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Posted on 29/6/13


The relationship between culture and nature among the Tupinambá happens trough an interbreeding between economics, spirituality and sociability. There are many sustainabilities that actually depend on each other to perpetuate. The Tupinambá way of life is permeated by three central sustainabilities: economic, cultural and ecological.

Ecological sustainability depends on the other two. It depends on the economic sustainability, because no one can ensure that the forests will not be devastated and that the waters will not be polluted, if they don’t have the means of providing people with what they need to survive. For the Indigenous people to preserve, they need their territory to work and guarantee their own livelihood. Basic needs like feeding your family, can speak louder than the intention to protect nature. The precariousness of subordinated labor, associated with lack of access to common resources, forces people to work in activities such as illegal mining, which have a huge environmental impact. Therefore, you can only think of a preserving Indian if he has the land to work for himself.

Ecological sustainability also depends on cultural sustainability: if the Indians can not freely practice their culture if they don’t have their physical and symbolic territory where the interaction with nature and spirituality occurs, their intention to care for the forest weakens. The culture that Tupinambá share has a key role in mobilizing collective political acts, and therefore in their preservationist attitudes. In this way, cultural sustainability depends also on economic sustainability: culture is only alive when the Indians are empowered with the means to generate their livelihood trough their culture.


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