Mixtures: Living with the Enemy
Some years after pacification, the Wari’ no longer lived in the named areas of
their territory. They built their houses close to indigenous posts, located at
sites deemed more accessible by the whites. However, apart from Sagarana,
the spi—and, later, funai—posts were situated close to the territories for-
merly occupied. In these new villages, the Wari’ became coinhabitants not
only of whites and people from other indigenous groups but also of Wari’
foreigners who had previously occupied other named areas. Here I do not
mean to suggest that the Wari’ never lived with foreigners in the past, or that
a chaotic mixture of people was found at the posts. As we saw in chapter 1, a
group of foreigners might decide to live in a named area associated with the
territory of another subgroup, meaning that this area would become associ-
ated with the subgroup of its current inhabitants, or the foreigners may be
subsequently incorporated by the local subgroup through marriage. Affinity
was the means of incorporating not only enemies but also foreigners, who
became coinhabitants and kin in the process. In terms of subgroup organiza-
tion at the posts, I showed the tendency to settle at the posts closest to the
group’s original territories. So, for example, most of the OroNao’, OroEo, and
OroAt live at the Rio Negro–Ocaia post and nearby villages, while the Oro-
Waram live at the Lage post and on its outskirts.
Living at the same location, the foreigners began to act as typical co-
inhabitants, marrying among themselves, calling each other by kin terms,
and sharing food. In sum, they gradually turned into consanguines, despite
the completeness of this process being cast in doubt with each internal con-
flict, whose fault lines usually coincide with the limits of the subgroup. From
this perspective, the Wari’ today live in a tenser environment amid coinhab-
itants who are really foreigners, and relatives who are not really kin.
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