SEASONAL FLOODPLAIN-UPLAND MIGRATION ALONG THE LOWER AMAZON RIVER*

Authors

  • ANTOINETTE M. G. A. WINKLERPRINS

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      Dr. Winkler Prins is an assistant professor of geography at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1115.


  • *

    Research for this article was made possible by grants from the National Science Foundation (No. 9508193, K. S. Zimmerer, principal investigator), the Association of American Geographers, and the American Association of University Women, and by support from Projeto Várzea (Santarém, Brazil) and the ITC-International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences. I sincerely thank the residents of Ituqui for their time, patience, and friendship. I also thank William Denevan, anonymous reviewers, and the editor for their comments on earlier drafts of this article.

Abstract

ABSTRACT. A current pattern of seasonal migration, particularly among smallholders, is marked by movement between the Amazon River floodplain and upland bluffs near the city of Santarém, Brazil. Nearly fifty years of jute cultivation “subsidized” residents of the floodplain, enabling them to remain there year-round. Without this subsidy, annual flooding and the concomitant seasonal dearth of cash-economy activities make permanent occupancy difficult. The present-day seasonal migration and complementary use of both upland and floodplain environments has broad implications for theories about past patterns of settlement and for the region's future sustainable development.

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