Organizing indigeneity among the Xukuru do Ororubá of Brazil
This study examines the relationship between indigenous identity, ancestral land, and socio-politics in Brazil. The author analyzes the practices by which contemporary indigenous communities in Brazil physically reclaim their land from cattle ranchers and the impact of these practices on their self-representation, ideology, and social discourse. The first section of the study provides a historical overview of cultural politics from colonization to the 1991 Constitutional Decree that guaranteed Indians' rights allowing for the demarcation of ancestral lands. The second section examines the Xukuru do Ororubá in Northeastern Brazil with a focus on their struggle with local cattle ranchers and government officials as they move from peasant-farmers who rented their ancestral land from fazendeiros (ranchers or plantation owners) to legal occupants of their demarcated territory. The third section introduces the organization made up of Xukuru and non-indigenous advocates at the helm of projects in “sustainability”, and analyzes how and why these projects promote a new subjectivity and become en emblem of indigeneity and land ownership.