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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versão On-line ISSN 1806-9657


MELO, Valdinar Ferreira et al. Soils in the Yanomami indigenous area in the mid-Catrimani River - Roraima. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.2, pp.487-496. ISSN 1806-9657.

In Roraima, the spatial distribution of indigenous peoples indicates a background of constant search for soils capable of sustaining shift cultivation. This study aimed to establish a relationship between the understanding of soil by the Yanomami tribe from the mid-Catrimani river region and the Brazilian System of Soil Classification and evaluate the type of agricultural land use according to soil fertility tests, in two steps. The first consisted of visiting eight Indian communities to collect soil samples at 21 sites with different types of agriculture and forests, both from profile soil (depth 0-1.50 m) and pits (depth 0-0.1 m and 0.1-0.3 m) for laboratory analysis. The second step was a workshop addressing the shift cultivation systems (duration 20 h). The discussion focused on the understanding of the environment (Urihi) and agricultural production systems, and on the importance of the correct use of knowledge of the soil and its fertility. Soils are named according to their morphology and position in the landscape by the Yanomami. The choice of agricultural areas is based on these features, aside from the organic matter content and the presence of earthworms. Agricultural practices comprise clearing and burning of the native forest immediately before planting a set of separate crops. The soils described in the area were classified according to the Brazilian taxonomic system as follows: Red Yellow Argisol (Maxita a uuxi wake axi), Yellow Argisol (Maxita a axi) Yellow Latosol (Maxita a axi) and Plintosol (Maxita a axi a maaxipé). Slashing and burning initially increases exchangeable Ca, K and available P due to the contribution of the ashes, which allows an agricultural exploitation of these areas for a maximum period of three years.

Palavras-chave : Ethnopedology; soil; agriculture; Indian; Amazon; Brazil.

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