Those who live like us:Autodemarcations and the co-becoming of Indigenous and beiradeiros on the Upper Tapajós River, Brazilian Amazonia

Vega, Ailen and Fraser, James and Torres, Mauricio and Loures, Rosamaria (2022) Those who live like us:Autodemarcations and the co-becoming of Indigenous and beiradeiros on the Upper Tapajós River, Brazilian Amazonia. Geoforum, 129. pp. 39-48. ISSN 0016-7185

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Abstract

This paper explores autodemarcations on the Tapajós River, Brazilian Amazonia, wherein a traditional community --- the beiradeiros (riverbank inhabitants) --- and the Indigenous Munduruku together mark the boundaries of their lands and remove invaders in their struggles for the recognition of territorial rights from the state. We approach autodemarcations on the Tapajós as a form of co-becoming: unseating colonial identities and generating mutual recognition within and between these two peoples (turning inwards) while also claiming rights from the state (turning outwards) in the face of expanding extractive frontiers. While legal recognition is well represented in the literature on Indigenous peoples’ and traditional communities’ struggles over land and countermapping, intersubjective recognition is an omission. Our contribution is to show the importance of the turn inward and contend that it is within this ‘turn’ that autodemarcations hold radical potential. Such possibility lies in challenging colonial categorizations through novel forms of relationality, namely “wuyḡuybuḡun,” a Munduruku neologism meaning “those who live like us, plant like us, fish like us, but cannot hear like us” which began to be used by the Munduruku to refer to the beiradeiros during autodemarcations. We argue that what matters more than the physical boundary (autodemarcation), or the map (countermapping), is the emergent set of social relations: the co-becoming of two distinct peoples. Autodemarcation and other struggles for recognition of territorial and civil rights form part of larger acts of community resistance and popular political participation. They are grassroots democratic state-building processes that should be supported by state institutions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Geoforum
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Geoforum. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geoforum, 129, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2022.01.003
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3312
Subjects:
ID Code:
164316
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Jan 2022 10:55
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
20 Jan 2022 06:03