Human Ecology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 365–386 | Cite as

Indigenous Fire Management in the cerrado of Brazil: The Case of the Krahô of Tocantíns

  • Jayalaxshmi MistryEmail author
  • Andrea Berardi
  • Valeria Andrade
  • Txicaprô Krahô
  • Phocrok Krahô
  • Othon Leonardos


Indigenous peoples have been using fire in the cerrado (savannas) of Brazil as a form of management for thousands of years, yet we have little information on why, when and how these fire practices take place. The aim of this paper was to explore the traditional use of fire as a management tool by the Krahô indigenous group living in the north-eastern region of Tocantíns state, Brazil. The results indicate that the Krahô burn for a variety of reasons throughout the dry season, thereby producing a mosaic of burned and unburned patches in the landscape. The paper discusses this burning regime in the context of contemporary issues regarding fire management, and in the face of changing perceptions to fire by the Krahô themselves.


savanna cerrado Brazil indigenous fire management patch dynamics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jayalaxshmi Mistry
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Andrea Berardi
    • 2
  • Valeria Andrade
    • 3
  • Txicaprô Krahô
    • 4
  • Phocrok Krahô
    • 4
  • Othon Leonardos
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of LondonSurreyUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Open Systems Research Group, Faculty of TechnologyThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Centro de Desenvolvimento Sustentavel (CDS)Universidade de BrasiliaBrasilia D.F.Brazil
  4. 4.Aldeia Manuel AlvesTerritório KrahôTocantínsBrazil
  5. 5.Department of GeographyUniversity of LondonSurreyUnited Kingdom

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