Radical Territories in the Brazilian Amazon
The Kayapó’s Fight for Just Livelihoods
Radical Territories in the Brazilian Amazon sheds light on the creative and groundbreaking efforts Kayapó peoples deploy to protect their lands and livelihoods. Now at the front lines of cultivating diversified strategies for resistance, the Kayapó are creating a powerful activist base, experimenting with nontimber forest projects, and forging strong community conservation partnerships. Tracing the complex politics of the Kayapó’s homeland, Laura Zanotti advances approaches to understanding how indigenous peoples cultivate self-determination strategies in conflict-ridden landscapes.
Kayapó peoples are providing a countervision of what Amazonia can look like in the twenty-first century, dominated neither by agro-industrial interests nor by uninhabited protected landscapes. Instead, Kayapó peoples see their homeland as a living landscape where indigenous vision engages with broader claims for conservation and development in the region.
Weaving together anthropological and ethnographic research with personal interactions with the Kayapó, Zanotti tells the story of activism and justice in the Brazilian Amazon, and how Kayapó communities are using diverse pathways to make a sustainable future for their peoples and lands. The author interweaves Kayapó perspectives with a political ecology framework to show how working with indigenous peoples is vital to addressing national and global challenges in the present time, when many environmentally significant conditions and processes are profoundly altered by human activities.
“Zanotti effortlessly weaves theoretical contributions into rich ethnographic description, carrying the reader into the center of the village ceremony, the forest nut grove, the sweet potato field, and the network of paths surrounding the scientific research station.”—Juliet Erazo, author of Construyendo la Autonomía: Organizaciones Indígenas, Gobierno y Uso de la Tierra en la Región Amazónica del Ecuador, 1964–2001
“Zanotti makes an important contribution to the literature of human-centered conservation through her examination of the means by which one extraordinary group of people has successful retained their cultural identity, protected their ancestral lands, and confronted the outside world on their own terms.”—Conservation Biology