Cultural Politics and Indigenous Peoples
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More About This Title Cultural Politics and Indigenous Peoples


“There are cultural policies for the Indians, and there are cultural policies from the Indians. They are not the same,” declares the anthropologist Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, the organizer, along with Pedro de Niemeyer Cesarino, of 'Cultural Politics and Indigenous Peoples', winner of the Jabuti Prize in 2015 in the category Human Sciences.

The book brings together nineteen essays that seek to identify and examine the cultural policies practiced upon Brazil’s Indians, and the cultural policies practiced by the Indians – and some others that indirectly impinge on them. The essays deal with these types of policies and practices, but also their points of contact and combined effects.

The outcomes of these types of policies and practices are sometimes obvious, but in other instances can be very subtle. Because of this, the studies are grounded in ethnographies. Their merit lies in the way they focus on the highly specific nature of particular experiences, with a resulting caution against generalizations. “There are, indubitably, similarities among indigenous societies in Brazil, even among some that are widely separated geographically, with no linguistic connections. But these connections do not result in homogeneity. We cannot generalize conclusions,” warns the organizer, in praise of the particular and the specific. From this starting point the book develops, seeing past apparent similarities to the singular and ineffable, enabling our own latent capacities for “estrangement.”