Accepted Paper:

Being human and being animal acording to Central Brazi Mebengokré-Xikrin  

Author:

Paride Bollettin (Masaryk University and Federal University of Bahia)

Paper short abstract:

The paper aims to reflect on the ways in which Central Brazil Mebengokré-Xikrin indigenous comunity thinks about members of other living species. It wants to highlight how different animals contribute to the definition of a network of subjectivities in dialogue and that build relationships.The paper aims to reflect on the ways in which Central Brazil Mebengokré-Xikrin indigenous comunity thinks about members of other living species. It wants to highlight how different animals contribute to the definition of a network of subjectivities in dialogue that build relationships.

Paper long abstract:

Starting from a fieldwork experience that dates since 2005, the paper intends to present some significant ethnographic examples that may help to reflect on how Central Brazil Mebengokré-Xikrin maintain relationships with other living species. Terrestrial animals, fish and birds appear, both in the narratives and in everyday life, as ones who have a specific agentivity capable of affecting humans. From these descriptions the paper will show how these relationships can allow a transformative potential necessary for the formation of properly mebengokré human beings. Dressing with feathers during a ritual, using the name of a fish, meeting an animal during the hunt, in this context are specific ways of entering into dialogues with other living beings in a constant process of formation of the human. In this way, it appears the need to think about these relationships from a deconstruction of the nature/culture dichotomy point of view in favor of an increasing numbers of individual relationships and partnerships.

Panel BH15
Querying domestication: the ethnography of human-animal entanglements