ABSTRACT

The point of departure in this chapter is a ‘totem pole’ constructed to oppose the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in 2012. The artefact was explained with a reference to a Juruna tale. The chapter traces the tale to a printed collection of myths from the Xingu. Further, it (i) analyzes how material and textual aspects and traces of a national discourse furnish conditions for new ‘worldings’, and (ii) identifies a lack of concern with such historical traces of cultural contact and translations in recent trends in cultural theory associated with Amazonian perspectivism, the ontological turn. Despite the holistic framing and the obvious absence of a concern with the translations and histories behind perspectivism, B. Latour views this as a ‘bomb’ undermining the cleavage he associates with the modern demarcation of the relation between nature and culture (2009: 2).