The Multi-Local Dynamics of the Pataxó in Belo Horizonte, Brazil: Indigenous Relationships with the State, Economic Activities, and Family Networks

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Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

Drawing on in-depth empirical research with members of the Indigenous Pataxó in metropolitan Belo Horizonte (Brazil), this article moves beyond spatially fixed understandings of indigenous territoriality. Instead, it demonstrates that indigenous territoriality should be understood as multi-local, spanning rural and urban locations within and beyond a national territory. We analyse a series of interrelated multi-local territorial practices by the Pataxó and demonstrate how their mobility is shaped by relationships with the State, engagement in economic activities, and family ties. Our research shows that the Pataxó are engaged in continuous territorial movements and that each territory is insufficient - although necessary - for Indigenous people to meet their diverse needs. We argue that looking at these different mobility dynamics relationally allows for a more holistic conceptualisation of indigenous territoriality. Our research is based on original empirical research and makes connections to wider trends that have been observed in several metropolitan regions in Latin America.