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Vol. 3 No. 2 (2024): Ekologos

Threats to Rivers and Indigenous Heritage in the Amazon: A View from the Upper Xingu

  • Antonio Guerreiro

    Department of Anthropology, State University of Campinas
February 16, 2024


This article presents an overview of some of the main threats to Amazonian rivers and how they impact the traditional ways of life of the indigenous peoples living on the planet's largest rainforest. Based on ethnographic research with the Kalapalo of the Upper Xingu, in the Southern Amazon, the article discusses how this specific people have been dealing with transformations in their relationship with rivers and lakes caused by environmental changes. Based on a dialogue between the Kalapalo ways of engaging with the aquatic world and critical ideas of Amerindian thinkers about what the West has conventionally called "nature", it suggests the need to re-subjectivize the natural world as a condition for facing the challenges of climate change in an alternative way to the naturalistic worldview consolidated in colonial modernity.