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Caderno CRH

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FERRARO JUNIOR, Luiz Antonio  and  BURSZTYN, Marcel. From sesmarias to resistance to enclosure: historical reasons for Back of Pasture. Cad. CRH [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.59, pp.385-400. ISSN 0103-4979.

This paper reviews the historical reasons for the emergence of the category of back of pasture. We made use of secondary data collected from government reports and obtained in interviews with technicians, pastoral communities and agents. The backs of pasture were just grazing areas not surrounded by Caatinga, used for communal grazing. This pattern of occupation that has developed throughout the Northeast semi-arid region was gradually usurped in a process similar to the British enclosures. In Bahia, with the advances of capital over these areas from the 1970s, there were regional articulations and institutional support that stimulated various resistances. "Back of pasture" came to denote not only the areas, but social groups that depended on them and therefore advocated them. The formerly only regional term Back of Pasture, became widespread throughout the state, especially after its quoting in the constitution of Bahia. Family ties in these communities also contributed to the resistance of this form of occupation.

Keywords : backs of pasture enclosures; land grabbing; communal lands; caatinga.

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