Changing times and local terms on the Rio Negro, Brazil: Amazonian ways of depolarizing epistemology, chronology and cultural Change
Changing times and local terms on the Rio Negro, Brazil: Amazonian ways of depolarizing epistemology, chronology and cultural Change. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic studies, 2
(2), 111-140. doi:10.1080/17442220701489548.
Partway along the vast waterways of Brazil's middle Rio Negro, upstream from urban Manaus and downstream from the ethnographically famous Northwest Amazon region, is the town of Castanheiro, whose inhabitants skillfully negotiate a space between the polar extremes of 'traditional' and 'acculturated.' This paper takes an ethnographic look at the non-polarizing terms that these rural Amazonian people use for talking about cultural change. While popular and academic discourses alike have often framed cultural change in the Amazon as a linear process, Amazonian discourse provides resources for describing change as situated in shifting fields of knowledge of the social and physical environments, better capturing its non-linear complexity and ambiguity.