The Xavante live in dispersed communities in eastern Mato Grosso, Brazil. They have a strong egalitarian and collective ethos, with community decisions made in men’s councils, balancing lineage and moiety interests while reinforcing age-grade and gender power differentials. The degree of consensus thereby obtained facilitated not just a flexible, wide-ranging economy of semi-sedentary hunting, gathering, and swidden agriculture, but also a successful resistance to assimilation until the mid-twentieth century, when a government development program involving forced resettlement of indigenous peoples resulted in restricted mobility and a loss of lands. Under a changed political climate later in the century, the Xavante managed to regain some lands, reclaim their history and revitalize their culture.
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South America --Eastern South America
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