This book presents a diachronic view of the long and complex interaction between the Xavánte, an indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon, and the surrounding nation, documenting the effects of this interaction on Xavánte health, ecology, and biology. Using analyses and comparisons of bioanthropological, ecological, demographic, and epidemiological datacollected over a period of nearly forty years of field study, the authors draw a picture of the experience of the Xavánte with Western economic and political fronts.
While recent studies have recognized the time depth of Western expansionism and its effects on indigenous societies in Amazonia, this case study is an innovative effort to add a historical dimension to research in human ecology, human biology, and health. It draws on the field experience and the expertise of four Amazonian specialists, a medical anthropologist, a cultural anthropologist, a geneticist, and a biological anthropologist, giving it an unusual interdisciplinary perspective.
The Xavánte experience has broad significance as an example of how a small-scale society, buffeted by political and economic forces at the national level and beyond, attempts to cope with changing conditions.The book will interest demographers, economists, and environmentalists attempting to bring economic development to small-scale societies, and public health workers, especially those planning health services for indigenous peoples. It will also be of interest to general readers concerned about the human and environmental effects of development in Amazonia.
Named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title