Native and National in Brazil

Indigeneity after Independence

By Tracy Devine Guzmán

352 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 35 halftones, 1 map, appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-0209-7
    Published: May 2013
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-0210-3
    Published: May 2013
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-4251-0
    Published: May 2013

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Awards & distinctions

Honorable Mention, Latin American Studies Association Brazil Section Book Prize

How do the lives of indigenous peoples relate to the romanticized role of "Indians" in Brazilian history, politics, and cultural production? Native and National in Brazil charts this enigmatic relationship from the sixteenth century to the present, focusing on the consolidation of the dominant national imaginary in the postindependence period and highlighting Native peoples' ongoing work to decolonize it. Engaging issues ranging from sovereignty, citizenship, and national security to the revolutionary potential of art, sustainable development, and the gendering of ethnic differences, Tracy Devine Guzman argues that the tensions between popular renderings of "Indianness" and lived indigenous experience are critical to the unfolding of Brazilian nationalism, on the one hand, and the growth of the Brazilian indigenous movement, on the other.

Devine Guzman suggests that the "indigenous question" now posed by Brazilian indigenous peoples themselves--how to be Native and national at the same time--can help us to rethink national belonging in accordance with the protection of human rights, the promotion of social justice, and the consolidation of democratic governance for indigenous and nonindigenous citizens alike.

A project of First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies

About the Author

Tracy Devine Guzmán is associate professor of Latin American studies, Portuguese, and Spanish at the University of Miami.
For more information about Tracy Devine Guzmán, visit the Author Page.


“This well-written, sophisticated study provides indispensable insights into the uses and constructions of indigenous identities. Highly recommended. Graduate students/faculty.”--Choice

“In this engaging interdisciplinary book, Tracy Devine Guzmán examines how mainstream Brazilian society has represented ‘Indians’ from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, and how indigenous peoples have sought to decolonize those representations and define their own identity.”--American Historical Review

“A welcome addition to the growing literature on indigenism in Brazil and the Americas.”--Hispanic American Historical Review

"A refreshing sense of self-awareness….Engaging and reflective."--Native American and Indigenous Studies

“A masterful balance between representation and reality of the represented, Natives and National helps students at all levels plumb the depths of the ‘indigenous question.’ . . . Should be included on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the indigenous studies or in Brazilian history or literature.”--H-Net Reviews

"Captures the complex and contradictory history of representations of indigenous peoples in Brazil and offers a sensitive and theoretically sophisticated treatment of the relationship between indigeneity and the Brazilian state--between national belonging and the lived experience of difference. A welcome addition to the growing literature on indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere."--Jan Hoffman French, University of Richmond