Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 8. Intoni Suyá. Drawing the underwater creatures of the Suyá world, 1999.
All the students and their communities agreed with Mairawê at the opening
ceremony. However, each people represented at the school in the northernmost
part of the Xingu Park offered different dates for the AB and DB periods. The dates
depended on either when they were first contacted by the so-called colonization
fronts in central Brazil or when they were first brought from their original lands
into the Xingu Park by the federal government. Most of the peoples inhabiting the
northernmost part of the Xingu Park, where the Diauarum School was located,
had been transferred into the area in the 1960s and 70s. The nations living in
the south of the park had had previous contacts with botanists, naturalists and
explorers in general long before the creation of the park in 1961. In some cases,
the contact dates took them back to the second half of the 19 th century. The most
recent dated back only to 1979, when the last 60 survivors of the original 1,000
Panará people were brought into the Xingu Park by Funai. Thus, even though
all the students somewhat understood, after a heated discussion, the logic of the
Christian calendar, the consensus was to map time at the Diauarum school using
the AB and DB calendar, adjusting it to each people's precise date of contact with
the broader Brazilian society.
The Xingu calendar, as we called it, was used throughout the Memória do
Xingu monthly newsletter, which the students and I printed using an alcohol-run
mimeograph. It was also used in some of our first readers, atlases, mathematics
workbooks, and other pedagogical materials. AB and DB helped raise
consciousness about a new world order, which has largely excluded Indigenous
Peoples from having ever been part of the Amerindian continent, as mentioned
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