Hunting, preparing, and eating the ‘bicho do mato’: feeding practices among quilombolas in the Ipaú-Anilzinho Extractive Reserve (Pará State)

Rodrigo Augusto Alves de Figueiredo Flávio Bezerra Barros About the authors

Abstract

Hunting of wild animals has played a significant role in the physical and symbolic reproduction of rural families living in various tropical regions of the planet. Indeed, many dimensions of using cynegetic resources as a source of human food have not been sufficiently studied, yet, above all from the viewpoints of Anthropology and Ethnoecology. Such dimensions are often overlooked in biodiversity conservation interventions. This article aims to analyze the use of wild animals in feeding practices among families in the quilombola community of Joana Peres, located in the Extractive Reserve Ipaú-Anilzinho, a conservation unit within the municipality of Baião, Pará, Brazilian Amazon. We conducted the study by using Ethnoecology postulates. We highlight elements having a social and cultural nature that guide the procedures for obtaining, preparing, and eating food through the cynegetic activity. We employed the methods of participant observation and semi-structured and open interviews. We interpret data both qualitatively and quantitatively. Particularly, for each of the species mentioned we seek to calculate the index of Use Value (UV), which allows to demonstrate the degree of relative importance of locally known species. The study has shown that the cynegetic activity involves both nutritional and socio-cultural aspects, since wildlife resources provide protein and the dietary practices are permeated by various processes including habits, imaginary, sociability, taboos, and preparation modes.

Keywords
Hunting; Anthropology of food; Ethnoecology; Traditional knowledge; Quilombolas; Amazonia

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