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3159 - EACH ONE HAS A LITTLE BIT OF MEDICAL SENSE AND MADNESS": Health Policy and cultural mediations between the SPI (Indian Protection Service) and the Indigenous

This work aimed to analyze health policies and their results, targeted to indigenous people by the SPI, official political institution responsible for the Indians in Brazil (1910 to 1967), and whose practice has determined the current status of their health. The actions of this institution were based on the ideals of civilization and sanitation, and for this reason, Indians diseases were the main obstacle for the SPI civilizing mission. The emphasis of the SPI was the transformation of indigenous into workers, so sanitizing meant changing behavior perceived as anti-social and "backward." Being healthy meant to the SPI to be clean, dressed and to adopt a standard of "normality" imposed by the science. However, the treatment for diseases provided by the Service in practice was scarce: it lacked resources, medication and professionals. Still, medicate and sanitize became a means for the Service to monitor, sort and generate the dependency of the Indians for the institution. Moreover, this shortage strengthened in the Indians with the possibility of using their own abilities to seek healing in their procedures for the new illnesses they faced. SPI understood these practices as something that put the Indians away from the path of integration and civilization, and even using coercive practices, could not exterminate them. Within the medical units, the relations established between officials of the SPI and the Indians were built from reframing, translations and mediations. The ways of conceiving, understanding and treating diseases by indigenous people and those offered by non-Indians, crossed one another, were sewn in a plot in a web of meanings and permeated by cultural logics built and processed daily. Thus, the Indians and the servants of indigenous policies conversed in the light of the experiences they have experienced, and thus the cultural mediation produced responses from the search for a dialogue that was as possible and intelligible as they could both have. The transformations in the quotidian of the health units were orchestrated by the Indian way of conceiving the world, something that was and is imperative in the process of ethno genesis.

Keywords: health, indigenous, SPI (Indian Protection Service), mediations, ethno genesis.

Author: Oliveira, Priscila (UNICAMP, Brazil / Brasilien)

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