In a similar way, the Kayapo have managed to attract significant support from new domestic and international social movements (NSMs) and non-governmental organi- zations (NGOs). The growth of these essentially middle- class movements committed to universal values and causes such as human rights and environmentalism, often opposed to the interests and projects of globalized capital, has been a prominent feature of the social dynamics of globalization. The Kayapo, with some help from anthropologists and NGO representatives, quickly understood that their strug- gles for territorial and cultural rights and protection of their environment converged in important, if not all, respects with the causes being fostered by these movements. A crucial part of that understanding was the importance of overtly representing themselves as a group of distinctive identity capable of acting independently in defence of their cultures, lands and environment. In contrast to the covert forms of resistance or ‘hidden transcripts’ that James Scott has suggested are the essential ‘weapons of the weak’, in other words, the Kayapo have developed a flamboyantly ‘open transcript’, consisting of their own overt represen- tations and public acts of opposition to Brazilian state policies and powers (cf. Scott 1985, 1990; Turner 1991, 1992). An important aspect of this ‘open transcript’ has been the Kayapo’s development of new forms and techniques of representation, including the creative use of new media such as video but also adaptations of their traditional cul- tural forms such as ritual choreography and self-decora- tion, employed in staging demonstrations and political confrontations. These innovative forms of representation, and the support from national and international civil society they have helped to win, in sum, have also been important ‘weapons’ in the Kayapo struggle (Fajans-Turner 2004, Turner 1991, Keck and Sikkink 1998). The Kayapo have been able to co-opt and employ the powers derived from these extraneous sources by drawing upon the political qualities and cultural resources devel- oped in their traditional system. These qualities were epitomized by their creation of the inter-ethnic alliance of ‘peoples of the Xingú’ at the Piaraçu meeting of 2003 (Fajans-Turner and Turner 2005) and the new level of ritu- ally grounded political unity for their own people at the 2006 Piaraçu meeting described at the beginning of this article. If the peoples and ecosystem of the Amazon are to be saved from the ravages of the Brazilian regime’s devel- opmentalist policies, they will owe much to the Kayapo’s ability to exploit the conflicting currents of global civil society and discordant elements of modern state regimes as sources of new powers of resistance and adaptation.
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- Spring '16
- Anthropology, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Kayapo