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Legalizing IdentitiesBecoming Black or Indian in Brazil's Northeast$
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Jan Hoffman French

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832929

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807889886_french

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Situating Identities in the Religious Landscape of the Sertão

Situating Identities in the Religious Landscape of the Sertão

(p.17) Chapter 1 Situating Identities in the Religious Landscape of the Sertão
Legalizing Identities

Jan Hoffman French

University of North Carolina Press

The people who would become the Xocó Indians and the quilombolas of Mocambo share a common backland history, culture, and politics—all of which came to be mobilized and revised by them in the years since the first discussions of possible indigenous identity in the early 1970s. This chapter describes that common heritage and identifies the contradictory character of the place and culture of the rural hinterland that is known as the sertão. It shows how these historical contradictions informed and enabled the differentiation and legalization of Indian and black identities in a place where ethnoracial mixture has been, and continues to be, the operative assumption.

Keywords:   Xocó Indians, quilombolas, Mocambo, cultural heritage, sertão, indigenous identity

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