Stopping a Dam

Stopping a DamKayapo music Heres a program from our archives.When the government of Brazil tried to build a series of dams and hydroelectric plants in the Amazon, they came up against the formidable opposition of the Kayapo Indians. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.To save their land from the flood waters of the dams, the Kayapo mobilized inter-tribal support, and focused world media attention on a meeting with Brazilian officials at Altamira, the site of one of the dams. During the meeting, the Kayapo celebrated one of the ritual ceremonies of their culture.Turner: Nothing like this inter-tribal gathering was ever attempted in Amazonia.Terry Turner is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.Turner: The Altamira meeting seems to have been one of the main factors in the decision by the World Bank not to grant the loan to the Brazilian government that was to be used to finance the dams. I think Altamira had an enormous impact in making the government of Brazil and probably by example the other governments of Amazonian nations in South America realize that the time has passed where they can simply take Indians for granted and ignore the voices of the rubber-tappers, and the nut-gatherers, and the Brazilians who make a living in traditional kinds of extractive activities in the forest. That these people have now found an important political voice and they have the attention of world media. And this world media attention gives them a kind of political clout. I think there’s going to be no turning back after Altamira. I think that a very fundamental historical milestone has been passed.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Stopping a Dam

The Kayapo of Brazil proved that indigenous people can become a powerful voice in their own defense. This archival program is part of our 30th anniversary celebration. Anthropologist Terry Turner (1935-2015) was a strong proponent for the rights of indigenous peoples.
Air Date:07/26/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

Stopping a DamKayapo music Heres a program from our archives.When the government of Brazil tried to build a series of dams and hydroelectric plants in the Amazon, they came up against the formidable opposition of the Kayapo Indians. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.To save their land from the flood waters of the dams, the Kayapo mobilized inter-tribal support, and focused world media attention on a meeting with Brazilian officials at Altamira, the site of one of the dams. During the meeting, the Kayapo celebrated one of the ritual ceremonies of their culture.Turner: Nothing like this inter-tribal gathering was ever attempted in Amazonia.Terry Turner is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.Turner: The Altamira meeting seems to have been one of the main factors in the decision by the World Bank not to grant the loan to the Brazilian government that was to be used to finance the dams. I think Altamira had an enormous impact in making the government of Brazil and probably by example the other governments of Amazonian nations in South America realize that the time has passed where they can simply take Indians for granted and ignore the voices of the rubber-tappers, and the nut-gatherers, and the Brazilians who make a living in traditional kinds of extractive activities in the forest. That these people have now found an important political voice and they have the attention of world media. And this world media attention gives them a kind of political clout. I think there's going to be no turning back after Altamira. I think that a very fundamental historical milestone has been passed.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.