Tending the Emperor’s Garden: Modes of Human-Nature Relations in the Cosmology of the Sateré-Mawé Indians of the Lower Amazon


Advocates of bioregionalism often cite as models indigenous peoples, whose sense of place is understood as solidifying through the application of religious, moral, and aesthetic meaning to their environment. Yet while this is partly true, many of these strategies have been contested by powerful external political forces. This article considers how the cosmology of the Sateré-Mawé interacts with the pressures of the modern era. It also argues that scholars should avoid essentializing specific cosmologies as monolithic and immune to historical change. The Sateré-Mawé, as the article highlights, exhibit a pluralism of sometimes conflicting modes of human-nature relations in their cosmology.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/6161