Riding a Wave: Embodied Skills and Colonial History on the Amazon Floodplain

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36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article considers the taskscape of fisherpeople who live on the Amazon floodplain. It builds on discussions of skills which are limited by their focus on a small number of activities, weak contextualisation in relations of power and history and homogenisation of practice. I argue that skills should be differentiated and historicised and understood as composite and improvised abilities made up of various capacities. The way in which skills are reinvented by each generation depends on the particular circumstances they confront. This improvisational ability has its genesis in the way Amerindians and poor colonists adopted to the colonial economy. The present of these floodplain dwellers can be compared to a wave that carries forward the history of post actions and embodies their potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-219
Number of pages23
JournalEthnos
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Keywords

  • skills
  • embodiment
  • history
  • taskscape
  • practice
  • Brazil
  • ANTHROPOLOGY

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