Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Bio-sociocultural aesthetics : indigenous Ramkokamekra-Canela gardening practices and varietal diversity maintenance in Maranhão, Brazil
Author: Miller, Theresa L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 4207
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access through EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access through Institution:
This thesis is an attempt to bring to light the value and importance of gardening and varietal diversity maintenance in the indigenous Jê-speaking Ramkokamekra-Canela community of Maranhão, Brazil. Formerly a semi-nomadic community with small garden plots, the modern-day Canela have become subsistence horticulturalists with a dual garden plot system where species and varietal diversity thrive. Thus, the thesis seeks to understand this transformation through a focus on mythic, historical, and contemporary accounts of gardening activities and practices that appear to promote and maintain cultivated crop diversity. Through a comparison with other Jê-speaking communities in northeast and central Brazil, the thesis posits that Canela gardening and varietal diversity maintenance incorporate the transformation and continuity that are common aspects of Jê 'life-worlds.' Additionally, through an exploration of everyday gardening practices and individual and communal rituals in and around garden spaces, the thesis suggests that Canela gardening can best be conceptualized as a series of multi-sensory, embodied engagements between human gardener 'parents' and their growing plant 'children.' In order to explore these engagements fully, the thesis draws on phenomenological (in particular that promoted by British anthropologist Tim Ingold) and other approaches that seek to question the boundaries between the biological, cultural, and social dimensions of life. It is argued that in the emergent Canela 'bio-sociocultural life-world,' certain relational pathways between and among human gardeners and cultivated plants become valued and meaningful through an 'aesthetics of landscape' that incorporates multiple sensory modalities. Thus, the 'bio-sociocultural aesthetics' theoretical approach is put forward as a comprehensive way of understanding the Canela life-world and the myriad human-nonhuman engagements that unfold through and within it.
Supervisor: Rival, Laura Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environment ; Biodiversity ; Anthropology ; Social anthropology ; Medical and ecological anthropology ; Indigenous peoples ; Gender ; Lowland South America ; agro-biodiversity