Intermedicality and protagonism: the role of indigenous health agents on the Kwatá-Laranjal Indian Reservation in Amazonas State, Brazil

Daniel Scopel Raquel Paiva Dias-Scopel Esther Jean Langdon About the authors

Abstract

This article summarizes the results of an ethnographic study on the role of indigenous health agents on the Kwata-Laranjal Indian Reservation in Borba, Amazonas State, Brazil. The study aims to contribute to understanding the role of indigenous health agents in the expansion of the hegemonic medical model in a context of medical pluralism. The analysis included data from participant observation and interviews conducted from 2009 to 2011. Semi-structured interviews were held to record narratives on their work routine, experiences, and difficulties. The authors conclude that work by indigenous health agents is essential to primary care, and that their role extends beyond technical activities. The Munduruku indigenous health agents hold a key position in the links between indigenous and biomedical knowledge in contexts of intermedicality, emerging as new political actors in interethnic contexts.

South American Indians; Community Health Workers; Health of Indigenous Peoples; Medical Anthropology

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