This article discusses aspects of culture-nature relations among indigenous groups in Southern Brazil. Based on the ethnography of Kaingang groups in the state of Santa Catarina, conceptions of culture and nature are considered taking into account the relationship between politics and cosmology. More specifically, this article focuses on the analysis of two different kinds of ethnographic sources, namely: the historical processes of recovery of indigenous lands; and, the references to nature expressed in mythological narratives and ritual processes. Indeed, in the recent history of the Kaingang, the struggle for "indigenous tradition" has triggered scenes and scenarios from the past. These scenarios not only involve inter-ethnic resistance, but also specific notions of nature, culture and environmental recovery. In summary, this article argues that the link between political and cosmological conceptions forms the very basis of the indigenous perspective concerning their territorial and environmental rights.
Kaingang; Culture; Nature; Politics; Cosmology