Awá-Guajá, Amazon, care, hunting, kinship, riku


This article is based on fieldwork among the Guajá people, a small indigenous group of Tupí-Guaraní speakers inhabiting the eastern portion of Brazil’s Amazon region. Aiming for an ethnographic definition of kinship, this article engages in issues related to the figure of the “owner/masterin the Amazon, proposing a dialogue with a seldom discussed aspect of this subject—namely, its relation to conjugality. I argue that relationships included in the universe of “familiarity” and “mastery” are not only coextensive with the field of kinship; they also reveal a very particular conception of humanity. The process of Awá-Guajá kinship, where the spouse is transformed through a very particular system of actions, can only be understood if we move beyond the issue of Amazonian affinity and articulate it with certain aspects of the familiarity and mastery theme. This article is an attempt to think inclusively about kinship, the mastery/ownershiptheme, and some ecological questions, in an ethnographic way.