A etnoecologia dos jardins-quintal e seu papel no sistema agrícola de populações quilombolas do Vale do Ribeira, São Paulo / The Ethnoecology of homegardens and its role in the agricultural systems of the quilombola communities of Ribeira Valley, São Paulo.




This study aims to describe several aspects related to the structure and function of 71 homegardens which are here interpreted as subunities of the complex agricultural system present in the quilombola communities of the Ribeira Valley, municipality of Eldorado, SP. This description allows for the comprehension of the importance of these swidden plots in the productive systems of the caipiras negros, as well as for a better understanding of the several socioeconomic transformations that these homegardens have been going through during the last few decades. Agricultural systems are one of the most important subsistence activities for human populations that inhabit the tropical forests around the world. Generally, this productive systems are based on family labor, thus being strongly influenced by the social organization and the household dynamics (Ali, 2005; Pedroso-Júnior, 2008; Pedroso-Júnior, et al., 2008). Studies regarding these systems have grown in importance and visibility, mainly focused in the swidden lots and forests. However, the homegardens, until now considered a secondary activitie in the household production and reproduction, are gaining importance as an essential link for the understanding of the agroflorestal practices. This work is built on two analytical bases: a more qualitative and ethnographic one, and a more quantitative and systemic one. The units of analysis were the individual and the household (UD). Women were the key informants since they are recognized as the main keepers of the homegardens. Therefore, each studied UD had one informant. The methods used for the survey of homegarden plant diversity included open questionnaires and free listing. The description of homegardens structural and functional elements was done by means of descriptive statistics. Comparisons among the three studied quilombola communities were realized using hypothesis tests tools. The combination between de socioeconomic data and the data collected from homegardens was analyzed using cluster analysis. The results presented here show that the homegardens are a complex and diversified system, that have multiple functions (aesthetics, social, recreational and utilitarian) and several structural aspects. Also, they have been submitted to several and critical transformations at least during the last six decades. The socioeconomic differences among the households don´t have any relationship with the diversity of local homegarden crops.


homegardens peasentry quilombos atlantic rain forest quilombos mata atlântica human ecology campesinato ecologia humana agricultura de coivara

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