TMCC Distinguished Speaker Series Presents: The Persistence and Cultural Transformation of the Awá


Mar. 11, 2021, 6:30 - 8 p.m.




The Persistence and Cultural Transformation of the Awá:
A Critical Look at the Transition from Foraging to Farming in the Brazilian Amazon

The Awá of the Brazilian Amazon are one of the last groups of hunter-gatherers in the world and only recently came into permanent contact with Brazilian mainstream society.  Since the 1970s they were settled into five different communities by Brazil’s Indian Service (FUNAI).  In this presentation, UNR Professor Louis Forline will discuss the global forces at work that impinge upon the Awá and other Amazonian peoples as we embark on the 21st century.  Large-scale development projects such as mining, logging, road building, and hydroelectric dams have impacted many indigenous communities in the Amazon and the Awá in particular.  After suffering a large demographic decline, they have rebounded and transitioned from a foraging livelihood to a mixed-subsistence strategy of hunting, gathering, farming, and fishing.  They have also had an incipient introduction to a market economy with non-indigenous communities.  In this talk, we will explore the internal mechanisms they have employed to maintain themselves intact in the face of forced assimilation and the partnerships they have created with NGOs, researchers, and activists to enhance their survivability in a rapidly-changing world.  Their social organization, adaptive mechanisms and interactions with the Brazilian state will be discussed in order to better understand how they are coping in a country mired in a heavy-handed development agenda.

Registration is required for this event, which will be held online via Zoom.  

Please visit the TMCC Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) page for more information about DSS.