The Xavante in Transition
Health, Ecology, and Bioanthropology in Central Brazil
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Download PDF (20.3 KB)
List of Figures
Download PDF (23.5 KB)
List of Tables
Download PDF (26.8 KB)
Download PDF (23.2 KB)
In former times, in those days, our health and the foods we ate were more traditional than they are today. There were not so many sicknesses. We were very strong and resistant because of the way we ate. At that time there wasn’t the interference that there is today, the interference of the whites. At that time there was no tuberculosis, no diabetes; at that time there were none of the sicknesses that we see today.
Preface and Acknowledgments
Download PDF (36.6 KB)
Sometimes fortuitous encounters in our lives may start us along paths that take us a great distance, involve relationships that last for years, and, if we are fortunate, give us great personal and intellectual pleasure. This book is the result of such a meeting. The idea for a multidisciplinary research project among the Et��it�pa Xav�nte bringing together perspectives from biological anthropology, human ecology, and public health was...
List of Abbreviations
Download PDF (24.1 KB)
Guide to Pronunciation of Xav�nte Words
Download PDF (22.7 KB)
We have not attempted to reproduce the phonetics of the Xav�nte language. The orthography is currently under discussion. In the pronunciation of Xav�nte words as they are written in the text, the consonants p, b, t, d, m, w, and h are pronounced as they are in English. To pronounce the affricate sounds ts and tz, raise the tongue to the roof of the mouth just before making the English sounds s or z. The letter r is a tap; the tongue momentarily touches the roof of the mouth.
Download PDF (75.5 KB)
This book presents the results of research in an indigenous community of Central Brazil. Our principal aim, in collecting and analyzing demographic, biological, epidemiological, and ecological data, has been to produce a diachronic view of the long and complex interaction between the Xav�nte people, especially those of the Et��it�pa community, and the surrounding Brazilian national society.
2. Geographical and Social Setting
Download PDF (832.1 KB)
The Xav�nte live today, as they did in the past, on the Brazilian Plateau, on uplands that are drained by northward-flowing rivers: the Tocantins, the Araguaia, and the Xingu (fig. 2.1). Most of this southeastern region of the Amazon river basin, often loosely referred to in the literature as Central Brazil, is covered by the distinct type of vegetation known as cerrado.1
3. History: Confrontations and Connections
Download PDF (694.4 KB)
The Xavánte have a legend telling how their ancestors once crossed a wide river on the backs of river porpoises. In a version of this legend told by an old man from Etéñitépa, the Xavánte crossed this river on their way west, coming from where the sun rises and fleeing places where there were many white settlers.1 They founded a village called Tsōrepré. Times were good for the Xavánte when they lived in this village.
4. Biological Variability and Continuity
Download PDF (113.8 KB)
In previous chapters we have placed the Xav�nte, especially the group living at Et��it�pa, in their geographical, social, and historical settings. In this chapter we will compare biological data from the Xav�nte at the morphological, biochemical (protein), and molecular (DNA) levels with similar data available for other South American Indian groups in order to evaluate similarities and differences.
5. Demographic Crisis and Recovery
Download PDF (236.2 KB)
Xav�nte population dynamics over the last three hundred years have been affected by the expansion of Western society into Central Brazil. As we have seen in chapter 3, historical sources show that as far back as the eighteenth century the Xav�nte were experiencing displacements and the impact of epidemics. The historical experience of the Xav�nte ...
6. Subsistence, Ecology, and the Development Trap
Download PDF (699.4 KB)
If one reads reports by scientists, journalists, and other travelers who crossed Central Brazil in the first half of the twentieth century it is not uncommon to come across descriptions of the cerrado as an extremely inhospitable environment for human life. The engineer Manuel Rodrigues Ferreira, a member of the Instituto Hist�rico e Geogr�fico de S�o Paulo, who took part in the Roncador-Xingu Expedition in the 1940s, wrote: ...
7. Health Services and Unmet Needs
Download PDF (83.1 KB)
Contrary to what one might expect, it was not the Serviço de Proteção aos Índios (SPI), founded in 1918, that made the early attempts to provide Brazilian Indians with health care on a systematic basis. The nearest thing to what we might call an Indian health service was the brainchild of a physician, Noel Nutels, who was introduced to the reality of Indian health as a member of the …
8. The Burden of Infectious Disease
Download PDF (302.3 KB)
A document that was published recently by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a section of the World Health Organization (WHO), paints a gloomy picture of health conditions among the native peoples of the Americas: “Serious and pervasive inequities are known to exist in health status and health service coverage of indigenous population groups in the Americas” (PAHO 1997, 357). Although reliable data ...
9. The Emergence of New Diseases
Download PDF (357.2 KB)
The physical condition of Xavánte men made a powerful impression on those who saw them in the years soon after contact. A journalist who visited the Xavánte at São Domingos in the 1940s wrote: “Although they are not really giants, as was rumored at first, the Xavánte physical presence is admirable. Bronzed, of medium height, among them we can ...
10. The Xav�nte in Transition
Download PDF (47.7 KB)
In our Xav�nte case study we have used analyses of bioanthropological, ecological, demographic, and epidemiological data; through these data we have tried to draw a picture, however partial, of the historical experience of the Xav�nte with Western expansion in central regions of lowland South America.
Download PDF (99.0 KB)
Download PDF (203.3 KB)
Download PDF (82.1 KB)
Page Count: 376
Illustrations: 16 drawings, 29 B&W photographs, 39 tables, 3 maps
Publication Year: 2002
Series Title: Human-Environment Interactions