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Amazonia, the world's largest expanse of tropical rain forest, is now threatened by inappropriate and rapacious use of its precious natural resources. For centuries, however, the riches of the region's forests and waters have been used by indigenous peoples. This volume examines the resource use practices of eight tribal groups as well as of the caboclos, non-tribal rural farmers, fishermen, and foragers.The developed management practices of these groups can provide new insights for the conservation and wise use of now threatened ecosystems.
Darrell Addison Posey (March 14, 1947 - March 6, 2001) was an American anthropologist and biologist who vitalized the study of traditional knowledge of indigenous and folk populations in Brazil and other countries. He called his approach ethnobiology and combined research with respect for other cultures, especially indigenous intellectual property rights. An obituary described him as an "anthropologist who gave up scholarly detachment to fight for the rights of native peoples." He never married and was survived by his parents and brother. He died of a brain tumor, at 53 years of age, in Oxford, England, where he made his home after 1992. Darrell A. Posey's Author Page
William Bal‚e (born 1954) is a professor of anthropology at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and educated at the University of Florida, Gainesville, where he received a B.A. in Anthropology before moving on to Columbia University in New York City where he earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology. After earning his Ph.D., Bal‚e worked for the New York Botanical Garden, collecting plants for an ethnobotany project sponsored by a Noble Grant. Later he took up a research position with the Museu Goeldi in Bel‚m, Brazil. His primary ethnographic work was with the Ka'apor indigenous culture of Maranhao, Brazil (Bal‚e 1994). During his time in Brazil, however, he also carried out fieldwork with the Temb‚, the Assurini of the Xingu River, the Arawet‚ of the Ipishuna, which is also a tributary of the Xingu, and the Guaj . However, he is most renowned as a proponent and foremost expert of historical ecology (Bal‚e 1998). Historical ecologists study the interaction between the human and natural worlds and the subsequent human responses to environmental influences. Currently, he is comparing issues of historical ecology between Amazonia and insular Southeast Asia. William Balee's Author Page