Fruit in the Soil of Magic

Horticultural practices as socially conditioned techniques in the formation of Anthropogenic Amazonia


  • Philip Compton



indigenous inviromenment, horticulture, Amazonia, cosmology


This study aims to accentuate the effect of social realities that influence indigenous horticultural practices. The purpose of which is to help with the understanding of the formation of Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE’s), fertile anthropogenic soil patches that are widespread across Amazonia. A tentative operational chain is proposed, delineating the processes that go into the formation of a garden (swidden), using data collected on the Kayapó and Ka’apor Indians, in order to demonstrate that the choices of technique and technology involved in horticulture are socially conditioned. Combining pedological, biological and geographical approaches with anthropological ethnographies explaining indigenous cosmology helps to elucidate the processes that go into the creation of Amazonia as anthropogenic.


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Como Citar

Compton, P. (2009). Fruit in the Soil of Magic: Horticultural practices as socially conditioned techniques in the formation of Anthropogenic Amazonia. Revista De Antropologia Da UFSCar, 1(2), 20–44.