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8435 - From the Jaguar's Fire: Stone Axes, Agriculture and Anthropophagy in Indigenous Histories of Western Rondônia, Brazil

Contemporary ethnography and narratives from indigenous people living today on tributaries of the Mamoré/Guaporé offer a wealth of information for archaeological and ethnohistorical investigations into regional prehistory. This paper synthesizes information from oral histories, myths, and ethnography among the Wari’ (Pakaas Novos) to identify key events and inter-ethnic relationships that may have left material or linguistic traces that can provide clues to decipher the region’s prehistory. The Wari’ are the largest, most ethnically and linguistically intact surviving native group in western Rondônia, and their historical memories cover a broad territory west of the Serra dos Pakaas Novos. Wari’ elders describe population movements from caves in the Serra into western lowlands dotted with fertile black- and red-earth sites rich in ceramics; specific historical encounters with other, linguistically distinct groups; and a far-reaching exchange network centered on a site that was the regional source of stone for axes and knives. The marked contrasts among the distinctive death rituals of western Rondonia’s various native peoples, ranging from urn burial to cremation and anthropophagy, suggest other sets of tangible markers of ethnic identities and interactions.

Palavras-chaves: indigenous peoples, archaeology, ethnohistory, ethnography, Amazonia

Autores: Conklin, Beth (Vanderbilt University, Ud States of Am / USA)

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