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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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Cultural Moves: Authenticity and Legalizing Difference

Cultural Moves: Authenticity and Legalizing Difference

(p.133) Chapter 5 Cultural Moves: Authenticity and Legalizing Difference
Legalizing Identities

Jan Hoffman French

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explains how revisions to cultural practices of the Xocó and Quilombo Mocambo operated to consolidate new self-conceptions. It examines the importance to Indian identity of the tore (a dance associated with northeastern Indians), jurema (a hallucinogenic beverage made from the bark and roots of varieties of the mimosa tree), and ouricuri (secret sacred meetings); and the importance to quilombola identity of the samba de coco dance. It argues that significant cultural changes occurred once each community was recognized as a member group of a federally protected ethnicity. Those changes include revisions in the meanings of land and its uses. Cultural practices that had become synonymous with sertanejo traditions were being disentangled, standardized, assigned to, and adopted by self-designated, legally recognized Indian tribes or quilombo communities. The chapter then reflects on the cultural material from which these choices were made.

Keywords:   cultural practices, cultural change, Xocó, Quilombo Mocambo, Indian identity, cultural identity, self-conception

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