. Jos Marcelino Monteiro da
IV

Costa, Director of the Ncleo, Carlos Cardoso da Cunha
Coimbra, Coordinator of Research, and staff members Dr.
Stephen Bunker and Eugene Parker. The Museu Goeldi, under
the direction of Dr. Miguel Scaff, provided research facil
ities. The Viana family of Belem also deserves special
thanks for their help and hospitality to North American re
searchers which earned their house the joking title of "the
second American consulate in Belem." Lastly, I would like
to honor the memory of Dr. Eduardo Galvo of the Museu
Goeldi, one of the pioneers of Amazonian research.
Dr. George Zarur, of the Centro Nacional de Referenda
Cultural in Brasilia, provided a number of contacts and use
ful suggestions. I would also like to thank Dr. Raimundo
Mussi and his staff at the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvi-
mento Cientfico e Tecnologa, Dr. Delvair Melatti and her
staff at the Fundapao Nacional do indio, and Mr. Harold Mid-
kiff and his staff at the Fulbright Comission in Brasilia.
Dr. Mary Karasche, Fulbright Professor of History at the
Universidade Federal de Brasilia, also provided much help,
comfort and lodging in 1978.
Other people and institutions in Brazil, too numerous
to name, were helpful. Most gave graciously of their time
and expertise. I want to especially thank the Brazilian Air
Force for providing transportation in the interior, in par
ticular Majors Paulo Roberto Pereira Lima, Ademir Siqueira
v

Viana, Jairo Sherrer and Sergeant Manoel Omar Teixeira
Duarte.
My family also provided critical help and encourage
ment during my graduate studies and tolerated my long ab
sences from the United States. In particular I want to
thank my mother and step-father, Edith and Henry Gomberg,
and my father and step-mother, Milton and Sybil Lisansky.
Lastly, I must thank my friends and informants of
Santa Terezinha and other settlements along the Araguaia
River. Without their cooperation and gracious hospitality
this study would have never been possible. I want to es
pecially thank my good friends Dona Oda and Senhor Ben,
Dona Marcionilha and Senhor Felicissimo, Dona Luisa, Dona
Ana and Senhor Pedro, Senhor Aluisio, Dona Maria and Senhor
Albino, Dona Raimunda, Dona Tapuya, Senhor Procpio, Dona
Maria das Neves, Dona Delmina, Dona Nazar and Senhor Doca,
Dona Rosaria, Txawant and the memory of Dona Maria de
Joaquin. Ron and Darla Key of New Tribes Mission also de
serve special thanks for their wonderful kindness and
neighborliness.
It is probably impossible to thank the people of one's
community properly. The people of Santa Terezinha gave me
much more than the data required for research purposes.
They gave me a new perspective on the extent of human suf
fering and the meaning of human dignity. For this, and
many other things, I will always remember and feel indebted
vi

to them. Because of the oppression and exploitation which
I witnessed, I will never again be the same as I was before
I lived among these people. I hope very much that my life
and work will contribute to improving the situation of the
inhabitants of the Amazon region.
Several people assisted greatly in the preparation of
this manuscript. Dr. Charles Wagley, Dr. Maxine Margolis
and Dr. Georg Vollweiler spent many hours editing and im
proving the manuscript. Sandra Powers gave me important
feedback during the initial writing period which is so often
a lonely time. Nassero Nasser checked the Portuguese and
Elizabeth Higgs prepared the tables. Eric Pedersen drew the
maps and gave warm moral support during the trying final
hours of preparation. Lois Rudloff not only typed the final
manuscript but was calm and patient throughout. Any errors
and faults in this study, however, are entirely my own re
sponsibility.
Vll

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii
LIST OF TABLES X
LIST OF FIGURES xi
ABSTRACT xii
CHAPTER
I THE RESEARCH PROBLEM 1
Background 1
Theoretical Discussion 15
Methodology 4 2
End Notes 45
II THE COMMUNITY AND THE REGION 4 9
The Town 49
The Region 72
End Notes 91
III HISTORY 94
Geography 95
Stage One: Early History 97
Stage Two: The 1950s and 1960s 116
Transition to Stage Three: Recent
History 130
End Notes 131
IV THE SMALL FARMERS OF SANTA TEREZINHA ... 134
Production 139
Marketing 171
Consumption 181
End Notes 198
V WAGE LABOR AND COMMERCE 200
Wage Labor 204
Commerce 230
End Notes 250
viii

Page
CHAPTER
VI SURVIVAL STRATEGIES 252
Migration as a Survival Strategy 254
Diversification and Intensification .... 272
Mutual Aid and Patron-Client Relation
ships 297
Institutions and Organizations 331
Emigration 339
End Notes 348
VII CONCLUSIONS 34 8
APPENDICES
1 LIFE HISTORY INTERVIEW 361
2 GENEALOGICAL INTERVIEW 363
3 SURVIVAL STRATEGIES: OUTLINE OF
QUESTIONS 364
4 SURVEY 2: OUTLINE OF QUESTIONS 371
End Notes
5 SURVEY 1: QUESTIONS 378
6 INFORMANT SPECIFIC INTERVIEW 380
End Notes 382
BIBLIOGRAPHY 383
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 393
IX

LIST OF TABLES
Page
Table
1 Birthplaces by State of Three Generations
in Santa Terezinha 110
2 Date of Migration to Santa Terezinha by
Decade 112
3 Types of Land Ownership and Land Use in
Santa Terezinha 137
4 Prices of Some Essential Commodities in
Santa Terezinha 183
5 Monthly Expenditures of a Typical Farming
Household in Santa Terezinha 192
6 Monthly Wages at the Codeara Ranch
Company 227
7 Decades in which Farm Families Ceased
Farming 260
8 Estimated Monthly Cash Income for House
hold Heads and Spouses, Santa Terezinha
(1978-1979) 285
x

LIST OF FIGURES
Page
Figures
1 Brazil 47
2 The Legal Amazon 48
3 Santa Terezinha 52
4 Cattle Ranches and Farming Settlements of
the Middle Araguaia 74
5 Northern Mato Grosso 124
6 Organizational Chart of the Codeara Ranch
Company, Santa Terezinha, 1978-1979 . 210
xi

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
Council of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree
of Doctor of Philosophy
SANTA TEREZINHA: LIFE IN A BRAZILIAN
FRONTIER TOWN
By
Judith Matilda Lisansky
August, 1980
Chairman: Charles Wagley
Major Department: Anthropology
This study examines the impact of large cattle compa
nies on the river town of Santa Terezinha which is located
along the middle Araguaia River in the State of Mato Grosso.
During the 1960s the Brazilian government began a renewed
effort to encourage occupation and exploitation of the Ama
zon region. Vast areas of land in Mato Grosso were sold to
corporations planning investments in beef cattle production
in accordance with the governmental incentives program.
The establishment of these capitalist enterprises had sig
nificant effects on this formerly semi-isolated frontier
settlement.
Data were collected during 42 weeks of field research
in the Araguaia Valley using primarily participant observa
tion and household surveys. Santa Terezinha was selected
xii

because it is representative of conditions and dynamics ex
tant in the Brazilian Amazon today and because it repre
sents unplanned intra-rural migration of a small farmer pop
ulation.
Initially, the neighboring cattle company tried to
evict the local squatter farmers. A violent confrontation
in 1972 led to the intervention of a federal agency which
arranged a modest land distribution. Despite the land dis
tribution, local farming activities have continued to de
cline. The cattle companies maintain a monopoly over most
of the land and other productive resources in the country
side. Small farm expansion is also impeded by archaic tech
nology, lack of credit, lack of infrastructure and the ab
sence of a market.
The major employment opportunities for local inhab
itants are temporary jobs at cattle companies. Most men
are hired indirectly by labor contractors and receive low
wages and no employee benefits. Once companies establish
improved pastures, they radically reduce their labor force.
The town's recent commercial "boom" is clearly linked
to the presence of the companies in the region. Town com
merce functions to retail imported goods and provide tem
porary accommodations to rural migrants. The town's role
as a regional center derives from the continued importance
of river transportation. A new road currently under con
struction 100 km to the west will undermine Santa Terezinha's
commerce in the future.
Xlll

Most frontier families are impoverished rural migrants
seeking land in the frontier. Constraints on major liveli
hood options compel households to develop varied methods of
obtaining basic subsistence. Survival strategies include
immigration, diversification and intensification of house
hold labor, mutual aid, exchange relationships and emigra
tion. Most frontier survival strategies emphasize short
term and flexible reciprocal arrangements between persons
or households of equal socio-economic status.
The future of Santa Terezinha does not appear promis
ing. Small farming will probably continue to decline and
wage labor opportunities will decrease. The completion of
the new road will change regional and interstate transporta
tion routes and eventually threaten Santa Terezinha commerce.
It is predicted that the establishment of cattle ranches in
northern Mato Grosso will result in a gradual depopulation
of the region. Emigration has already begun. Most frontier
families will emigrate to other frontier zones which are
still in earlier stages of frontier expansion where the en
tire process will be repeated once again.
xiv

CHAPTER I
THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Background
The Brazilian Amazon is one of the world's last major
frontiers. The region encompasses some 5 million square
kilometers, more than the land mass of Western Europe or ap
proximately the same amount of land as one half of the
United States. Although the Legal Amazon comprises almost
60% of the national territory of Brazil, it contains only
about 8% of the nation's population. Painted by writers
through history alternately as either a "green hell" or a
"tropical paradise," the exploitation and settlement of the
Amazon has long been a Brazilian goal. Since the late 1950s
government policies have supported an increasingly rapid ex
pansion into frontier areas. The nature of this expansion
and its impact on the regional inhabitants is the subject
of this dissertation.
Field work was carried out primarily in the small town
of Santa Terezinha, located on the Araguaia River in the
State of Mato Grosso. Events which have occurred there
over the past 60 yearsthe decimation of the Indians, the
immigration of small farmers, and the implementation of cor
porate cattle raising projectsare similar to what has and
1

2
still is occurring in other locations in this vast region.
This town of 3,000 people was selected because it reflects
many aspects of the dynamics of frontier expansion in the
Amazon and because previous anthropological studies pro
vided a diachronic data base for comprehending socio-eco
nomic changes over time.
The framework and direction of recent renewed efforts
to exploit and settle the Amazon have been determined, to
a great extent, by national development policies of the
Brazilian government and its planning and development agen
cies. Interest in exploiting the Amazon has been longstand
ing in Brazil, but little was actually done until the late
1950s. In the 1950s the government decided to move the fed
eral capital from Rio de Janeiro to the new location of Bra
silia in the central plateau of the State of Gois. This
was done as part of the effort to move the population and
economic activities away from the coast and into the vast
and "empty" interior. The construction of the Belem-Brasilia
Highway, completed in 1960, provided the first overland
transportation link between southern and northern Brazil.
In the 1960s, and particularly after the military coup
of 1964, the government responded to pressing social and
economic problems by creating new national development plans
and regional development agencies. The acute problems of
the rural poor in the backlands of the drought-stricken and
densely populated Northeast prompted the creation of the

3
regional development agency, the Superintendencia de Desen-
volvimento do Nordeste (SUDENE). The government issued an
other reformulation of national land laws in 1964, called
the Estatuto da Terra, which was ostensibly aimed at the
elimination of the latifundio-minifundio complex and which
reiterated the rights of squatters on the land. At the same
time, a previous Amazon development agency (SPVEA) was reor
ganized to become the Superintendencia de Desenvolvimento da
Amazonia (SUDAM). SUDAM, with headquarters in Belem, began
to approve corporate development projects for the Amazon, in
cluding the authorization of 66 agribusiness projects between
1966 and 1970 in the municipalities of Luciara and Barro do
Garga in Mato Grosso (Davis, 1977: 144). Santa Terezinha is
located in Luciara.
The 1970 drought in the Northeast marked a turning point
in Brazilian national development policies. The current
President of Brazil (Medici) visited some of the hardest hit
drought areas and, moved by the suffering he saw, vowed to
"take a people without land to a land without people." Thus,
the first National Integration Plan (Plano de Integrapao
Nacional/ PIN) was launched. One of the major goals of this
plan was a renewed effort to develop, exploit and settle the
Amazon region. To accomplish this end, the government com
menced the construction of an extensive road network across
the Amazon, beginning with the Transamazon Highway. A sec
ond aspect of the plan was a large-scale colonization scheme

4
designed to resettle thousands of landless Northeastern
farmers in agricultural communities along the 100 km strips
of land on either side of the federal highway.1 The pre
vious agency for agrarian reform was reorganized to take
charge of these efforts and renamed the Instituto de Colon-
izapao e Reforma Agrria, better known as INCRA (Panagides
& Magalhaes, 1974).
The new roads together with the government sponsored
colonization were designed to (1) provide a safety valve
for emigration from the densely populated Northeast, and
(2) to increase agricultural production by small farmers
for the benefit of the Amazon and the nation as a whole
(Moran, 1975: 145). Despite massive financial investments
and involvement of numerous government agencies coordinated
by INCRA, the colonization program was evaluated within the
next few years as poorly implemented and basically a fail
ure. The implementation of the colonization became snarled
in bureaucratic delays and confusion, credit and marketing
plans back-fired, and far fewer than the anticipated num
bers of colonists were settled (Bunker, 1979; Kleinpenning,
1977; Moran, 1975; Poats, 1975; Schmink, 1977; Wood &
Schmink, 1978) .
At the same time, the Brazilian government continued
to grant "a series of large concessions of land to Brazilian
and foreign corporations or business groups" (Wagley, 1974:
8). Fiscal incentives for corporate investment, initially

5
designed for the Northeast, were extended to apply to the
Amazon as early as 1963. These incentives included a 50%
reduction of corporate income taxes destined for Amazonian
investment, full tax exemption for approved projects up to
1982, exemption from import duties for raw materials and
exemption from export duties for certain commodities, spe
cial credit arrangements and matched funding (Kleinpenning,
1977: 301; Panagides & Magalhaes, 1974: 249). Shelton
Davis (1977: 114) has documented that by the end of 1970,
"the amount of fiscal incentives invested in these two coun
ties [Luciara and Barra do Garpa] alone totaled nearly 300
million Brazilian cruzeiros." In short, while the govern
ment was supporting the colonization program designed to
create successful small farmers, it was also providing the
framework for corporate investment projects in the Amazon.
Charles Wagley's (1977: 9-10) summary of the situation in
1974 was:
In common parlance, the Brazilian government
seems to be playing both ends against the mid
dle; at the same time, it is supporting a gran
diose scheme to encourage individual colonists
and providing favorable conditions for large
capitalistic enterprises which want to enter
the game.
Brazilian development policies for the Amazon until
1974 have been analyzed by Panagides and Magalhaes (1974)
who point out some of the contradictions implicit in the
policies. They explain that government planners assumed

6
that in the long-run it would be spontaneous colonization
which would be the prime mover in Amazon settlement, but
that the government considered "official colonization a
necessary first step to spontaneous colonization." They
note that spontaneous colonization, without governmental
intervention, along the Belm-Braslia highway and in the
State of Mato Grosso did not improve rural conditions but
rather led to the increasing proletarianization of farmers
who went to work for large establishments. The reason for
selecting the model of official colonization (government
supported), according to the analysts, was because spon
taneous colonization was considered unsuitable for the de
velopment goals of the government. Panagides and Magalhaes
(1974: 254-5) describe the government position and quote
Van Es et al. (1968) on the characteristics of the migrants:
It is, however, doubtful that uncontrolled and
unplanned spontaneous settlement will meet the
economic and environmental objectives that are
necessary for sustained and lasting Amazon de
velopment. . Uncontrolled settlement leads
to rapid destruction of soil fertility and to
sharecropping and squatter land tenure arrange
ments seldom conducive to permanent settlement
. . "rural migrants are of lower social and
economic status. . They have had the greatest
problems of adjustment because they lack the re
sources and educational skills, as well as having
cultural differences. . Not having accumulated
property and not having established strong commu
nity ties, they seek other opportunities as soon
as they encounter the adversity of low crop
yields."

7
2
The tendency to blame the victims, that is, attribut
ing the cause of rural poverty, constant migration and the
instability of frontier settlement patterns to the migrants
themselves is clearly demonstrated in the above passage.
The implication is that uneducated and culturally differ
ent (perhaps economically irrational!) migrants were un
suitable and incapable of creating permanent settlements.
The emphasis on official colonization, then, is clearly re
lated to a modernization approach which assumes that the
colonists' own attitudes and customs are one of the main ob
stacles to socio-economic development.
Since the mid-1960s, mining, forestry and cattle com
panies have expanded into the Amazon with increasing rapid
ity. Cattle raising projects have been especially popular
and Panagides and Magalhes (1974: 258) estimate that "80
to 100 million tons of beef will be exported from the Ama
zon region by 1977." They also note that this type of de
velopment strategy, that is, large-scale enterprises, will
result in the development of "economic enclaves" within re
gions, that is, the labor absorption of the large enter
prises will be minimal and "they will tend to remain en
claves with minor linkages with the region."
Since 1974, Brazilian development policy for the Ama
zon has shifted away from official colonization and toward
increasing support for corporate investment projects (Davis
1977; Kleinpenning, 1977). The second National Integration

8
Plan issued in 1974, called the Five Year Poloamazonia Pro
gram, clearly considers the Amazon primarily as a "resource
frontier." The new program selects certain locations des
ignated as "growth poles" and is designed "to stimulate in
vestment in key sectors and areas for development purposes"
(Schmink, 1980: 4). Colonization and settlement programs
have been drastically cut back and the government is cur
rently encouraging private colonization projects to be
funded and organized by big firms. Spontaneous coloniza
tion in frontier areas, as in the past, is largely ignored
by government planners. Thus, the current national develop
ment policies in Brazil are giving increasing support to
large corporate development projects in the Amazon.
Brazilian sociologist Jos de Souza Martins (1975) has
provided labels for the two types of frontier expansion oc
curring in the Amazon which he calls the "demographic fron
tier" and the "economic frontier." The demographic frontier
refers to the movement into and settlement of frontier areas
by petty commodity producersprimarily small farmers and
artisansand commercial middlemen. The majority of these
pioneers have been moving spontaneously to the Amazon since
the 1930s. The economic frontier refers to the entrance of
capitalist enterprises, primarily southern Brazilian and
multinational companies, into the Amazon. The two types of
frontiers inevitably generate tensions and conflicts because
the sine qua non of capitalist enterprises is the appropria
tion and control of the means of production.

9
Most observers and analysts of frontier expansion in
the Amazon have noted the intense conflicts over land oc
curring there. The formerly popular pioneer frontier theo
ries of Frederick Jackson Turner (1891/1961), Leo H. Waibel
(1955) and related theorists which tended to view frontier
expansion as the movement of entrepreneurial pioneers into
"empty" zones which they then transform has been criticized
as deceptively simple and inappropriate on both a cross-
cultural basis (Thompson, 1973) and inapplicable to Latin
America generally and Brazil specifically (Martins, 1975).
The initial question of this dissertation research was
whether or not the small farmer migrants who have and con
tinue to migrate to such frontier areas, can survive and com
pete with the structures and changes generated by the cor
porate "development" projects currently being established
there. The investigation of Santa Terezinha represents a
case study, an examination of local conditions and the ef
fects of rapidly expanding demographic and economic fron
tiers upon a selected community located within the Amazon
Valley. This small, unplanned "urbanization" is surrounded
4
by approximately 170 small farms, large corporate cattle
ranches, an Indian reservation and a National Forest Park.
Although one might assume that the traditional anthropolog
ical investigation of one relatively small community does
not meet strict requirements for representativeness, the
data collected and correlated to other micro- and macro-level

10
studies indicate that Santa Terezinha does adequately re
flect many trends, conditions and conflicts extant in the
Amazon today.
The historical panorama of human exploitation and/or
settlement of the Amazon is clearly quite complex and varied.
It is correct, however, to characterize the Amazonian econ
omy prior to the 1950s within the framework of the "boom-
and-bust" cycles of the Brazilian economy in which one dom
inant natural resource or product, such as rubber, coupled
with a strong but temporary demand on the world market,
stimulated intensification of extractive activities within
a region with concomitant immigration. When the world de
mand for the "boom" product falls and/or the Brazilian mon
opoly over the product is broken, the activities slow down
or cease, people leave the area, and one has what has been
called a "hollow frontier" (Cardoso & Muller, 1978; Margolis,
1973/1977; Reis, 1974; Wagley, 1971).
Since the 1950s the socio-economic policies and activ
ities demonstrate some fundamental differences from the
"boom-and-bust" cycles. A number of factors spurred on the
immigration of rural poor to the Amazon. Two of the most
important were the publicity surrounding the "programs of
national integration" with its highway building, coloniza
tion and land distribution, and the repercussions of the
new land laws which reiterated the rights of squatters on
the land. At the same time, the government supports for

11
corporate investment in the Amazon tried to encourage long
term projects rather than short-term "get rich quick" proj
ects more characteristic of short-lived "booms." While the
large-scale projects in timber, mining and beef cattle pro
duction have been characterized as economic enclaves within
regions, they are not typical of the predatory and rapidly
disintegrating structures of "boom" enterprises. The firms
now established in the Amazon, such as Volkswagen, Borden
or the Banco de Crdito Nacional, are a significantly dif
ferent order of organization of production than previous
forms described and analyzed for Latin America and Brazil,
such as the aviamento system during the rubber boom (Ianni,
1978; Wagley, 1968) or traditional plantation society
(Hutchinson, 1957; Wagley, 1976; Willems, 1975).
In conjunction with the conceptual classification of
frontier expansion into demographic and economic frontiers,
it is useful to arrange both types of expansion into stages.
Joseph Foweraker (1980) has developed a three stage scheme
for Brazilian frontier expansion which goes beyond the cyc
lical "boom-and-bust" model. The three stages are: (1)
non-capitalist, (2) pre-capitalist, and (3) capitalist.
The stages are heuristic concepts rather than precisely op
erationalized sequences which can be sharply separated one
from the other. The critical distinguishing feature of each
stage is not only the extent and nature of the links to out
side markets but, more importantly, the mode of production^

12
dominant in each stage. The model further takes into con
sideration the fact that a number of quite different, though
interconnected types of production, can coexist simultane
ously.
The first stage, non-capitalist, is the earliest phase
when the regional economy is relatively isolated and largely
extractive. The sphere of exchange of the market is quite
limited, with perhaps only one or two products sent out to
the national market. Relations of production are mainly
servile, with direct coercion of labor as in aviamento, al
though some relatively independent petty commodity producers
(subsistence farmers) can also coexist. Otavio Velho (1972)
and others have pointed out the interstitial nature of the
rural poor who became collectors or laborers during "boom"
periods and returned to agriculture during "bust" phases.
The second stage, pre-capitalist, sees an intensifica
tion of extractive activities, increased immigration and the
buying and selling of land with the emergence of institu
tionalized private property. Capitalist enterprises begin
to appropriate land and conflicts, often violent, occur.
In this stage capitalism is not yet the dominant form, and
the relations of production are mixed and may include both
servile relations and the beginnings of wage labor. The
links to the outside market are strengthened by fairly reg
ular commodity production by capitalist enterprises and
petty commodity producers. To give a simplified example,

13
one might find companies selling a product such as soy
beans on the national market who retain a semi-servile
labor force of tenant farmers while some minifundio farmers
nearby simultaneously produce for their own subsistence,
for sale to river traders and work for wages in seasonal
employment at companies. This transitional stage is fre
quently heterogeneous and complex.
The third stage, capitalist, is reached when the cap
italist enterprises have become the dominant type of produc
tion. Land prices rise, private control over land is fur
ther institutionalized, and land ownership becomes increas
ingly concentrated. Population movement increases, depend
ing in part on what types of commodities large enterprises
are producing, and both immigration and emigration may in
crease as people enter the region looking for work or com
mercial opportunities, and farmers who have lost their land
leave for other places. Relations of production are mainly
characterized by the growth of a free labor market where
workers are employed in wage labor. This stage does not,
however, preclude other types of production, such as the con
tinuation of some peasant farmers. Small farmers may be al
lowed to remain if, as Bryan Roberts (1976: 100) noted in
his study of the Mantaro area of Peru, the large enterprises
have periodic labor needs for which it is advantageous that
"a substantial part of their labor needs should be temporary
workers who continue to farm land." Lowly paid temporary

14
workers who provide their own foodstuffs and remain near
by serve as a constant pool of available cheap labor.
The data presented in this dissertation will demon
strate that Santa Terezinha is rapidly approaching this
third stage of frontier expansion. Because the area had
no "boom" product, its early history dating back to the
turn of the century can be classified as the expansion of
a demographic frontier. The early settlers were primarily
small farmers, producing for subsistence and selling some
cattle and pelts to river traders in exchange for manufac
tured goods. Stage two can be dated to the late 1950s and
early 1960s when land development companies began to acti
vate titles and the first cattle companies began operations
in the region. Immigration intensified, and by the mid-
1960s a conflict situation had developed between the squat
ter farmers and the large enterprises establishing control
over the land. The relationship between types of production
in the region was dictated by the requirements of large-
scale cattle raising. Ranches are land extensive and have
very low labor requirements except for the initial stages of
implementation of improved pastures (Strickon, 1965). The
cattle companies in northern Mato Grosso have not been in
terested in allowing small farmers to remain in the region,
largely because the companies do not need the local people
for labor nor do they need the farmers' surplus agricultural
products. Instead, the growing dominance of large-scale

15
enterprises has contributed to a rapid decrease in small
farming and a growing emigration from the region.
Theoretical Discussion
Within the context of the aforementioned frontier dy
namics, an appropriate focus of anthropological research ap
pears to be an investigation of responses, changes and adap
tations made by the increasingly marginalized frontier in
habitants to the intensifying socio-economic constraints
generated by this type of development. Terms used to refer
to this type of research include Larissa Lomnitz's (1976:
141) call to investigate the "survival strategies used by
marginals"; Bryan Robert's (1976: 114) stress on the impor
tance of understanding the "informal economy;' and Anbal
Quijano's (1970: 18) statement regarding the usefulness of
examining the "survival structures." The term used in this
dissertation will be survival strategies. This implies an
investigation of the social and economic organization of
the increasingly marginalized households within the context
of the frontier community. Survival strategies include not
only the major livelihood options available in the frontier
zone, but also all the behaviors and actions of household
members which are designed to ensure survival of the unit.
Some major strategies observed and analyzed include immigra
tion, intensification and diversification of household labor,
various types of reciprocity, and emigration.

16
Given the present conditions of capitalist expansion
into the Brazilian Amazon, and specifically the situation
of Santa Terezinha, a number of propositions regarding fron
tier survival strategies will be suggested which are sup
ported by evidence presented in this dissertation. These
include:
1. Marginalized frontier households will tend to in
creasingly rely on symmetrical (horizontal) recip
rocal exchanges rather than on assymetrical (ver
tical) exchange relationships (Lomnitz, 1976);
2. Because of economic constraints and frequent moves,
many frontier strategies and relationships will be
characterized by a high degree of flexibility.
This means that fewer parties will participate in
relatively short-term arrangements which are struc
tured more by informal rules and tacit understand
ings than they are by formal rules and ritualized
relationships;
3. The marginalized frontier households will, of ne
cessity, tend to favor planning and organizational
forms which are oriented toward short-term bene
fits and goals rather than long-term goals and
planning;
4. Hence, frontier survival strategies can be viewed
as relatively dysfunctional and inappropriate for
large scale organizations and certain types of
more formalized cooperation and mutual aid;
5. Frontier survival strategies which appear to be
economically irrational or otherwise incomprehen
sible are, however, both rational and logical if
they are analyzed within the context of frontier
socio-economic constraints. Such strategies are a
logical and adaptive response to severely limited
economic options. Decisions and choices are also
conditioned by cultural preferences and values but
are not solely determined by cultural factors.
6. The end result of various frontier survival strat
egies cannot be evaluated as particularly success
ful in terms of socio-economic betterment or

17
mobility. Structural marginalization traps house
holds in a vicious cycle in which the final out
come of the frontier households' efforts is usually
bare subsistence, i.e. a "holding action" rather
than any kind of mobility or improvement in condi
tions .
There are several important reasons why it is fruitful
to concentrate on the analysis of survival strategies. One
is the nature of anthropological research with its emphasis
on a grassroots appraisal by means of participant observa
tion of relatively small numbers of people. The tools and
methods are clearly better suited to a more intermediate
level of analysis than they are to the analysis of national
and international level systems (Lomnitz, 1976; Steward,
1955) While neither anthropological theory nor method is
especially well-designed for the analysis of national and
international systems such as the operations of multina
tional companies, it is particularly well-suited for an in
vestigation of the impact of these larger structures on the
smaller units of the community and the household.
The second reason for concentrating analysis on sur
vival strategies and the informal economy is that it is
critical to assess and attempt to explain the differential
impact of forces of change on different types of rural zones
and communities. A number of dependency theorists of the
historical structuralist school have tended to overempha
size the larger structural forces and the impact of exogen
ous factors in their analyses of socio-economic change. As

18
Norman Long (1977) pointed out in his recent book, An In
troduction to the Sociology of Rural Development, most the
orists of the historical structuralist school have tended
to downplay or even ignore internal factorswithin coun
tries, regions and communities--and the roles these play
in the maintenance or change of systems. In his attempt
to test empirically the validity of propositions and hypoth
eses set forth by Andre Gunder Frank (1969) and Julio Cot
ier (1976), Long concluded that they underestimate the im
pact of lower-level organizations on national and interna
tional structures, and they fail to comprehend the complex
ity of the local rural systems which they are describing.
Macro-level generalizations, then, must be "tested" in
specific rural settings. Long (1977: 91) states:
. . later in the process the satellites them
selves may come to play a determining role in
the allocation of national and regional resources.
This is documented for Latin America and Africa.
. . Such an interpretation [referring to Frank]
espouses an essentially static view of develop
ment and underestimates the part played by inter
nal factors in promoting economic or social
change or in contributing toward the maintenance
of inequalities between sectors of the economy
and society. It also, as Roberts (1976) has ar
gued, overlooks "the significance of provincial
developments in shaping the character of urban
organization and runs the danger of giving an
overdetermined view of the evolution of provin
cial society."
The intermediate level of analysis of the anthropological
community study can, then, provide crucial material for the

19
evaluation of generalizations about the nature and direc
tion of socio-economic changes in rural areas, and provide
empirical data for the analysis of variations and differ
ential responses to changing conditions in different rural
zones.
A third and related reason for studying survival strat
egies is to provide empirical data which support or dis
pute the propositions regarding socio-economic change set
forth by theorists of the historical structuralist school.
The satellite-metropole model of Andre Gunder Frank (1969),
for example, has been criticized both theoretically (Leclau,
1979) and empirically (Long, 1977). One problem with
Frank's assumptions is that he posits change in the country
side as dependent on forces emanating from both interna
tional and national metropoles. Similar to the dualistic
models of modernization theory which posit most change as
deriving from a modern industrial and urban sector moving
into and transforming an archaic, traditional rural sector,
this formulation tends to deny any dynamic role at all to
the so-called satellites. Another problem with the models
of Frank (1969) and other theorists is that their hypoth
eses do not explain why certain non-capitalist (traditional)
forms of production continue to exist in the countryside
when their model appears to predict their total demise.
They do not adequately confront the question of how appar
ently contradictory systems of production and marketing can

20
continue to coexist or even, sometimes, interact, in the
rural areas. Anthropological analysis, which has tradi
tionally focused on livelihood activities and which usually
investigates the spheres of informal exchange, marketing,
production and consumption, can certainly play a role in
analyzing the internal dynamics of satellites. The inter
connections of various systems of marketing and production,
for example, the links between wage labor in capitalist
enterprises and peasant farming activities, can be fruit
fully examined within the framework of traditional anthro-
polotical research paradigms.
The fourth important reason for examining survival
strategies is that it helps provide a scientific argument
against social disintegrationalists and proponents of the
vulgarized culture of poverty concept (Lomnitz, 1976). Few
studies of Brazilian small farmers have emphasized either
the adaptive strategies or the positive and creative re
sponses to socio-economic marginalization. Rather, the dom
inant trend has been to "blame the victim," and as Carol
Stack (1975: 23) explained in reference to American Blacks:
The culture of poverty . has a fundamen
tally political nature. . The complex forces
that inhibit the poor from changing their eco
nomic situation are in sharp contrast to the ex
planations provided by the well-known culture
of poverty concept. . The culture of pov
erty notion explains the persistence of poverty
in terms of presumed negative qualities within
a culture: family disorganization, group dis
integration, personal disorganization, resigna
tion, and fatalism. An underlying assumption

21
of the culture of poverty notion is that the
social adaptation of the poor to conditions of
poverty would fall apart if these conditions
were altered.
The emphasis on adaptive strategies will, hopefully, con
tribute to a more objective and realistic view of the Bra
zilian rural poor in the frontier areas of the Amazon.
The present research attempts to come to grips with
what are perceived to be some extremely important and press
ing issues of social and economic welfare in Latin America
as illustrated by Brazil. The rural sector of the Third
World accounts for some 70% of the national populations and
approximately two-thirds of the poorest income categories
in these countries (Long, 1977). Within Latin America, with
a total population of some 300 million persons, almost 50%
of the population make their living from agricultural activ
ities and more than 40% work directly in agriculture (Staven-
hagen, 1974). Almost all studies of the agrarian structure
in Latin America, including the well-known CIDA (1966)
study of seven Latin American countries, conclude that the
land tenure systems are characterized by the latifndio-
minifndio complex, which means that very few possess or
control the majority of land and other productive resources
in the countryside while the great majority of rural inhab
itants "... live a miserable existence, either as own
ers or tillers of dwarf holdings from which they can not ob
tain sufficient income to subsist, as landless workers

22
laboring on latifundios, or as migrant workers at the mercy
of unstable, insecure rural labor markets" (Stavenhagen,
1974: 127). Stavenhagen's conclusion is:
This oppressed, exploited rural class, without
legal or social protection, whose conditions of
existence are analogous to those of the medie
val European serf, represent between 60-90% of
the agricultural populations in the countries
studied (CIDA, 1966) Not only are their stan
dards of living and levels of consumption low,
but their high rate of disguised unemployment
and the resulting waste of human resources
reaches alarming proportions. Furthermore,
their very position in the agrarian structure
has excluded them from institutionalized polit
ical activity, only permitting them to express
themselves in periodic uprisings, movements and
peasant rebellions which in most cases have been
violently suppressed by the powers of the state
(Stavenhagen, 1974: 127).
Intra-rural migration has been found to be increasing
worldwide. John Connell and his associates (1976: 201),
in a worldwide study of intra-rural migration patterns, con
eluded that the rural poor are primarily "pushed" rather
than "pulled" to their new destinations, and that "intra-
rural inequality is at once the main cause, and a serious
consequence of rural emigration." Stephen Thompson (1973),
in his review of the literature on frontiers, mentions that
Oscar Lewis suggested to him that "push" factors often ap
peared to be the "primary motivation" for migration to fron
tier zones. Indeed, Foweraker (1980) and others have chal
lenged the entire applicability of using the term "spontane
our" to refer to frontier immigration which is so often

23
clearly conditioned and determined by forces beyond the
control of the migrants themselves.
In reference to Latin America and Brazil, agricultural
economist Ernest Feder (1971) points out that the monopoli
zation of land and other essential factors of production by
the few is the source of continuing income inequalities and
concomitant socio-economic problems in the rural areas. In
a country such as Brazil whose vast size might lead one to
conclude that land is abundant, land is only abundant for
large holders and is scarce for small holders even in Ama
zonia. Feder's (1971) calculation for Latin America is
that each big enterprise possesses or controls an average
of 400 times more land than do small holders. In Brazil,
including the Amazon region, there is an increasing concen
tration of land ownership in fewer and fewer hands. At the
same time there has been an accelerating process of declin
ing employment opportunities for the small holders and land
less farmers at the big enterprises. Feder (1971: 35)
states that ". . as a general proposition it can be stated
that in Brazil the contribution to new employment declines
with the size of the farm." The reasons he gives for this
are (1) a massive shift to extensive livestock operations
beginning in the 1950s in both previously settled and fron
tier areas, (2) a larger percentage of permanent crops be
ing planted which require less labor, and (3) increasing use
of machinery and other capital-intensive methods.

24
Feeler's predictions for the future results of such
trends are (1) the increasing proletarianization and mar
ginalization of the peasantry in the 1970s, (2) the forced
geographic mobility of the peasantry with increased immi
gration to frontier zones which offer short-term advantages,
and (3) a shift to non-rural occupations and other remuner
ative activities in the countryside. He further points out
that constant migration functions to keep local labor cheap
and submissive and that the constant disruption of continual
migration contributes to the inability of the rural poor to
organize effectively, as, for example, in labor unions. All
of these conclusions are supported by the data from Santa
Terezinha.
There are basically two major theoretical positions or
schools of thought with respect to the development and change
issues already raised. These can be labeled the moderniza
tion school and the historical structuralist school. The
framework selected for this dissertation falls within the
historical structuralist school. A critique of moderniza
tion theory and some of its major implications will be pre
sented briefly. It should be stated that the polarization
of the two schools of thought is more a function of the de
bate necessary for progress rather than a claim that only
one approach is valid. Each theoretical approach contains
explicit and implicit assumptions and attacks the problems
from a somewhat different point of view, although they are

25
not necessarily mutually exclusive. While the historical
structural approach seems to provide the most productive
and appropriate models for the present research, this is
not to refute the fact that both approaches can and have
contributed significantly to the advance of explanation in
social science. In many instances there has been a proc
ess of cross-fertilization that polemicists, clearly, would
deny.
The modernization approach, in political science, so
ciology and anthropology,^ is clearly linked to a theory of
economic dualism. The dualistic model generally assumes
that developing countries contain two radically different
and separate sectors. The dynamic sector is called the mod
ern sector and is characterized as capitalist, industrial
and urban. The modern sector is assumed to be receptive to
change, market oriented and clearly involved in profit max
imization. The other sector is often called the traditional,
archaic or non-modern sector and is characterized by non
capitalist activities, is predominantly agricultural, and
is supposedly typical of most rural areas. Its economic
characteristics include subsistence agriculture with little
marketable surplus, little interest in profit maximization,
and high preference for leisure or idleness. Assumptions
generally made by modernization theorists are that this
traditional sector is internally homogenous, and largely
resistant to innovation and change. While the modern sector

26
expands, the traditional sector stagnates. The major im
petus for changedevelopment and growthin the country
side then, is generally viewed in terms of the flow of un
employed agricultural labor to urban areas (along with some
surplus products) until labor becomes scarce in the country
side which "triggers" a rapid modernization of rural areas
by means of modern technology capable of more efficient
production (Long, 1977).
There are many criticisms of the modernization school
and the dualistic formulations of which only a few of the
more important ones will be mentioned. The first criticism
is that modernization theorists generally assume that the
developmental sequences of Third World countries will pro
ceed through the same stages as did the development of First
World countries. The socio-historical and contemporary cir
cumstances of Third World countries are, however, clearly
quite different than those for industrialized nations.
Long (1977) points out that many modernization theories
were first developed to comprehend the effects of industri
alization in Western Europe and they tend to make an "evo
lutionary" assumption that all subsequent development will
occur with similar stages and dynamics.
Secondly, modernization theories tend to view change
as derived primarily from exogenous factors, i.e., the dis
turbance of traditional equilibrium by the impact of exter
nal modern forces. Although there is some validity to this

27
view, the priority given to exogenous factors in promoting
change tends to deny both the heterogeneity of the rural
areas and their internal dynamics. Many anthropological
studies have unwittingly contributed to this overly homog
enized and static view of traditional rural life.
An example of the application of the modernization ap
proach to South American frontiers can be found in the work
of geographers Raymond Crist and Charles Nissly (1973) in
their book East from the Andes: Pioneer Settlements in the
South American Heartland. As other modernization theorists,
Crist and Nissly's analysis concludes that the essential
task for accomplishing development is to change the back
ward attitudes and customs of the traditional peasantry and
to provide modern technology and adequate infrastructural
supports to encourage them to become more involved in mar
keting. They state:
The crux of the whole problem of settlements is
to convince pioneers that by accepting innova
tions and the winds of change, thus moving into
new areas and with new technology, they will
alter the pattern of their daily lives so to be
able to live a more abundant life, spiritually
as well as materially.(Crist and Nissly, 1973: 4)
They actually appear to believe that the reason why the
peasants and "rural proletariat" of Andean America live a
marginalized life of poverty causally related to the peas
ants' "poverty mentality," their "scarcity economics" and
their "culture of poverty."
This appears to be another

28
example of "blaming the victim." The essentially static
and homogenized view of the rural population leads to state
ments such as . the primitive hunting and gathering
economy was largely frozen as found ..." (Crist and Nis-
sly, 1973: 13).
While they do acknowledge that there is a need to "mod
ify rural social structure" and implement land reform, the
major reason for doing so, according to Crist and Nissly,
is to provide an incentive to a previously landless peas
antry to expand production for market. Thus, they focus
most of their attention on listing the necessary infrastruc
tural improvements which would facilitate more modern farm
ing and marketing, such as public services, better roads,
clear titles to land, better credit and technical facil
ities and the like. In conclusion they state their belief
that the most "rational" economic development strategy is
to turn the tropical forests into improved pastures for cat
tle raising because the entrepreneur will require only min
imal capital to hire the available unskilled labor for clear
ing in the initial stages. They fail to note that the usual
results of this solution, demonstrated in every region al
ready given over to cattle raising, are population decline,
reduced labor requirements, unemployment and emigration
(Margolis, 1973: 9).
Within anthropology, the two best known theorists who
have utilized the dualistic model are Robert Redfield (1941:

29
1963) and George Foster (1965). Redfield's rural-urban
dichotomy is the weaker of the two because although he as
signs the urban sector (city) the role of the major source
of change, he tends to ignore important aspects of types
of production, marketing, technology, and his concepts
lack operational precision. Much empirical data gathered
subsequently have directly challenged Redfield's early model
Foster's (1965) work also has a clear tendency to
"blame the victim" and not the system for the problems of
underdevelopment in rural areas of Latin America. Foster
focused his attention on the cognitive orientation of peas
ants and he claimed that they tend to view all good things
in this world as existing in limited supply. The so-called
peasant characteristics of individualism, competitiveness,
atomization and inability to cooperate and organize effec
tively, Foster (1965) linked to this dominant peasant world
view which he called "the image of limited good." Self-im
provement, cooperation and the expansion of economic enter
prises were, according to Foster, blocked by the peasants'
belief that the best things in life were sharply limited
and the need to avoid arousing the jealousy and envy of
one's neighbors. The avoidance of risk taking was also
linked to this mental orientation. The connection between
attributing the underdevelopment of rural areas primarily
to peasants' attitudes and the vulgarized versions of the
culture of poverty notion is clear.

30
Various aspects of Foster's theories have been chal
lenged. John Bennett (1976) and Sutti de Ortiz (1973),
for example, have demonstrated that agrarian societies in
general tend toward a "zero-sum" game behavior and that
cautious and risk-minimizing behavior is the most logical
result of shortages of capital and credit. Norman Long
(1977) points out that a major fallacy of this type of
analysis is the assumption that certain values (and atti
tudes) constitute the necessary and critical precondition
to "economic take-off." Although one can agree that re
search of internal factors within rural zones is useful,
and that aspects of social organization, values and motiva
tions may also be influential factors, this type of analy
sis fails because (1) it concentrates on behavior patterns
in a microcosm and does not link them to larger structural
constraints, (2) it assigns causal priority to mental or
cultural factors, and (3) it assumes that there is but one
7
"goal" for growth and development.
It seems clear that most theoretical propositions and
frameworks relating to the study of frontiers are also
closely correlated to the modernization and economic dual-
istic models. Again and again one encounters the notion of
a backward and empty rural zone which will be transformed
by expansion from the dynamic modern sector. Stephen Bunker
(1980) has suggested that the idea of the frontier zone as
"empty" is a necessary ideological justification for

31
expansion into areas which are, in reality, partially set
tled by indigenous and national populations. The anthro
pological literature, which has tended to focus on the im
pact of frontier expansion on the indigenous population,
has noted the tendency on the part of the dominant society
to dehumanize the Indians. Indians are often characterized
as non-human, primitive, lazy, irrational and generally un
deserving of attention in the process of frontier expansion.
The Turner type frontier theories have clearly tended to
glorify, romanticize and legitimize frontier expansion.
Both Frederick Jackson Turner (1891/1961) and Stephen
Thompson (1973), who has criticized and refined some of
Turner's concepts, state that the key attraction of the
frontier is the relative abundance of free or inexpensive
land. Thompson, apparently, accepts this notion of abundant
land even with regard to Latin America. He discusses fron
tiers as areas which provide land for the landless and func
tion as safety valves, i.e., places which provide an outlet
for emigration from overcrowded regions. The frontier set
tlement is viewed as a stimulus to national economic devel
opment in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
Thompson does note that frontier land does appear to be at
tracting not peasants but entrepreneurs.
Without going into detail about the complexities of
land tenure patterns in Brazil, it seems relatively clear
that it is only in the very early stages of frontier

32
expansion (stage one) that the landless subsistence farm
ers and petty commodity producers are allowed to occupy
land, and, in regions with "boom" products prior to the
1950s (such as rubber in Amazonia), certain parties man
aged to obtain de facto control over land in the absence
of any kinds of deeds or titles. Ianni's (1978) account
of the effects of the rubber boom in and around Conceipo
do Araguaia (Para) makes clear that rubber trails were con
trolled by trader "owners" and that rubber workers were in
virtual debt peonage (the avimento system). The control
of "owners" frequently extended to prohibiting rubber col
lectors from planting and harvesting crops for subsistence
in order to (1) keep them dependent on trading posts for
foodstuffs, and (2) not permit them to divert their labor
away from rubber collecting (Ianni, 1978).
Although various versions of the Brazilian land laws
passed since the 1850s have reiterated the rights of squat
ters on the land, in fact it has always been extremely dif
ficult for occupants claiming ownership by usufruct to ac
tually process their claim. This is especially true when
these squatter claims are being disputed by powerful per
sons or companies who have the resources to win legal dis
putes. It is also generally the case that squatters (pos-
seiros) in frontier zones are frequently uninterested in
the process of obtaining title until they are directly
threatened by another party claiming ownership; subsistencce

33
farmers generally lack the sophistication and money to pro
cess titles to land. The evidence available regarding vari
ous frontier areas within Brazil clearly points to an in
creasingly rapid process of concentration of land holdings,
in many respects a duplication of the latifundio-minifundio
complex already noted for Brazilian agrarian structure (Car
doso & Muller, 1978; Forman, 1975; Forman & Reigelhaupt,
1970; Margolis, 1973; Picchi, 1979; Vollweiler, 1979a,
1979b). Therefore, it becomes highly problematic to posit
free or inexpensive land as the key attraction of the fron
tier except in the most initial stages. Nor do frontier
areas appear to function effectively as "safety valves"
for the settlement of surplus populations from crowded re
gionsas research by Emilio Moran (1975) and Stephen
Bunker (1979) has demonstrated for the Amazon.
Another feature of most of the frontier theories is a
stress on spatial considerations such as dispersed settle
ment patterns and distance to markets. Stephen Thompson
(1973) concludes from his review of the literature on fron
tiers, that the most significant features of social rela
tions on frontierswhich he characterizes as frequently
disorganized, factionalized and conflict-riddenare di
rectly related to settlement patterns. He claims that the
distance to markets constitutes an obstacle to development,
and that increased access to markets functions to disinte
grate cooperative labor and other mutual aid because of

34
increased competition with one's neighbors. Although dis
persed settlement patterns and distance to markets (poor
transportation facilities and the like) do obviously have
certain social and economic effects, it seems quite errone
ous to assign them causal or explanatory power in a model
of frontier dynamics. As data presented in this disserta
tion will demonstrate, the major factors contributing to
tensions, conflicts and "disorganization" on the frontier
are not spatial patterns but increasingly concentrated con
trol of land and the basic means of production.
Although Thompson (1973) makes a vague distinction be
tween what he calls subsistence farmer frontiers and market
oriented agricultural plantation frontiers, he fails to
confront the problems suggested by the simultaneous expan
sion of the two types of frontiers. He clearly considers
the decisive factors of frontier dynamics to be in the realm
of marketing and transportation rather than types of produc
tion and differential access to land and other resources.
He claims that most frontiers are characterized by a com
bination of abundant land and scarce labor. The data from
the Brazilian Amazon show that land is primarily abundant
only for large-scale enterprises and that labor is seldom
scarce because (1) the types of production being implemented
do not require a large labor force, and (2) constantly in
creasing immigration has resulted in a large labor pool of
landless and available workers (Foweraker, 1980). To make

35
statements such as Thompson's is to seriously distort the
actual situation of both land and labor in the frontier.
Another model sometimes applied to frontier zones is
central place theory which, again, tends to focus on market
ing and distances to markets. Central place theory posits
a hierarchical and integrated system of market places which
are arranged spatially according to the costs of distribu
tion of goods and the demand for the goods. Places are
linked into each other and progressively larger markets to
form a hexogonal pattern in space. Goods and services move
in both directions between places.
Bryan Roberts (1976) provides a strong, well-documented
argument against the application of central place theory to
current conditions in the Latin American countryside. He
notes that central place theory, like other modernization
theories, was developed to understand transformations which
occurred in Europe. In Latin America, however, Roberts
points out that the penetration of foreign capital has led
to the increasing centralization of national economies. He
considers the development of Latin American economies as
dependent development, initially as colonies and later in
terms of control by and responses to external powers. He
concludes by criticizing assumptions of both central place
theory and Frank's (1969) chain of metropoles and satel
lites, and states that urban places play a marginal role in

36
the process of capitalist transformation in Latin America
(1976: 104) .
Roberts argues that the internal development of Latin
American countries has responded more to the forces of ex
ternal powers than to an internal dynamic interaction be
tween town and countryside. He points out that the impor
tation of manufactured goods into the countryside impedes
the creation of local industries, and that the increasing
dominance of the capitalist enterprises in the interior chai
lenges the power of local provincial elites. Urban places
in the countryside are transformed into commercial and ad
ministrative centers which respond to the dynamics of the
large enterprises present in a region. Roberts sees the
growth of provincial urban places as directly linked to
their roles vis-a-vis the large enterprises. Provincial
urban places, in regions with capitalist enterprises, gen
erally fulfill two functions: (1) as outlets for the sale
of imported manufactured goods, and (2) as places which pro
vide temporary accommodations for rural migrants. Santa
Terezinha is an example of this type of involuted urban
growth. It is not linked into a network of markets but
rather receives most commodities directly from major cities
and exports nothing.
O
The historical structuralist school, on the other hand
takes as its central premise:

37
. . that it is impossible to comprehend the
processes and problems of development in the
Third World without treating this within the
wider socio-historical context of the expansion
of Western European mercantile and industrial
capitalism and the colonization of the Third
World by these advanced economies. (Long, 1977;
71)
It assumes that Latin American economies are dependent econ
omies (Roberts, 1976) and that much of the internal dynamics
of these countries are conditioned by this fact. The his
torical structuralist school and dependency theories con
stitute a challenge to many of the assumptions and formula
tions of the modernization school. Perhaps most important
is the assumption that Third World countries' development
cannot be expected to repeat the same stages of the devel
opment of Western capitalism, but must be analyzed in terms
of their own social, historical and economic circumstances.
Most versions of dependency theory avoid the oversimplified
and distorted dualistic model of the progressive urban sec
tor counterposed against a uniformly archaic rural sector.
While one may fault historical structural analysis for its
tendency to focus almost exclusively on exogenous factors in
the explanation of socio-economic change, it does not repeat
the mistake of assuming that the countryside constitutes a
uniform and homogenous traditional sector.
Long (1977) summarizes some of the assumptions and goal
of dependency theory. Based on empirical evidence, it is pos
ited that the penetration of capitalist enterprises in the

38
countryside causes socio-economic changes so that previously
existing features of rural areas which are incompatible with
capitalist production will eventually be eliminated. One
example of this phenomenon in Brazil is the rapid change
over in the more advanced frontier zones from more mixed
types of land tenure (usufruct, private property and a be
wildering variety of semi-legal and legal documents, deeds
and titles) to a clear dominance of legally processed pri
vate property with definitive titles held by capitalist en
terprises .
A second assumption or proposition of dependency the
orists, again based on massive evidence, is that in most
cases the economic "growth" generated by large-scale enter
prises has not led to a narrowing of the gap between rich
and poor, but rather to a widening gap and increasing rural
impoverishment. In other words, it is somewhat irrelevant
to focus a discussion of impediments to small farmer agri
cultural expansion on factors such as peasants' attitudes
toward agricultural expansion when the major obstacles con
sist of the establishment of extensive tracts of privately
owned and vigorously guarded land such as has been the case
for northern Mato Grosso. In Santa Terezinha and elsewhere,
the establishment of the large cattle companies has meant a
loss of access to land and only a short-term and marginal
increase in wage labor opportunities. The major labor re
quirements of cattle ranches, as Crist and Nissly (1973)

39
emphasized, consist of the clearing and planting of im
proved pastures during the initial stage of implementation.
Once improved pastures are established, the maintenance and
running of a cattle ranch requires a minimal labor force.
Because cattle ranching has low labor requirements and is
land extensive, it is not particularly useful to the com
panies to allow peasants to remain as squatters or tenants
to serve the companies' needs for cheap available labor.
Rather, cattle companies prefer to evict the subsistence
farmers from their areas. Hence, one can posit increasing
emigration from a region in stage three, i.e., the capital
ist stage, which indeed, is exactly what has begun to occur
in Santa Terezinha. The data support the conclusion that
certain types of economic "growth" do indeed contribute di
rectly to increasing rural impoverishment.
If one accepts the aforementioned assumptions, then it
becomes important to pose the question of why it is that
certain traditional and non-capitalist types of livelihoods
and exchange often continue to coexist despite major socio
economic changes brought by large-scale capitalist enter
prises. In other words, what interconnections and relation
ships exist between different types of production systems
on the frontier? It is already clear that not only do the
already present subordinate systems adjust and respond to
the establishment of capitalist enterprises, but that rel
atively new features and constellations often develop in

40
response to changing socio-economic conditions. Long (1977:
73) states clearly his conception of an important goal of
anthropological research:
It is the task of the anthropologist or so
ciologist interested in these matters to an
alyze the social mechanisms by which these
relationships and structural imbalances are
maintained . more specifically the way
the capitalist modes of production articu
lates with various non-capitalist modes and
how structures of underdevelopment are per
petuated .
Roberts (1976) provides a partial answer and a clue in
his discussion of the centralization of Latin American econ
omies. He notes that an important distinction to make is
between the fact of capitalist domination and the actual or
ganization of economic activities. He concludes that the ex
pansion of capitalist enterprises in Latin America is "ac
companied by a low detailing of economic organization"
(1976: 101). In other words, the capitalist enterprises,
particularly in frontier zones, exercise an incomplete con
trol or dominance. Their control derives from their access
to capital and technology and their monopolization of the
means of production. But they do not necessarily organize
the lower levels of local economic activities which can and
do change in response to the presence of the large enter
prises. Provincial urban places, Roberts notes, can experi
ence a short-term stimulation as they adjust their function
to be a service center/labor pool for the large firms.

41
Robert's (1976: 106) description of the rural responses
to the establishment of capitalist enterprises could be a
description of Santa Terezinha:
It is [an interest] in liberating local popu
lations from restrictions on their mobility
. . or from restrictions on productive ac
tivities arising from traditional obligations
. . it is a situation in which, in the ab
sence of a large market for agricultural prod
ucts, early developments occur through the di
versification of a household's activities
rather than through an intensification and
rationalization of agricultural production.
The opportunities for wage labor in the mines
and plantations impose a further restriction
on intensifying agricultural production by
diminishing the available labor pool. In
this stage of development, towns are innova
tive elements in their hinterlands; there
are no necessary conflicts of interest between
townspeople and countryfolk, since their re
sources are complementary and not in competi
tion.
It is precisely because of the complexity of the inter
actions between various production systems and the fact that
the capitalist enterprises' domination is incomplete, that
Roberts (1976: 112-116) calls for an investigation of "in
formal economies" which he defines with the following char
acteristics: (1) more intensive use of labor often in
highly complex ways, (2) the importance of "noneconomic"
relationships, such as kinship, in household economic cal
culations, (3) a large volume of ad hoc acts of exchange,
(4) the combination, individually or within households, of
a variety of economic activities (roles) which may or may
not complement each other, and (5) the absence of any formal

42
regulations of these activities. Stavenhagen (1974: ISO-
131) also concludes that "structural marginalization" leads
to the "lowest levels of consumption and saving, chronic
underemployment, low levels of job training combined with
high rates of turnover in employment and a multiplicity of
inconsequential, low-paying jobs." In other words, the ex
pansion of capitalism and its dominance must be combined
with an examination of the variety of responses to struc
tural marginalization.
The discussion, then, has come full circle and returned
to the focus on survival strategies and the usefulness of
investigating them. Within the larger framework of depen
dent development, the current research will contribute to
the analysis of differential responses and variations of
frontier expansion.
Methodology
This dissertation is based on data collected during
two research trips to Brazil, the first between June and
August, 1976, and the second between March 1978 and March
1979. A total of 42 weeks was spent in the Araguaia River
Valley. The methodology used for data gathering included
participant observation, key informant and other types of
semi-formal and informal interviews, the application of two
different survey-questionnaire instruments, and the use of

43
institutional documents and archives in Brazil and the
United States. The majority of the residential research
time was spent in the frontier community of Santa Tere-
zinha, although a number of trips and visits to other set-
9
tlements, farms, Indian villages and "ranch-companies,"
were also made.
Informal interviewing can be divided into six differ
ent types. The first type was the unplanned interview,
conducted spontaneously to take advantage of the opportu
nities presented. The second type was a topic specific in
terview in which a particular topic, such as local farming
practices, was explored. The third and related type were
informant-specific interviews. This includes work with key
informants and interviews designed specifically for persons
with special knowledge such as a midwife or a ranch-company
administrator. An example is provided in Appendix 6.
The last three types of interviews are interrelated.
The fourth type was life history interviewing. The fifth
type was the geneological interview. The formats of both
types are included in Appendices 1 and 2. In both these
types of interviews particular attention was given to migra
tion histories, kinship networks, economic activities, land
tenure and household composition. The sixth type of inter
view, called the survival strategy interview, included a
list of topics and questions, both real and hypothetical,
designed to uncover aspects of decision-making, priorities,

44
exchanges and other networks, mutual aid and patron-client
relationships. The idea for this formulation was derived
from the work of Carol Stack (1975). A number of the above
interviews were taped and transcribed immediately in the
field. The schedules used for these interviews were devel
oped in the field and periodically revised during field
work. The format used for the survival strategy interview
is included in Appendix 3. It was never applied to anyone
at any one time, but was used primarily as a guide for in
formal questioning and observation conducted over a long
period of time.
Two surveys were conducted during field work, the first
in the third month, and the second in the eighth month of
residence. Both were applied by the researcher and the
sample randomized by using an unweighted cross-section sam
pling technique. Written questionnaires were never used
during field work, with the single exception of a career
and aspiration questionnaire applied to 14 literate elemen
tary school children.
The first survey schedule consisted of a set of obser
vations and 17 questions which was applied to 14% (55) of
the town households. The schedule is included in Appendix
V. During the process the entire town was mapped and the
buildings numbered. The second survey was a more compre
hensive instrument with 91 items. The questionnaire was
pre-tested in the field on four key informants whose

45
suggestions and comments were incorporated into the final
version. The schedule is included in Appendix 4. It was
applied to 12% (44) of the households with a plan to expand
the sample to 24%, however; time and physical constraints
did not permit this expansion. Each application of the
questionnaire took between two to four hours and the re
sults represent about one month's work. No research assis
tants were available locally. Since a number of questions
were repeated on both surveys, the sample base for certain
key questions can be extended to 26% (99) of the town's
households.
End Notes
One hundred kilometers on both sides of any federal road,
built or merely projected, is automatically transferred
to the federal domain and is administered by INCRA.
2
See Wood and Schmink (1978) for a more complete analysis
of the tendency to blame the victim in terms of the con
text of Amazon colonization programs.
3
Some of the observors and analysts are Cardoso and Mul
ler, 1978; Davis, 1977; Feder, 1971; Ianni, 1978; Mahar,
1979; Martins, 1975; Pompermeier, 1979; Sawyer, 1977;
Schmink, 1977 and 1980; Velho, 1972; Wagley, 1974; Wood
and Schmink, 1978.
4
The definition of small farm used here refers to land
holdings of 100 ha or less and includes ownership by
title or usufruct.
5What is meant by the mode of production is based on Long's
(1977: 96) clarification of the Marxist term and is de
fined as the forces of production (technological rules,
resources, tools and labor power) plus the social rela
tions of production which refer to the ownership and/or
control over the means of production and the disposition
of the value of the commodities produced.

46
^Some of the social scientists who have developed or uti
lized modernization theories include: Crist and Nissly,
1973; Foster, 1965; Nisbet, 1969; Redfield, 1941 and 1963;
Smelser, 1971; and Thompson, 1973.
7
Many authors make a distinction between economic "growth"
as measured by some quantifiable index such as per capita
income, and "development" which implies a more profound
structural and organizational change. The phrase, "growth
without development", usually means that economic growth
has occurred but that the direction of the changes is not
toward greater equality of income distribution, opportu
nity or general welfare. Since the term development has
a number of meanings, often rather imprecisely defined,
the author has decided to omit this debate about the con
trast of the two terms.
8
Some of the theorists and proponents of the historical
structuralist school include Amin, 1974; Roberts, 1976;
Cardoso and Faletto, 1979; Cardoso and Muller, 1977; Chil-
cote, 1974; Cotier, 1976; Foweraker, 1980; Frank, 1969;
Laclau, 1979; Quijano, 1971; Roberts, 1976; Santos, 1968;
and Stavenhagen, 1974.
9
The term "ranch-companies" will be used to refer to the
large company owned ranches in order to distinguish them
from smaller ranches owned by private individuals.

47
Figure 1. Brazil

Figure 2
co
The Legal Amazon
Source: CNBB, Pastoral de Terra: Posse e Conflitos.

CHAPTER II
THE COMMUNITY AND THE REGION
The Town
The town of Santa Terezinha took form on the flat areas
behind a sand hill overlooking the Araguaia River where the
Catholic Mission had constructed the first buildings in 1931
Seen from the air, Santa Terezinha seems to surround the sev
eral low hills in its midst that appear as green mounds sur
rounded by the brown and dull red squares which are thatch
and tile roofs. As the plane circles to land, one can ob
serve easily that most of the better buildings, those plas
tered and painted blue, white and pink, with tile roofs, are
located nearest the port area where the town touches an in
let of the main river (see Figure 3). Farther from this
"center" of town the houses are more consistently the dull
browns of adobe (i.e., unbaked mub bricks) and palha (i.e.,
thatch). The homes on the perimeters of the town are half
hidden by bush and trees.
The plane lands on the airstrip that is perpendicular
to the airstrip belonging to the Codeara Ranch headquarters.
One can ride to town in a vehicle for about $4,1 or walk
down in 25 to 30 minutes. The main road is unpaved and
deeply rutted. At almost any time of the day a few people
l>e seen walking along the road clutching paper-wrapped
49

50
parcels from shopping or perhaps a pot containing food for
a sick relative or friend. One always sees men, children
and even a few women on bicycles, usually with a load
strapped on behind. Children play in the streets and chick
ens run loose. In the shade of a mango tree in front of a
store one can usually see a small group of men gathered,
chatting or listening to a radio. Somewhat less frequently,
during the daytime, one can see small groups of women seated
on stools in shady spots in front of houses where they are
taking a break from domestic work, chatting and crocheting.
Traffic in the street is heaviest when a plane lands. When
ever a plane buzzes overhead, one to four vehicles rush up
to the airstrip to see if there is a payload of passengers
or freight.
In the dry season, with the sun always overhead, the
town seems rather quiet, dusty and small. All the roads
are dirt and behind the main roads the streets are more like
paths. There are no poles and wires because the town has no
electricity. It does not even have any postal service. One
must walk fairly far to get a sense of the spread of the
town because many residences are sprawled out in every di
rection behind the main streets. The total number of motor
vehicles in Santa Terezinha probably does not exceed ten.
Walking and bicycles are the major modes of transportation
for the majority of inhabitants, although a few people own
a horse or a mule, and several farmers own two-wheeled
carts to be pulled by a horse or oxen. It would probably

51
be a surprise to the casual observer to learn that there
are a total of 464 structures in the town, 380 of which
are active residential households. This is quite a change
from the 1940s and 1950s when only a handful of houses ex
isted there. And it can be compared to the 1967 estimate
of 140 families (Shapiro, 1967). In 1975, the Catholic
Mission counted 238 households, and only three years later
this increased by 142 additional homes.
Local people divide the town into four named parts,
three of which take their name from the three main streets,
and the fourththe Cabarettakes its name from the busi
ness which created it. The town, as can be seen on the
map (Figure 3 ), forms a U-shape with a large hill in the
middle. The bottom part of the "U" is Ra do Comercio and
the center of town closest to the water's edge. Here one
finds the town's only praga (i.e., central square) and many
of the commercial establishments and better homes. The two
halves of the "U" are the two long main streets, Rua do
Campo which runs from the airstrip or campo de avio, and
Rua da Palha which runs out to the Codeara Ranch headquar
ters one and a half kilometers away. The local designation
Rua do Campo or Rua da Palha means both the main street by
that name and all the back streets behind it. The Cabaret
or red light district (i.e., zona) contains three night
clubs and about nine bars and is somewhat separated off from
the residential part of Rua da Palha by another small hill.

52
Figure 3. Santa Terezinha

53
The old Catholic Mission buildings on the sand hill by the
river are all but abandoned since the Mission moved down to
town and built a new church on Ra do Campo. Nowadays the
empty buildings on the sand hill serve as shelter for In
dians spending a night in town or as temporary lodging for
recently arrived destitute families who have fled their
homes because of flooding or eviction.
The center of town is Ra do Comercio. Near the prapa
one finds the most successful stores and the homes of many
of the local elite, the most successful merchants and board
ing house owners, the delegado (sheriff), and the state tax
collector. It is primarily a business street along with
Rua da Palha. This center of town is not clearly set off
and actually spills into the two adjoining streets, but if
an imaginary line were drawn around it, we would find 52
structures in this area. Thirty-eight of the 52 buildings
are homes, but 24 of the 38 homes are also business enter
prises.
Although many businesses are located elsewhere in town,
the Rua do Comercio remains the center and has certain dis
tinctive features which differ from the rest of town and,
which bring all inhabitants down to it at one time or an
other. One important service not duplicated elsewhere is
the Mission-run pharmacy and health clinic. Since the State
Health Post on Rua do Campo is closed except for infrequent
two hour visits from Air Force medical teams, the Mission

54
pharmacy is the main health care facility available to the
population. For this reason is it called Unica, which
means "the only one."
All the boarding houses, except for one located in the
Cabaret, are on the Ra do Comercio. The six boarding
houses all do brisk business mostly with ranch related per
sonnel. Further, the only gasoline pump in town, run by
the Planta, a subsidiary company of Codeara Ranch, is lo
cated here. The Planta also operates the largest store in
town and stocks unusual and expensive items like gas stoves
and bicycles. The Santa Terezinha branch of the Planta was
created because the company did not want its personnel to
be dependent on local commerce, and prices at the Planta are
often lower than local merchants or the agricultural cooper
ative so that it draws a large mixed clientele. The two
largest dry-goods stores, with the most extensive stock,
are also located on Ra do Comercio, as is the agricultural
Cooperative.
The portion of the Ra do Comercio near the praca is
the oldest settled part of town. The prapa, an open area
of untended grass and mud, is directly across from the first
docking area, called Porta de Sebastio, named after Sr.
Sebastiao, a town councilman and owner of several commer
cial establishments in town. Most of the barges and boats
nowadays tie up at the small dock near the Planta, called
Porta da Planta, since the water there is deep enough during

55
all but a few months to accommodate the larger boats. Al
most all cargo of all kinds arrives in the town by barge
and river boats, brought from Cazeara, a larger river town
linked by road to the Belm-Braslia Highway, which is lo
cated 100 km to the north of Santa Terezinha.
There is almost always some movimento (i.e., activ
ity) in the center of town. At almost any hour one sees
people shopping, men drinking in the bars, and Karaj In
dians from the village across the river, walking around.
Under a large mango tree, said to bear no fruit because of
the gossip it hears, the delegado and other males, prin
cipally the local merchants and other "notables," form an
informal "club" where they sit on benches and talk.
The Ra do Campo, located directly behind the sand
hill, represents the early settlement pattern of the town
as it grew up behind the Catholic Mission. The main road
leads up to the airstrip. The neighborhood of Ra do Cam
po is the larger half of Santa Terezinha and more completely
residential than either Ra do Comercio or Rua da Palha. It
contains the fewest commercial establishments and the most
residential structures. If one draws an imaginary line
around this area one finds a total of 251 structures in
this half of town. Two hundred twenty-two of the 251 struc
tures are households, and only 11 homes are combined res
idential and commercial units.

56
Most of the homes in Ra do Campo are the more humble
constructions of adobe, wattle and daub or thatch. It is
only along the main street, or one block back, that one
sees the better houses. The farther one walks away from
the main road, the poorer and more temporary looking the
houses appear. This is in part so because as people ar
rived in town they received lots farther and farther away
from the main street. The main street area is inhabited
mostly by residents who have been in the area many years,
and also by some financially better off newcomers. Gen
erally one can assume that the farther a family lives from
the main street, the more recent their arrival in town,
and the more precarious their economic situation. New
comers will often build a relatively crude thatch house,
or rent a more tumble-down house for several months while
they are determining whether or not they will be able to
settle more permanently in Santa Terezinha.
The residential nature of Ra do Campo can be noted
from its relatively small number of business enterprises,
only 11 as compared with 34 in Ra do Comercio and 43 in
Rua da Palha. The three churches in town are located here
and the two missions, the Catholic Mission which works
with Brazilians and the American Protestant Mission which
works with the Karaj Indians. The stores in this area
are smaller and have slightly higher prices, but are heav
ily patronized because of the convenience and more personal

57
relationship with the merchants who are their neighbors.
As most people have observed for poor neighborhoods, shop
ping is done more frequently in tiny quantities. People
are always running out to buy another liter of kerosene
or a clove of garlic from the neighborhood stores.
The residential areas behind the main street are laid
out in rectangular blocks. The centers of the rectangles,
like all thoroughfares in town, are overgrown with weeds.
Paths connect all the houses and zig-zag across the weeds.
Many of the inhabitants complain that their streets are
ugly and a disgrace, and feel that it is the responsibil
ity of the municipal government to clean and improve them.
The streets are public domain. In contrast, the areas di
rectly in front of homes and the backyards, called the
quintal, are usually carefully kept-up and tended by own
ers. The dirt in front of houses is swept daily and the
area may be decorated with brightly colored plants in tin
cans. The quintal is almost always fenced, and planted
with fruit trees, castor oil bean trees, sweet manoic, pep
per plants, corn, sugar cane, a bean patch and other edible
vegetation. In recent years housewives have added vegetable
gardens on raised platforms to keep them above roaming an
imals and cutter ants. Wells are dug, and if money allows,
have a roof or cover. A three or four wall bathing house
will be constructed, and sometimes a privy. Almost everyone
keeps chickens which roam freely and some households keep a

58
few pigs in a shaded pen. Yards are swept daily and kept
tidy by the housewife. In addition, all yards have some
kind of raised wooden rack where the women wash dishes,
and sometimes a slanted board for beating clothing. The
quintal is an integral part of any household and is treated
as such.
Until 1977 people obtained a lot in town by either set
tling on an unclaimed plot or buying the "rights" from the
previous owner. The exchange of "urban" properties was car
ried out in the same fashion as were transfers of rural prop
erties held by posse or squatters' rights. Tradition stip
ulated that the "owner" was selling not the deed to the prop
erty (which, in any case, he usually did not have) but
rather, he was selling the rights to use (usufruct) the
place and any improvements already made there such as a
house, mature fruit trees or a fence. The value of town
properties was, and still is determined by such factors as
the proximity of the lot to stores, the improvements and
structures already made, the number of useful and mature
plants and trees, and whether or not the lot remained dry
during the rainy season. Such customary exchanges or sales
were carried out without any surveying or legal papers.
Sometimes these exchanges are written up on a piece of paper
called a "declaration." Any literate person can make these
2
documents. No surveying is done although people mark the
boundaries of their property with sticks or a fence.

59
In 1977, the municipal government announced that all
urban lots must be surveyed, purchased from the municipal
ity and the titles secured. The burden of processing the
title was to fall on the house owner. In order to comply
with the new regulations inhabitants needed to "purchase"
their properties from the municipal authorities. Then,
when and if a surveyor came to town, they would have to
pay a fee to have their properties demarcated. Then they
would have to take the papers for processing first to the
municipal seat of Luciara, and then to the comarca (i.e.,
judicial seat for several counties) of Barra do Garpa, or
pay someone else to do it for them. Needless to say, the
costs of such procedures are beyond the means of the major
ity of town dwellers and the new regulations continue to
be a source of tension and conflict. Some householders
paid a fee to the municipal government but many refused.
A few families lost their town properties, especially the
ones who had prime garden lots on the perimeter of town
(chacaras). Since the municipality has not taken further
action the majority of homes continue to be held by posse
and bought and sold as such. Newcomers, however, are often
told that they must purchase empty lots from the municipal
ity for prices that run from $50 to $100.
The newer half of town includes Rua da Palha and its
back streets. The name probably came from the time when
the majority of the structures there were still constructed

60
of thatch. The main street on this side of town is full
of stores and bars and little wooden kiosks that sell
cachaba (i.e., raw cane alcohol) or coffee. Although Rua
da Palha is also a residential street and its back neigh
borhoods are completely residential except for the Cabaret,
this part of town has more of the raw frontier flavor than
the quieter Rua do Campo side. Trucks and vehicles go more
frequently down the main street which leads to Codeara
Ranch road which connects to roads of other ranch-companies
in the region. Ranch personnel come in for shipments or
shopping, and truck-loads of workers are taken from this
part of town out to various ranches, or unloaded in town
for the weekend. On weekends and paydays this part of town
is full of movimento and it is not uncommon to see drunk
men staggering about the streets. Three times during the
day and once at night, school children hike to the top of
Rua da Palha to attend classes at the Santa Terezinha ele
mentary school.
The Rua da Palha contains 161 structures of which 120
are residences. Twenty-four of the 120 residences also
contain businesses. The area has a total of 43 commercial
establishments, more than any other part of town. The Cab
aret accounts for 12 of these establishments. Again, the
back streets, aside from the Cabaret, are quieter and sim
ilar to what has already been described for the back streets

61
of the Ra do Campo. Fewer residents on this side of town
are old-timers; many, in fact, are new arrivals.
Like Ra do Campo, the businesses and better houses
are concentrated along the main street and also in the
Cabaret. Most of the commerce consists of medium sized
or small stores or bars. Aside from the school, which the
State constructed, none of the community organizations or
churches are located here. It was said by informants that
a form of spiritism, called teric, which involved mediums,
drinking and drumming, was performed in several locations
in Rua da Palha but that the chief of police had driven
away the leaders. No teric center appeared to be operat
ing during 1978-1979, although they may have become clan
destine. The Cabaret, also, adds movimento and life to
Rua da Palha. Respectable women and girls do not walk
through this area if they can avoid it. During the day
most of the bars there are closed and the women who work
there sleep late; it is at night that things get lively.
The Cabaret's most active and lucrative times coincide with
ranch paydays when men with money will spend days carous
ing there. Local men and teenagers sometimes visit the
Cabaret, and Indian males also go, though they do more
watching than participating since the law prohibits the
sale of alcohol to Indians. Tales of robberies, fights,
stabbings and shootings that occur in the Cabaret filter
out to the rest of the town.

62
The difference between Ra do Campo and Rua da Palha
can perhaps be illustrated partly by noting the differ
ences between the types of parties one might find in the
two sections. In Rua do Campo a party, at the dance hall,
church or private home, will include men, women and some
children. People will usually dance in the light of sev
eral flickering home-made kerosene lamps. The music will
be the Northeastern sertanejo music of the accordion and
drum with its shuffling two-step. In the Cabaret, on the
other hand, one finds men and "women of the life" but no
"respectable women." Lighting is by electrical generators
or several gas lanterns. The walls are covered with post
ers of television celebrities and naked women. The music
will more likely be samba or disco, although sertanejo
music is also played.
To walk from the farthest residential section of Rua
do Campo over to the elementary school at the top of Rua
da Palha takes about one hour, if one walks via the Rua do
Comercio. There are also two shortcuts behind the center
hill, used mostly by school children during the day. To
save many of the younger children the long walk, a two
grade elementary school was built in the Rua do Campo area.
The number of unoccupied houses and homes under con
struction, 24 and 14 respectively, provide evidence of a
high degree of population movement both into and out of
Santa Terezinha. The reasons why there are so many people

63
moving around will become clearer when economic issues are
discussed. The migration patterns over time, of rapid
immigration into an area which often shifts to increased
emigration, are similar to what has been observed in other
Amazon frontier settlements when the establishment of com
panies and/or a connecting road effectively "opens" a lo
cation (Schmink, 1980). The large number of migrating
persons is indicative of the many small farmers and com
pany workers who move around in the countryside seeking
a place to work.
A striking feature of the town is its large tertiary
sector. For a town of its size, Santa Terezinha has an
enormous number of stores, bars, pool rooms, boarding
houses and night clubs. This is clearly a result of the
fact that Santa Terezinha is currently the central base
for many of the ranch-companies in the region. Most cash
flow in the town results either directly or indirectly from
various ranch activities. The entire Cabaret section is a
function of the predominantly male ranch labor force and
the cash they earn. The Planta, funded and run from Sao
Paulo, receives a great deal of local business, but there
are, apparently, enough customers to support the many other
more or less marginal local businesses. One advantage
which local commerce has is that unlike the Planta, which
allows almost no credit shopping, and the cooperative which
allows only short-term credit (30 day) to its members,

64
local stores frequently allow long-term no-cost credit to
most inhabitants. Access to credit is often critical for
families whose access to cash is periodic and unreliable
and thus, much use is made of the local commerce. Another
factor which encourages commerce is the high social value
given to the occupation of the merchant. A merchant's life
in Brazil, as frequently noted in the literature and
stressed by Marvin Harris (1971), is often considered to be
the ideal life, i.e., one of non-manual labor, plenty of
leisure and relative material well-being. For the majority
of persons questioned, "to participate in commerce" (tocar
comercio) is the main and often only aspiration for upward
mobility. Informants would often proudly state their occu
pation as "merchant" even when they merely had a broken
down kiosk or one-room bar.
The majority of the inhabitants of Santa Terezinha, as
in the rest of Brazil, are Catholics, and consider them
selves part of the Church. The Protestants form a much
smaller but highly visible, audible and active faction.
The Pentecostal Assembleia de Deus in Santa Terezinha has
strong appeal and a large proportion of the population has
"tried it out" at one time or another. The core of the con
gregation, however, is constituted by 30 members (four fam
ilies) They are set off from the rest of the population
by their special dress codes, frequent prayer services,
noisy meetings, and strict prohibitions against participating

65
in parties and activities such as dancing, drinking, smok
ing and swearing. They spend most of their free time in
church activities and pay a tithe to the church from which
they fund church projects such as a new building started
in 1978. The Pentecostals tend to be financially better
off than the majority of the town's families. They do not
participate in other community organizations and functions
and avoid politics and conflicts. Few of their many con
verts seem to last more than a few months. In 1978 a new
Baptist church was started by the minister from Cazeara
who periodically visits Santa Terezinha. Generally the
Baptist church is supervised by the American missionaries
from the New Tribes Mission; the congregation fluctuates
at around ten, most of whom are children.
Another religion present in Santa Terezinha which has
no church as yet is a new cult begun in Sao Paulo and dis
seminated in the countryside by means of frequent radio
programs. The formal name of this sect is the Apostolic
Church, but it is generally referred to as "Vovo Rosa"
(grandmother Rosa) who is the popularly sainted figurehead
of this new church. Rosa was a girl of about 14 who died
a few years ago in S3o Paulo who was said to have performed
many miracles. Members of this church (Santa Terezinha
members, a total of 15 persons) are primarily women, and
like Pentecostals, have strict dress and behavior codes.
The members consider the religion to be a form of

66
Catholicism; they feel that the Catholic Church has become
too decadent and worldly. The main attraction of the re
ligion, aside from the discipline it imposes, is the power
ful curative powers of the blessed water which any believer
can obtain by placing a cup of water on the radio during
the program. Followers occasionally meet but more often
they listen to the radio programs individually at conve
nient times during the day. The adherents are all poorer
people, primarily farm families who also live and work in
the town. Almost all the Vovo Rosa women wash laundry for
wages; conversely almost all the laundresses belong to this
religion.
The Catholic Church and its Mission are particularly
influential in Santa Terezinha and are the driving force
behind most community organizations and events. The Mis
sion's ideological commitment to the small farmers and ag
ricultural workers of the region is a continuation of the
policy of Padre Jentel, the first priest of Santa Terezinha.
Francisco Jentel was a French worker priest whose efforts
on behalf of the peasants and Indians of northern Mato
Grosso resulted in his eventual imprisonment and subsequent
banishment from Brazil; these events will be described in
the following chapter. The Santa Terezinha Mission is part
of the diocese of the outspoken Bishop Pedro Casaldliga
of Sao Felix do Araguaia whose writings and speeches on the
oppression and exploitation of Indians and peasants in the

67
Amazon have become known internationally (Casaldliga, 1971)
The Bishop, a Spaniard, has already been threatened
with deportation. The Santa Terezinha Mission is also con
sidered a threat by authorities and is frequently under in
vestigation.
The Catholic Mission founded and organized the agricul
tural cooperative, the pharmacy-clinic and an elementary
school. Today the state authorities run the elementary
school but the Mission continues to operate the MOBRAL, an
adult literacy program. The Mission personnel continue to
provide expertise and leadership for the cooperative and
pharmacy. They are also instrumental in forming new local
organizations. During 1978 they helped organize the "Com
mittee for the Emancipation of Santa Terezinha," which
seeks to establish Santa Terezinha as a separate municipal
ity from Luciara, and they lent support, leadership and a
building to the new Rural Workers Union which was founded
in 1979. The Mission is influential in getting news of the
town and region, particularly land conflicts and labor
abuses, out to the national press and authorities in Bra
silia. They also play a vital role in the dissemination
of informationabout politics, new laws, workers' rights,
vaccines and suchin the town and countryside. This is
done by means of church services, various meetings and a
monthly newsletter published at diocese headquarters (Sao
Felix do Araguaia) which carries news of the region and the
nation.

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The Mission takes a strong and undisguised political
position which is reflected in all its actions, from hymns
at Mass about the rights and unity of poor folk to the or
ganization of meetings for the opposition political party,
the Movimento Democrtico Brasileiro (MDB) which is a co
alition of almost all political groups in opposition to the
military government and its own party of ARENA. Needless
to say, the ranch-companies consider the Mission and this
wing of the Catholic Church to be an annoying and dangerous
enemy, as do most of the local elite of the town, who are
ARENA supporters, and view the Mission as subversive, com
munist and rabble rousing. Most regional inhabitants, how
ever, both supporters and opponents of the Mission, come
into contact with the Mission because of its health services,
at Masses, and at community functions such as the patron
saint (Santa Terezinha) festival and St. John's Day cele
bration. Since open conflict with the Codeara Ranch ceased
in 1973 many of the more active of the Mission's supporters
"retired" to a primary concern with family and personal mat
ters. Yet the Mission continues to play an important role
in the town and the countryside. In the 1978 election, as
in the previous one, the entire state of Mato Grosso sup
ported ARENA, but the municipality of Luciara was solidly
MDB (the opposition party) as a result of the Mission's in
fluence .

69
The current political structure of Santa Terezinha is
relatively new. After 1973 the town was officially ceded
the land on which it was located, and in 1976 the governor
of the state declared Santa Terezinha a district (distrito)
within the municipality of Luciara. Luciara is the munic
ipal seat, runs the municipal government and controls the
revenue flow, a fact which is deeply resented by Santa Tere
zinha residents who are quick to point out that Santa Tere
zinha is bigger and contributes more revenue to the state
than Luciara and hence should be made into a separate and
autonomous municipality. Meanwhile the mayor of Luciara,
five out of the seven elected municipal councilmen and the
camara or legislative body are located in Luciara. Two
councilmen live in Santa Terezinha and the mayor assigns
an assistant mayor (sub prefeito) to the town. These of
ficials, however, have little impact on Santa Terezinha ex
cept for implementing the new policy regulating urban prop
erties. The assistant mayor sells the urban lots, but
spends most of his time transporting labor gangs and cargo
to a new ranch-company some 80 km from Santa Terezinha in
his truck. The delegado, a local man, is assigned by state
authorities to Santa Terezinha. The town also has in res
idence one sergeant and a few state troopers who are all
outsiders, and receive extra "hardship pay" for being as
signed to such a remote and uncomfortable spot. There are
no lawyers or judges of any kind, nor any registry offices

70
for births, land titles or other types of documents. Since
most residents cannot make the long and costly trips neces
sary for such documentation, few people have either semi
legal or legal documents.
The Santa Terezinha elementary school (ginsio) is the
only permanent state-funded organization present in the town
and it was, and continues to be a focal point of local con
flict. In 1978-1979 the school had a total enrollment of
575 students, most of whom were attending grades one through
three. The curriculum included grades one through seven
with plans to complete the program with an eighth grade by
1980. The school operates on three shifts and children at
tend either a morning, afternoon or evening session. For
the past two years the school