Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais

A place in caatinga: consumption, mobility and landscape in the semiarid of Brazilian Northeast

Author: Rafael Abreu de Souza
Advisor: Aline Vieira de Carvalho
Coorientator: Célia Regina Tomiko Futemma
Date of defense: 29/03/2017


Aline Vieira de Carvalho (Presidente)

Lúcia da Costa Ferreira

Luis Cláudio Pereira Symanski

Paulo Eduardo Zanettini

Nashieli Cecília Rangel Loera


The Northeast of Brazil is usually understood, since the 19th century, as a poor region regarding determinist approaches sustained by simplistic views in which desertification, drought, famine and poverty are found invariably together. The area is also faced as a diasporic region, assumption based on its correspondence with desert like environment, known by drought episodes. These statements settled a rigid and powerful discourse where the semiarid is presented as homogeneous, materially static, isolated and degraded. The present research builds a critical narrative to the ideas of staticity, poverty and isolation related to the sertanejo people through the analysis of houses’ materiality located in Pernambuco, Piauí and Ceará states. Focus is given on an archaeological view of peasants’ material day-to-day dimension throughout the 20th century, highlighting aspects of consumption, mobility and landscaping. The thesis dialogues with assumptions from the Archaeology of the Contemporary Past, Rural Anthropology and Historical Ecology pinpointing how changing and staying the same can invert capitalistic logics and play a key role in the globalized world




 house, peasants, sertão, consumption, mobility