The agricultural calendar, agro-biodiversity and spatial distribution of the Kulina (Madija) clearings, Upper Envira River, Acre, Brazil

Moacir Haverroth, Paula Rosane Menezes Negreiros


The present study aims to evaluate the composition and spatial and temporal distribution of
indigenous clearings amongst the Kulina (Madija) from Upper Envira River, Acre State, southwestern Brazilian Amazon.
The studied population lives in villages on the banks of the Envira River, distributed in three Terras Indígenas (Indigenous
Lands), and their language belongs to the Arawá linguistic family. Field research was based on semi-structured and open
interviews, direct and participant observation, recording the clearings with GPS equipment and photographs. We observed
64 clearings, with areas ranging from 50 m2 to 2 ha. Between three and fifteen species are cultivated in each clearing. The
agricultural calendar follows the regional seasonality. Every year the Kulina open up new clearings for cultivation in order
to maintain crops and food production. The system follows the cycle clearings – capoeira (initial stage of forest succession)
– producing a forest mosaic. Apart from the forests, beaches are used for cultivation of some species. The clearings,
despite the use of fire to open clearings, follow successional agroforestry principles and contribute to conservation of
agro-biodiversity and to forest regeneration. Areas opened for cultivation are relatively small and, after being abandoned,
forest regeneration occurs quickly because they are surrounded by forest.



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