The National Inventory of Cultural References (INRC): “Lida campeira” (field dealing or field work) in Bagé region/RS (n° 7.03.00.013) is constituted from the demand of Bagé town hall, funding and transfer of methodology of the Institute of the Historical and Artistic National Heritage (IPHAN) and the achievement, through the Bachelor of Anthropology, from the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel).
INRC aimed to identify, document and build knowledge about “lida campeira” for registration purposes as Brazilian immaterial cultural heritage. The fieldwork was made from 2010 to 2012. The submission of the final reports, five movies and interactive CD-ROM was accomplished in 2013.
Since then, the group has been accessing the “pampa” (lowland) cultural area (LEAL, 1997), through ethnographic work and monitoring the activities conducted by the keepers of the trades, called “campeiros”, who experience or experienced the “lida campeira”. They are land owners of large extensions, average or family properties and/or farm workers (rural workers) that perform or performed dressage, grazing, shearing, leather craftwork, driving the cattle troops, handicraft, home dealing among others.
“Lida campeira” embraces a series of activities related to the cattle handling and to the daily routines of the properties, configuring itself as a way of life. It is important to pay close attention to the notion of way of life to highlight how the dealing with sheep, bovine and equine cattle is articulated with cosmological knowledge about the relations between humans, other animals and the environment; a work that follows the cycle of cattle breeding, sun schedules, seasons, rain and drought periods with the technologies developed in the scientific field and the rationalization of the work itself.
The place of INRC: “Lida campeira”, Bagé region, covers the fieldwork accomplished in the following towns: Arroio Grande, Pelotas, Bagé, Hulha Negra, Herval, Aceguá (Brazil), Aceguá (Uruguay), Jaguarão and Piratini, through relationships that contemplate the troops route that went through the colonial territory, taking and bringing cultural goods for the dealing; cattle breeding in the rural properties of the “pampa”; the transportation of these animals from the fields of Bagé to the slaughter in the “charqueadas” (where jerked meat is produced) of Pelotas/RS, where slaves were also obtained to the farms.
Our interlocutors, most of them, have properties or course the plain fields to check the cattle, in the south of Bagé, region characteristic of the “pampa” biome, marked by the horizontality, fields with soft undulations and abundance of grasses.
However, in Bagé, ethnographic work was also performed in the district of Palmas, in the upper basin of Camaquã river, with its gatehouses, watery, rocky outcrop, riverbed and cliffs. Such differences were also expressed through reports in which the farm workers that course the plain fields said they had difficulty adapting to the “lida campeira” in the folded fields.
From 2016, the INRC team started the extension of the methodology of IPHAN to inventory the field handlings in Alto Camaquã, that embraces Caçapava do Sul, Canguçu, Encruzilhada do Sul, Hulha Negra, Lavras do Sul, Piratini, Pinheiro Machado and Santana da Boa Vista, fact that emerged from the request of the Association for the sustainable development of Alto Camaquã (ADAC). ADAC consists of a net of community associations, involving about 500 families, distributed in 25 associations, with the aim to build and to stimulate projects oriented to sustainable territorial development (ADAC, 2017).
The experience of this project is highlighted by the fact that this region, located in the southeast mountains, is considered the most impoverished in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, since it was not a success in the proposals and the development models (BORBA, 2016). But, the State discourse about this region covers up that the stone fields constitute the most preserved portion of the “pampa” biome in Brazil, which, due to the particularity of the animals handling, the nuances of the relationship between humans and the environment, produces its effects in the dealing.
The researches, based on Anthropology and Ethnography, result in workshops, banners, exhibitions, articles, monographs, dissertations and theses that seek to reflect about the several lines that weave the field. Ethnographies have been made about several themes that are related, as horse dressage, grazing with dogs, goat grazing, sheep grazing, gender relations in the “lida campeira”, racial relations, among others. Thereby, it is highlighted the necessity of paying attention to the diverse “pampa”, from the sociocultural and environmental point of view, describing the different ways of life in their different relations with the territories and the environments that are part of the troops paths, the “pampa” paths.
The experience of this blog aims to share and to restitute the field work to the interlocutors of the research and other people interested in “lida campeira”. Here it is possible to access the contact of the team, the final reports of the inventoried “lidas”, the banners made about the “lidas”, audiovisual productions about the activities, works developed by the researches of the team and the first information of the continuation of the works in Alto Camaquã folded fields.
BORBA, Marcos Flávio. Endogenous territorial development: the case of Alto Camaquã. WAQUILL, Paulo; MATTE, Alessandra; NESKE, Márcio; BORBA, Marcos Flávio. Family cattle raising in Rio Grande do Sul: history, social diversity and development dynamics. Porto Alegre: Editora da UFRGS, 187-214, 2016.
LEAL, Ondina. From the ethnographed to ethnographable: the “south” as cultural area. Anthropological Horizons, Porto Alegre, n. 7, p. 201-214, 1997.
ADAC. Association to sustainable development of Alto Camaquã. Available at: http://www.altocamaqua.com.br/quem-somos/. Access in: June, second 2017.