In Amazonia: Territorial Struggles on Perennial Frontiers, Paul Little chronicles centuries of territorial disputes in Amazonia. Examining a wide variety of social groups from an environmental and anthropological perspective, Little describes the factors that have created two unique biophysical and political environments at opposite ends of the Amazon River basin's rain forest.
Little makes a comparative study of the Aguarico region in eastern Ecuador (at the western upper edge of the rain forest) and the Jari region of Brazil (at its eastern lowland end) using four time frames to examine early European invasions of indigenous homelands, fortune-building attempts in Amazonia, conservation concerns in the tropical ecosystems; and disputes over territorial claims that arose during the 1990s. By interweaving his examination between the two regions within each time frame, Little effectively highlights how similar globalizing forces were locally appropriated to produce widely divergent environmental and political histories.
A large part of the study is given to the period beginning in the 1950s. Little outlines the contemporary struggles -- social, political, economic, and ecological -- arising in Amazonia. He also examines the frontier processes of ethnocide and ethnogenesis whereby the indigenous communities of the upper Amazon have retained some control over their lands, while in the lower Amazon traditional riverine communities strive for existence against increasing industrialization.
Thoroughly researched and examining issues ranging from resource exploitation and conservation to colonization, urbanization, and industrialization, Amazonia will appeal to students and scholars in environmental studies, geography, ecology and conservation, cultural anthropology, and Latin American studies and history as well as anyone interested in Amazonia.
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