The article constructs a historically contextualized description of the people who live along the Negro river, a Brazilian affluent in the Amazon basin. Drawing on information about the daily social experience of the participants from the dawn of the twentieth century through the mid-1990s, the processes by which the population and communities took shape are identified. On the Negro river, contact between Brazilian society and the autochthonous, catechized indigenous groups living there was determinant in shaping the territory's caboclo identity. Starting in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, this nomenclature took root and entered the popular lexicon. Extractivist activities played a major role in spreading the term, within a context where the predominant social relations derived from the 'cultura do barracão'.
caboclo; Amazon; Brazil; identity; popular culture