Patricia Freitas Lopes Rodrigues

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Notre Dame, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9925

Approve Date

October 25, 2019

Project Title

Rodrigues, Patricia (Notre Dame, U. of) "Marshaling the Past: Indigenous Regimes of Ownership in Amazonian Ecologies"

This project investigates how people marshal the past to secure a sustainable future. I ask how Amerindian people in Amazonia attribute historical and ecological values and meanings to anthropogenic landscapes, while simultaneously building an understanding of themselves within a complex set of changing relations between humans, nonhuman agents, and the environment. I propose an ethnography of how the Wauja people from Upper-Xingu enact regimes of ownership over land and ecological resources. I integrate ethnographic, ethnoarchaeological, and linguistic anthropological methods into an engaged anthropology framework to examine how the Wauja construct semiotic bridges of meaning between material evidences of past occupations and present-day models of territoriality and growth. This project advances a multivalent anthropology of ecological fruition that undertakes the analysis of thus far overlooked connections between cultural articulations of ownership, nurture, and domestication. I argue that the debate around human domestication of nonhumans through relations of ownership helps clarify disjunctions between indigenous regimes of ownership and western regimes of property. Ultimately, this research illuminates how indigenous people translate traditional understandings into a Western idiom when performing political claims to territory. This investigation contributes in innovative ways to anthropological perspectives on the constitution of the self through asymmetrical relations to others.