Annual Cycles among Eastern Tukanoan indians/Amazon

20 May 2015, 14:30 - 16:30

Room SG2, Alison Richard Building.

Annual cycles among Eastern Tukanoan indians. Collaborative research towards environmental and climate-change monitoring in the Northwest Amazon.

Aloisio Cabalzar - Insituto Socioambiental ((Brazil) / IHEID (University of Genève, Switzerland))



The Northwest Amazon has been identified as the center of highest precipitation in the Amazon Basin (3600 mm/year), exhibiting low seasonality - many short dry periods (each lasting only a few days) permeating an overall humid annual cycle – forming a very complex climatic system. The Eastern Tukanoan peoples, native inhabitants of this region, rely on an astronomical calendar as their main temporal reference, while adopting a seasonal naming system that also combines climatic, ecosystem and river-level indicators. Since 2005, a collaborative investigation of these phenomena developing by a cross-cultural team has been under way in the Tiquié River, an affluent of the Uaupés and Upper Rio Negro rivers of Brazil. The project has taken as its starting point the narratives of elder knowledge-holders about the annual cycle, and has continued through daily observations and notes taken by young adult indigenous researchers, informed by their elder relatives. The objective is to describe how this annual calendar incorporates this inter- and intra-annual seasonal variability.


Open to all.  No registration required
Part of the Climate Histories Interdisciplinary Research Group Seminar Series