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Amazonian RoutesIndigenous Mobility and Colonial Communities in Northern Brazil$
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Heather F. Roller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804787086

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804787086.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Amazonian Routes

Heather F. Roller

Stanford University Press

The introduction challenges three durable and interrelated stereotypes about Amazonian history: that the tropical environment prevented the development of large, stable societies; that native Amazonians and their descendants were culturally predisposed to a wandering existence; and that settlement could have been imposed only from above. In contrast to works that depict the historical process of settlement as led by the colonial state, the central argument of the book is that native Amazonians used mobility to create enduring communities within the colony. The introduction explains how ethnohistorical methods have been used in this study and highlights the book’s contribution to the literature (mostly coming out of Spanish America) on native mobility and the history of “colonial Indians.” The relevance of anthropological, ecological, and geographical perspectives on Amazonia is also outlined here.

Keywords:   spatial mobility, migration, settlement, colonial communities, Indians of South America, colonial Indians, ethnohistory, Amazonia, Brazil

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