Gold is Illusion

The Garimpeiros of Tapajos Valley in the Brazilian Amazonia

By Enrique Rodriguez Larreta
December 2002
Stockholm University Publications
ISBN: 91-7265-350-7
225 pages, 6" x 8 1/4"
$58.50 Paper Original

This study analyses the formation of power relations and hierarchy among the gold diggers of the region of the Tapajos in the lower Amazonas. Following the route of immigrants who escape from social death in the Brazilian Northeast driven on by the dream of gold, this book analyses the daily life of a community of gold diggers. It studies the articulation between individual and group and between the local society and regional and national contexts. The description of methods of work in gold extraction form a background to an analysis of how social identity, power and authority are constituted in the gold digger society, in which an ever present violence and prevalent disease combine to keep the individual in a state of existential Precariousness.

Stockholm Studies in Social Anthropology, No. 50

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