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Revista Brasileira de História

versão impressa ISSN 0102-0188versão On-line ISSN 1806-9347


HENRIQUE, Márcio Couto. White people’s gift: the indigenous perspective of the gifts from civilization (Amazon, nineteenth century). Rev. Bras. Hist. [online]. 2017, vol.37, n.75, pp.195-216.  Epub 16-Ago-2017. ISSN 0102-0188.

The article discusses how the Indians interpreted the gifts offered to them as part of the process of catechesis and civilization in the nineteenth century Amazon. Starting from the analysis of official documents, travelers’ accounts and newspaper reports it appears that the Indians, far from being naive people who let themselves be seduced by undervalued objects, ascribed their own meanings to the gifts, translating and assimilating them accordingly to the rules determined by their own cultures. The indigenous reading of the gifts shows that such objects should not be approached only by their commercial value, but mainly from the symbolic dimension which governed these transactions from the point of view of the natives.

Palavras-chave : indigenous perspective; gifts; Amazon.

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