Advertisement

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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

savanna cerrado Brazil indigenous fire management patch dynamics 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexandre, A., Meunier, J. D., Mariotti, A., and Soubies, F. (1999). Late Holocene phytolith and carbon-isotope record from a latosol at Salitre, south-central Brazil. Quaternary Research 51: 187–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, A. B., and Posey, D. A. (1985). Manejo de cerrado pelos indios Kayapó. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi Botânica 2(1): 77–98.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, A. B., and Posey, D. A. (1989). Management of a tropical scrub savanna by the Gorotire Kayapó of Brazil. Advances in Economic Botany 7: 159–173.Google Scholar
  4. Anderton, J. B. (1999). Native American, fire-maintained blueberry patches in the coastal pine forests of the northern Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Geographer 6(1/2): 29–39.Google Scholar
  5. Balée, W. (1994). Footprints of the Forest. Ka’apor Ethnobotany—The Historical Ecology of Plant Utilization by an Amazonian People, Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Barberi, M., Salgado-Labouriau, M. L., and Suguio, K. (2000). Paleovegetation and paleoclimate of “Vereda de Aguas Emendadas, ” central Brazil. Journal of South American Earth Science 13(3): 241–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barbosa, A. S. (2002). Andarilhos da Claridade: os primeiros habitantes do Cerrado, Universidade Católica/Instituto Trópico Subúmido, Goiânia.Google Scholar
  8. Behling, H. (1995). A high-resolution Holocene pollen record from Lago do Pires, SE Brazil—vegetation, climate and fire history. Journal of Paleolimnology 14 (3): 253–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Behling, H. (1998). Late Quaternary vegetational and climatic changes in Brazil. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 99: 143–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Behling, H. (2002). South and southeast Brazilian grasslands during Late Quaternary times: A synthesis. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 177(1–2): 19–27.Google Scholar
  11. Boyd, R. (1999). Strategies of Indian burning in the Willamette Valley. In Boyd, R. (ed.), Indians, Fire and the Land in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.Google Scholar
  12. Braithwaite, R. W. (1996). Biodiversity and fire in the savanna landscape. In Solbrig, O. T., Medina, E., and Silva, J. (eds.), Biodiversity and Savanna Ecosystem Processes, Springer, Berlin.Google Scholar
  13. Brockett, B. H., Biggs, H. C., and van Wilgen, B. W. (2001). A patch mosaic burning system for conservation areas in southern African savannas. International Journal of Wildland Fire 10: 169–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dawson, S., Manderson, L., and Tallo, V. L. (1993). A Manual for the Use of Focus Groups, International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries, Boston.Google Scholar
  15. Dewalt, K., Dewalt, B., and Wayland, C. (1998). Participant observation. In Bernard, H. (ed.), Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology, Alta Mira, Walnut Creek, CA.Google Scholar
  16. França, H., and Setzer, A. (1997). Regime de queimadas no Parque Nacional das Emas, GO: 1973–1995 (Relatório de pesquisa), I.N.P.E.-D.S.R., São José dos Campos, SP.Google Scholar
  17. Geertz, C. (1983). Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology, Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Giaccaria, B., and Heide, A. (1984). Xavante: Povo autêntico, Editora Salesiana Dom Bosco, São Paulo.Google Scholar
  19. Hall, J., McLeod, R. A., and Mitchell, V. (1987). Pequeno Dicionário Xavante/Português e Português/Xavante, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Brazil.Google Scholar
  20. Haynes, C. D. (1985). The pattern and ecology of munwag: Traditional Aboriginal fire regimes in north-central Arnhemland. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 13: 203–214.Google Scholar
  21. Haynes, C. D. (1991). Use and impact of fire. In Haynes, C. D., Ridpath, M. G., and Williams, M. A. J. (eds.), Monsoonal Australia: Landscape, Ecology and Man in the Northern Lowlands, A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.Google Scholar
  22. Hecht, S., and Posey, D. A. (1989). Preliminary results on soil management techniques of the Kayapó Indians. Advances in Economic Botany 7: 174–188.Google Scholar
  23. Jeltsch, F., Milton, S. J., Dean, W. R. J., van Rooyen, N., and Moloney, K. A. (1998). Modelling the impact of small-scale heterogeneities on tree-grass coexistence in semi-arid savannas. Journal of Ecology 86: 780–793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jeltsch, F., Weber, G. E., and Grimm, V. (2000). Ecological buffering mechanisms in savannas: A unifying theory of long-term tree-grass coexistence. Plant Ecology 161: 161–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kerr, W. E., and Posey, D. A. (1984). Notas sobre a agricultura dos indios Kayapo. Interciencia 9(6): 392–400.Google Scholar
  26. Krueger, R. A. (1994). A Practical Guide for Applied Research, Sage, Thousand Oaks.Google Scholar
  27. Laris, P. (2002). Burning the seasonal mosaic: Preventative burning strategies in the wooded savanna of southern Mali. Human Ecology 30(2): 155–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lavallée, D. (1995). The First South Americans. The peopling of a Continent From the Earliest Evidence to High Culture, The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.Google Scholar
  29. Levy, R. I., and Hollan, D. W. (1998). Person-centred interviewing and observation. In Bernard, H. (ed.), Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology, Alta Mira, Walnut Creek, CA.Google Scholar
  30. Lewis, H. T. (1989). Ecological and technological knowledge of fire: Aborigines versus park rangers in Northern Australia. American Anthropologist 91: 940–961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lewis, H. T., and Ferguson, T. A. (1988). Yards, corridors and mosaics: How to burn a boreal forest. Human Ecology 16: 57–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lukesch, A. (1969). Mito e vida dos indios Caiapós, Editora da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo.Google Scholar
  33. Maybury-Lewis, D. (1984). A sociedade Xavante, Francisco Alves, Rio de Janeiro.Google Scholar
  34. Mbow, C., Nielson, T. T., and Rasmussen, K. (2000). Savanna fires in east-central Senegal: Distribution patterns, resource management and perceptions. Human Ecology 28(4): 561–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McLeod, R., and Mitchell, V. (1980). Aspectos da Lingua Xavante. Summer Institute of Linguistics, Brazil.Google Scholar
  36. Melatti, J. C. (1972). O Messianismo Krahô, Héder USP, São Paulo, Brazil.Google Scholar
  37. Melatti, J. C. (1986). Índios do Brasil, HUCITEC, Universidade de BrasÍlia, São Paulo.Google Scholar
  38. Mentis, M. T. (1978). Population limitation in grey rhebuck and oribi in the Natal Drakensberg. The Lammergeyer 26: 19–28.Google Scholar
  39. Mentis, M. T., and Bigalke, R. C. (1981). The effect of scale of burn on the densities of grassland francolins in the Natal Drakensberg. Biological Conservation 21: 247–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Miranda, H. S., Bustamante, M. M. C., and Miranda, A. C. (2002). The fire factor. In Oliveira, P. S., and Marquis, R. J. (eds.), The cerrados of Brazil. Ecology and natural history of a neotropical savanna, Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  41. Mistry, J. (1998a). Fire in the cerrado (Savannas) of Brazil: An ecological review. Progress in Physical Geography 22: 425–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mistry, J. (1998b). Decision-making for fire use among farmers in the savannas of central Brazil. Journal of Environmental Management 54: 321–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nimuendajú, C. (1983). Os Apinayé, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi (tradução da edição inglesa de 1939), Belém.Google Scholar
  44. Norton, G. A., and Walker, B. H. (1985). A decision analysis approach to savanna management. Journal of Environmental Management 21: 15–31.Google Scholar
  45. Parr, C. L., and Brockett, B. H. (1999). Patch-mosaic burning: A new paradigm for savanna fire management in protected areas? Koedoe 42: 117–130.Google Scholar
  46. Posey, D. A. (1992). Interpreting and applying the “reality” of indigenous concepts: What is necessary to learn from the natives? In Redford, K. H., and Padoch, C. (eds.), Conservation of Neotropical Forests. Working From Traditional Resource Use, Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  47. Posey, D. A. (1998). Diachronic ecotones and anthropogenic landscapes in Amazonia: Contesting the consciousness of conservation. In Balée, W. (ed.), Advances in Historical Ecology, Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  48. Pyne, S. J. (2001). Fire. A brief history, The British Museum Press, London.Google Scholar
  49. Rowe-Rowe, D. T., and Lowry, P. B. (1982). Influence of fire on small-mammal populations in the Natal Drakensberg. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 16: 32–35.Google Scholar
  50. Russell-Smith, J. (1995). Fire management. In Press, T., Lea, D., Webb, A., and Graham, A. (eds.), Kakadu. Natural and Cultural Heritage and Management, Australian Nature Conservation Agency, North Australia Research Unit, The Australian National University, Darwin.Google Scholar
  51. Russell-Smith, J., Lucas, D., Gapindi, M., Gunbunuka, B., Kapirigi, N., Namingum, G., Lucas, K., Giuliani, P., and Chaloupka, G. (1997a). Aboriginal resource utilisation and fire management practice in western Arnhem Land, monsoonal northern Australia: Notes for prehistory, lessons for the future. Human Ecology 25(2): 159–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Russell-Smith, J., Ryan, P. G., and Durieu, R. (1997b). A LANDSAT MSS-derived fire history of Kakadu National Park, monsoonal northern Australia, 1980–94: Seasonal extent, frequency and patchiness. Journal of Applied Ecology 34: 748–766.Google Scholar
  53. Salgado-Labouriau, M. L., Barberi, M., Ferraz-Vicentini, K. R., and Parizzi, M. G. (1998). A dry climatic event during the late Quaternary of tropical Brazil. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 99: 115–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Saxon, E. C. (1984). Anticipating the inevitable: A patch-burn strategy for fire management at Uluru (Ayers Rock-Mt Olga) National Park, CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Rangelands Research, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  55. Stewart, O. (1953). Why the Great Plains are treeless. Colorado Quarterly 2(1): 40–50.Google Scholar
  56. Théry, H. (2002). Novas fronteiras na Amazônia, Paper presented at the Cruzando fronteras en América Latina, Tercer Congreso de Latinoamericanistas, Amsterdam 3–6 July 2002.Google Scholar
  57. Vale, T. R. (Ed.). (2002). Fire, native peoples and the natural landscape, Island Press, Washington.Google Scholar
  58. Vernet, J. L., Wengler, L., Solari, M. E., Ceccantini, G., Fournier, M., Ledru, M. P., and Soubies, F. (1994). Fire, climate and vegetation in central Brazil during the Holocene—Data from a soil profile with charcoal (Salitre, Minas Gerais). Comptes Rendus de l Academie des Sciences Serie II 319 (11,2): 1391–1397.Google Scholar
  59. Villas-Boas, O., and Villas-Boas, C. (1976). Xingu—Os indios, Seus Mitos, Zahar Editores, Rio de Janeiro.Google Scholar
  60. Watanabe, S., Ayta, W. E. F., and Hamaguchi, H. (2003). Some evidence of a date of first humans to arrive in Brazil. Journal of Archaeological Science 30: 351–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations