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Memoria americana

versión On-line ISSN 1851-3751


FERNANDES SILVA, Joana A.. Identities and conflict at the frontier: local powers and the chiquitanos. Mem. am. [online]. 2008, n.16-2, pp. 119-148. ISSN 1851-3751.

I intend to present, based on identities theory and on cultural fundamentalism ideas, a reflection about interethnical relations, among the Chiquitanos and non-indians, in a region of national frontier, located between two national states (Brazil and Bolívia). I deal here with a remarkable fact lately occurring in this área which refers to ethnicity debates among regional population (politicians, farmers, etc.) A campaign, promoted by some politicians and by State of Mato Grosso governor, during 2005 and 2006, through written press, tried to convince state population of the non-indianity of the Chiquitanos and to prove that they are foreigners, i.e. Bolivian immigrants in Brazil. What is at play here, is not only a matter related to identity and authenticity, but a dispute for indigenous lands on the part of local land owners. In this sense, recurring affirmations that there are no indians in those lands, only foreigners and immigrants, is in itself a way of cultural fundamentalism, which admits differences, but when admitted, turn them empty of legitimate rights, advocating brazilians and national populations rights. It is presented in this article a short history of the Chiquitanos in Brazil, with the objective of understanding their current situation.

Palabras clave : Identity; Nationality; Frontier; Ethnicity; Cultural fundamentalism.

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