Traditional Peoples and the Struggle for Land in the Amazon Basin



Current processes of deforestation and development in the Amazon Basin continue historical trends that have devastated indigenous populations and drastically reduced their land rights. While protection of the Amazon ecosystem has become a worldwide concern, many indigenous and folk groups employ forest management strategies that utilize natural resources without causing permanent degradation. This paper considers historical, political and socioeconomic circumstances that threaten the survival of indigenous groups and their sustainable forms of forest use. The paper argues that discrepant cultural models and attitudes contribute to the differences in land use between traditional Amazon residents and newcomers. The problems and possibilities entailed by efforts to protect traditional land rights are also discussed.

Keywords: Indigenous and folk populations, land rights, economic development, Amazon, Brazil, political ecology, sustainable resource management

How to Cite: Tucker, C. M. (1996) “Traditional Peoples and the Struggle for Land in the Amazon Basin”, Arizona Anthropologist. 12(0).