The Politics of Possession: The Proliferation of Partnerships in the Brazilian Amazon



Centered on one village, Aukre, this article discusses new types of intervillage ties and coordination in the Kayapó lands in Brazil. Present-day village politics are animated by a diverse array of old and emergent partnerships in the Amazon region. The Kayapó effort to preserve their homeland has resulted in communities’ networking, articulating, and partnering with many different types of stakeholders as a response to the territorialization of their homeland and the increased bureaucratization of their livelihoods. Ethnographic data from one village suggests that current community relationships are part of a multilayered political and social landscape. Now, village ties are forged and maintained because of ramped-up transportation and communication within the territory, bureaucratic structures that demand consistent intervillage diplomacy, economic incentives that offer Kayapó communities opportunities for engagement and competition, and ongoing alliances to protect and defend the integrity of the Kayapó lands and their territorial boundaries.