Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 1.6. The Xingu Indigenous Park. The town of “Bang-Bang” is officially called
São José do Xingu. Sketch by Diauarum School students, Xingu Indigenous Park, 1983.
While the Juruna, Kayabi, and Suyá feasted at the Tuba-Tuba village, Antonio
enjoyed himself at a Saturday night baile (“ball”) in Bang-Bang, 13 a small town
located near the eastern border of the Xingu Park. He was joined by gold prospectors,
loggers, and cattle ranchers who came from nearby settlements to renew their
supplies of industrial goods such as ammunition, alcoholic beverages, canned food,
and medication against malaria. At the local night club, women were also for sale.
They were displayed on stage one by one, their “price” set according to the number
of teeth they still posessed. 14 Slavery, an antiquated mode of production, still prevails
in this town that is literally named after the common practice of killing local Indians:
“Shoot 'em up.”
The Juruna, Kayabi, and Suyá frequently engage in commercial transactions in
Bang-Bang, as well as in prospecting sites such as Castelo dos Sonhos, cattle ranches
and other nearby settlements. At these places, where an “irrational” or “parasitic”
capitalism prevails (Weber 1983), 15 social relationships are very impersonal, and
there is no trust between buyers and sellers of cows, bananas, sugar, pornographic
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