General Anthropology Division
Oral Presentation Session
The Arara are a Carib-speaking people living on the left bank of the Iriri River, a tributary of the Xingu River, near the city of Altamira, State of Para, Brazil. With a small population isolated due to non-indigenous occupation around the Transamazonica Road between 1960 and 1980, the Arara lived a reality of effective endogamy, creating an extremely dense and complex network of relationships. With a peculiar form of oblique kinship terminology, the recurrence of “soft incestuous” unions (marriage with half-sisters, e.g.) and a pattern of matrimonial exchange of sisters for daughters of brothers-in-law (ZD or not) — which still prevailed in the very recent past —, the Arara marriage network is practically intractable without the help of computational tools. In this paper, I present some results of using these tools to analyze the network, focusing on the relationship between incest, affinity and the marriage network as a whole. The paper intends also to reveal some connections between the marriage practices and the kinship oblique terminology – a issue Scheffler had an important contribution.