Income and Tradition: An Epistemological Retelling

Income and Tradition: An Epistemological Retelling
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JUNIOR, Jackson Bouéres Damasceno [1]

KUBO, Rumi Regina [2]

JUNIOR, Jackson Bouéres Damasceno; KUBO, Rumi Regina. Income and Tradition: An Epistemological Retelling. Multidisciplinary Core scientific journal of knowledge. 07 Edition. 02 year, vol. 02. PP 136-161, October 2017. ISSN: 0959-2448


In rural communities the relationship between agricultural production, culture and tradition are essential social characterization elements for rural development. Characterized mainly by conformation adapted to the physical environment, potential and environmental constraints shaping of life forms, and use of these resources in productive capacity, evidenced generated environmental restructuring conditions, even This, at any time can be used by capital. The reconstruction of the process, which resulted in historically lived indicators of social exclusion in the poorest countries, a theory that can account for this fact, is one that discusses the expansion of the borders of the capital and the need to expand markets local consumers. This paper proposes that the direct involvement of the families of farmers in deciding, in the formulation of policies that will embrace traditional communities or not, are able to break this logic of the lack of representation of specific categories that exist in rural areas.

Keywords: Social organization, livelihoods. Rural Development.


In rural communities, the relationship between agricultural production, culture and tradition of specific societies should be considered as elements of social characterization is essential for rural development.

The forms of social organization, Division of labour, technological standards, structuring land and economic structure have little relation with the external forces (economic and indigenous models replacement) household production units, thus being formatted chances that the traditions built don't give more troubleshoot local account.

These, characterized mainly by forming your adapted to the physical environment, their potential, shaping environmental limitations of life forms and use of these resources highlighted in a productive capacity capable of generating conditions for restructuring the environmental medium.

This physical space, to be appropriate for the societies in question, is immediately transformed and developed techniques and ways of use of resources, targeting mainly the satisfaction of basic needs, like food, clothing, culture and leisure.

It is observed that the issues related to housing and to education are placed in the background, gaining greater importance the issues related to the production and income generation process.

In this way, the relationship between agricultural planning, culture and economy is present in the everyday life of rural societies, being associated with the concept of social fact, be they traditional or not.

This concept refers to these elements to be present in all contexts experienced by rural communities, in all aspects of daily life, the flour, in this particular case is the basis of power and economy.

This process, currently underway, suggests that, in most cases where the standards adopted culturally will be replaced entirely by processes that emphasize other functions to economic activities, such as purely quantitative aspects.

So, restricting the entire process to production and productivity elements intended for final insertion of the societies in question in the common market, and there is a growing need to use the land and its resources.

This dispute, considered cruel, is evidenced everyday within rural societies, because the consumer appeal is a constant reality, and increasingly strong in reality of families of peasant farmers.

In this way, it is rebuilt the process experienced historically, and that resulted in the indicators of social exclusion in the poorest countries, a theory that can account for this fact is the one that discusses the expansion of the borders of the capital and the need for expansion of local consumer markets.

This approach does not believe in chance those families that do not depend exclusively on the physical environment and those that have not been answered by the public policies adopted, that is, the State, to implement rural development policies, is not able to observe the different shapes and needs of appeal submitted by the companies.

In this context, to avoid the reproduction of this model, there is a real need for direct involvement of the families of farmers in the decision-making process, in the formulation of policies that will be adopted in traditional communities or not, breaking the logic of representation of specific categories that exist in rural areas.


Much of the traditional agricultural activities practiced in the humid tropical regions of the planet in common characteristics, getting the generic name of itinerant agriculture (PEDROSO JÚNIOR; MURRIETA; ADAMS, 2008), whether indigenous, quilombolas or other specific social group, having as one of its main features the dependency of the physical environment, to which such companies are included.

For the development of their economic activities, traditional companies address environmental elements represented by the soil, the seed, by their fruits, vegetables and for products that are sourced from the Earth, and these are present in food, religion, festivals and other important moments in the life of rural communities.

Conklin (1961), quoted by Pedroso Júnior, Murrieta and Adams (2008), defined the form of food production by traditional communities as being continuous agricultural system, where clearings are open to be cultivated for shorter periods of time than the intended for the fallow land for being practiced in many areas of the globe and include a number of techniques. Other terms are also used to designate it as slash-and-burn agriculture, fallow land or cutting and burning.

For traditional agricultural activity (essential to the survival of farming families in the municipality of Presidente Juscelino-MA) come be developed, some conditions are required that go beyond the ability to work, territorial and domain provision of monetary capital and productive infrastructure, for example, the level of organization and internal articulation of the peasant societies.

And many of these conditions are associated with structural factors as social relations of kinship and reciprocity based on the principle of trust. These relations refer to the traditional standards developed and grown with the real goal of formation of a local identity, responsible for cultural integrity and fostering local organization process.

The culmination of this process is observed at parties, in religion and in the way in which local societies face their everyday problems, reflecting directly in practices which refer to collaborative actions, without, however, have the explicit goal of monetary income generation. This holiday season there is the involvement of everyone in the community, where each person has a specific function, and the end result is shared by all.

If we observe the celebrations usually refer to the harvest of grains, fruits, and also the saints of devotion of the farmers, who are worshipped in order to ensure a good harvest, make the rain fall in the period from planting, to allow good Weddings and many kids and so on, always observing the principles and approach to nature, configuring a very strong relationship between the environment, culture, tradition and religion, which is very much the life of farmers.

In this context, the parties are configured as a central axis of the organisational process, since all processes that motivate are related to economic production and the generation of hand work to promote such activities. So, celebrations with large social mobilization means a society willing to preserve their cultural habits, while celebrations that fail to attract the attention of the local population is a sign of deep social disorganization, a fact noted clearly in the context of this research. A clear example of what is being discussed are the holidays that don't happen more in Folhal settlement, the result of social disorganization, and that more and more present in the reality of runaway Juçaral.


During field research were identified three key moments where there is a distribution/sharing/exchange of the labor force, in carrying out the agricultural activities. These phenomena are presented in the form of daily exchange for the development of agricultural activity, environmental cleaning and maintenance jobs of production areas at times that there is a greater need to work, existing environmental resources in the area where these populations inhabit and in the preparation and organization of actions for commemorative parties.

  • The) daily exchange:

The cooperation between families of farmers is a practice where unusual phenomena are observed in other companies. Among these phenomena, the exchange of working days or simply daily exchange is the main one, establishing as an important instrument of social unity and preservation of traditional practices.

Daily trading is in providing labor staff and your family to other families of farmers, which at that particular time are requiring additional work beyond the amounts available in the family unit of the production strategy of survive is driven by factors unrelated to your governance capacity.

The need for a greater amount of labor in the family unit of production comes mainly from short period of preparation of the planting area of plantations, usually happening after the first rains, which will allow a good development of plants cultivated.

These activities depend on environmental factors. In this way, constitutes a survival strategy developed by the families of farmers, in line with local characteristics.

Generally, in the communities surveyed, daily exchange occurs at the time of the drill (secondary forest) for cultivation, at the opening of the firebreak, which constitutes a cleaning of the vegetation of the marginal border area, the cultivation to hinder the advancement of the fire on the vegetation of entry and other plantations, and finally on slash-and-burn time, i.e. the withdrawal of rest of roots and branches of trees that were not transformed into gray by fire.

  • b) the organisation of religious festivals and cultural celebrations:

Another daily exchange mode, frequent in the communities studied, relates to Exchange, and even the everyday donation to the Organization and holding of cultural and religious events, shaping up as a great collective effort. On these occasions, there is also a very big demand, and only in this way (through the daily donation) is that these moments occur.

Cleaning the yard, the reform of the shed, the removal of the mast, the collection of food products (meat, cereals and fruits), preparation and distribution of food, the safety and, subsequently, environmental cleaning, after party, are some activities developed by the community with the purpose of realization of the event.

Within the context of the study, it appears that the parties and social events are of fundamental importance in the maintenance of the identity of companies that perform, once, celebrate the fact of being and existing. In these moments, are pictured life, tradition and affirmed the livelihoods unique proponent of society party, indicating the renewal of the social cycle developed. The main parties are religious, very common in black Juçaral and Boa Vista, pines and Tambor de Mina, religious heritage quilombola.

  • c) cleaning and maintenance of the existing natural resources:

This phenomenon refers to the requirement that companies have in preserving water sources, natural deposits and endemic species of economic importance, among other activities.

To the observation of such elements is required important work to "dominate nature" and make human life possible in a particular environmental context. Therefore, it becomes necessary to use the labor of neighbors and relatives, which respond to the needs presented, with the confidence that when they need manpower, will be handled promptly by the families who have received the "gift".

A specific example of the above-mentioned fact is that some members of these communities do not practice the extraction of juçara, but grow cassava to make flour. In this way, the labor of farmers of cassava will be used to clean the juçaral, as well as the labor of harvesting juçara, which will be used on weeding from the sticks of manioc.

The donation, anthropological phenomenon studied by Mauss (1991), corresponds to a contract, tacit law receive at the time required that job "donated" to other farmers or groups of farmers that have similar needs and cultures very close, so that there is a complement between the products exchanged.

For Mauss (1991) the gifts are present in many societies, especially the countryside, that have the purpose of exchange of "gifts", in theory volunteers, in fact, mandatory data and compensated, so an important element of social cohesion and maintainer of the traditional ways of life of these societies.

From the point of view of Economics, Mauss (1991) notes that the gift is fundamental to the achievement of larger tasks that could not be developed by just one family of farmer, the manpower available in the family unit would not be enough.

For Mauss (1991), in terms of agricultural production, the gift can be considered a gift, even in the face of duty to return, because this gift depends on the survival of the homegroup.

On this framework, there was a large involvement of the companies surveyed in cleaning practices of creeks and fountains where juçareiras are born, and the production of mango and cashew.

The approach of the families of peasants, with the formal markets, can contribute to a certain loss of cultural identity, weakening the relationship with the environment. So, the real need for own markets strategies for these producers, having as main feature the differentiation of products from traditional communities together to those produced commercially.

But, on the other hand, these social and environmental relations can also be strengthened, since the products presented to markets carry with them the own cultural characteristics of the communities of origin. Fact observed in this research.

Mauss (2001) notes that contradiction and puts the need to consider the fact that the products produced in family units are the result of a social system, they have peculiar characteristics of that society often not translating into consumer demand, as a direct consequence of surplus production, which subsequently will be destined to markets, and may not be absorbed by the process of consumption, there is a latent difference between commercial products and identity products.

This distinction can derive the differentiation between product and goods. The goods are produced for the purpose of meeting the food and economic needs with the marketing of surplus generating monetary income. The goods, according to the context where they are inserted, promote more than food sovereignty, since they are used to maintain the social unity, preserve aspects of identity and traditions that are responsible for culture.

The goods are designed with the purpose of satisfaction of who produces it, although having a great potential for use as a product. This fact is evidenced in some specific products, such as minas cheese and cassava flour, produced in good view of the Pines, the culture of the Juçaral parties of the blacks, among others.

In this context, Kopytoff (2008) considers that in addition to the social aspects, the difference between products and goods for your economic value. The author states that the product or merchandise is given locally, who produces, noting especially the importance of it to that society and satisfaction of their most urgent needs. Even then, assuming the market values, with a higher marketing costs.


Mauss (2001) notes that maintain production with identity features specific to each specific rural society is a right of rural groups, fitting them to decide how they will design their products. With respect to the production technique used in the production process, it is also a decision of each specific social grouping, but, for the most part, this right is used by lovers of the technological reforms as argument to a biased rating of these traditional rural communities.

In this context, the traditional term is confused with term inefficient, or even late. Forget the traditional methods for ensuring forms replacing generation of productive scale to be forwarded to the markets would be the only way of those rural societies simply resting some level of economic development, Deconstructing social structure existing thrived Ministerially centuries, with the purpose of expanding the food supply equal to commercially produced foods.

Gehlen (2004) notes that the competitiveness and professionalization of traditional farmers overcomes the social inequalities in rural areas, on the contrary, the author states that tow agricultural production to the demand of the markets is leveraging some responsible for the increased vulnerability of these social segments.

Break social ties based on culture of reciprocity is to increase the chances of economic failure, and consequently raise the possibilities of abandonment of agricultural activity, which enhances the output of these families to other different contexts of agriculture or even rural.

The discussion of livelihoods (ELLIS, 1998, 2000) brings substantial arguments that strengthen the strategies geared to the preservation of traditional farmers. The approach to the markets (formal, institutional and alternative or) is essential, but this approach must be thoroughly planned so that there is no prejudice to social organizations and indigenous forms of production carried out by rural societies.

Perondi and Schnneider (2012) address exogenous models interfere with the internal dynamics of rural societies, with the aim of replacing the ways and modes of production which characterize the means of life and do not have capacity to generate development.

After half a century of interventions in rural areas, with a focus on developing, scholars and policymakers have reached a near consensus around the idea that the promotion of social and economic changes is a challenge that requires much more than replacing or offer new factors of production, following a set of recommendations that had been tried by the Nations that if they believed in more advanced stage of development. In some cases, this ideology advocated the existence of a process in which the point of arrival at the most advanced stage would require crossing certain steps or phases, as if there was some kind of script to be invariant and General and trodden by laggards. The political consequence of this design * in development proposals for intervention and planning, in which the State and multilateral organizations develop actions and induce them to exogenous form in "underdeveloped" countries or regions (PERONDI; SCHNEIDER, 2012). Although recent media approach sustainable livelihoods has been frequently used by international institutions.

Reciprocity is a gift, it is an act of social construction, there is no real need to return for more to be expected, since the understanding of Exchange is a process of Exchange, where there is the mutual return of donation, with the concern of meeting a need immediate.

In order to understand the lived process by traditional peoples, to survive the political and social pressures, lack of this discussion, other functions of the reciprocal process, how to give and receive gifts.

In a perspective very close to this discussion, Sabourin (2009) discusses aspects of reciprocity in rural areas, where the base your argument through the adoption of public policies for rural development, and how these are received and influence (positively or not) in the specific realities of traditional societies.

To Sabourin (2009), the capacities and the projects of individuals, companies and organizations can oscillate, dialectically, between two opposing trends and at the same time, on the one hand the production of materials for the exchange values for profit individual and, on the other, the generation of ethical values associated with the production of use values materials intended for consumption, the redistribution or generalized reciprocity, as is the case of traditional markets studied by Polanyi.

In this logic, the quantitative point of view, in the specific context of this research, there are some products that have a larger scale of production that can be related to the fact that they have the double function of product for ethical values and goods to meet the demands of consumer markets.

An example of this is found in the empirical reference of this research, the flour and the juçara are produced to meet the needs of families, including the strengthening of internal social relations through reciprocal and practices also meet a strong consumer market demand.

In this study, the fact that the practice of reciprocity and the preservation of cultural values, the lower susceptibility of rural societies, the invasion of new techniques and differentiated forms of use of the natural environment. Fact noticed to observe the data of the Quilombo of black Juçaral in contrast to the Folhal settlement.

The main product generated in this context is the cassava flour, the rural communities of President Juscelino-MA, to realize your importance in the economic and cultural context, elected the flour as the symbol of Exchange and reciprocity. Is through the production of flour that these values are constructed and constituted, and through it is maintained (or not) the social unity and cultural values.

Another product that presents fundamental importance for companies surveyed is the juçara, Yes, watching the environmental context and the ecosystem where it is collected, this product configures the synthesis of practices of environmental preservation.

Thus, rural societies use Hameed as an instrument of cohesion and preservation of local culture and customs, the strengthening of the relationship built between man and nature.

While these two products are important to the preservation of culture, and consequent maintenance of identity through the practices of reciprocity, there is a very strong appeal for the markets for this product is available for sale. This fact encourages the reaction of local communities to demonstrate about the final destination of the productive surplus, constitutes the main axis of the analysis, thus linking, as an instrument of Division of internal reviews on increase production to meet the market and give up their instruments characteristic of livelihoods.

This discussion is present in the daily life of rural communities surveyed therefore the fact to generate income for producing is something pursued by significant portion of peasant societies, but it's also concern element of other members of the same community, because, production increase implies adoption of differentiated production mechanisms or simply technological transfer.

The starting point is the rent that for literature is divided into consumption and income monetary income, but, in the face of the arguments presented above it is possible to identify another element that is essential for rural development, income for social cohesion, interpreted as nurturing unity and culture.

This income is shown at a time when the workforce is used collectively for common purposes such as cleaning activities of swamps and creeks, where cassava is also deposited to ferment to subsequently be transformed into flour. A merger of the social and environmental dimensions in the same context, strategies developed locally by Boa Vista and Juçaral of Black pines, not being observed in the community of Folhal, depending on the total man disintegrate nature, due to the drastic insertion of capitalism at the time they are instituted modern productive projects.

This process is observed when there is a complete replacement of traditional production systems on the basis of simple systems, with immediate capacity to provide answers.

This understanding is shared by the respondents, which claim that "without the bog none of them could survive", because, for peasants interviewed him springs to life and life is sustained by the juçara with flour and, therefore, all who live shall respect and work to keep the swamp alive.

This opinion is not shared by "settlers" of Folhal, although belonging to the same piece of land of Juçaral. Folhal families have contrary view towards survival, therefore, believe that what will sustain them are formal jobs and public funding, promoting the technological miracle provided by mechanized agricultural field, which has been deployed in settlement with features of PRONAF.

This reality comes to replace agricultural activities, which has less importance in the daily lives of families settled in Folhal, since the living nature, source of resources for the survival of rural societies, now is seen only as a framework in the past.

At parties and religious manifestations, there is also a daily donation community, because, in these events, through the participation of the vast majority of the members of local societies planning future activities and the fate of societies are discussed and drawn a line of development, since it is a time of social gathering and that it gives thoughts on the everyday common to all present.

This event should be accounted for as income, from the point of view of the economy, Yes, this is a time where other activities could be developed and generate income, but is used with the purpose of generating conditions for the party happen.

This complex development of different activities has been described and studied by Mauss (1924), where, one of his central contributions to sociology, demonstrating the value of things cannot be greater than the value of the relationship, and that symbolism is fundamental to the social life. Mauss (1924) came to this understanding from the analysis of the modalities of exchanges in "archaic societies" and the fact that these procedures are not just a thing of the past. Understood that the modern mercantile logic replaces the ancient forms of Constitution of links and alliances between humans, and found that such forms are still present in modern societies. Similar arrangements for the exchanges appear to him as a social fact that is revealed from two understandings of the total, all in the sense that society includes all human phenomena of nature economic, cultural, political, religious, among others, without no prior hierarchy to justify a natural economy which preceded the other social phenomena, and that the nature of these goods produced, by members of the communities, is not only material, but also, above all, symbolic.

In this way, the habit of drinking juçara with flour can be considered total social fact (MAUSS, 1974), because, conceptually means that all steps of the everyday life of those societies pass through habit/culture taking juçara with flour, representing the day to day, the way out into the Woods, the deal on the farm, the relationship with the media, the absolute dependence of natural resources and social relationships that are built, that is, the life of rural communities linearly President Juscelino – MA. Factors that are not addressed and respected by rural development policy, implemented in the Folhal settlement by means of productive projects.

This strategy, implemented in Folhal settlement, was used as an inductor of the development process, but in no way complied with any daily practice of these families, because, what was implemented was an unopened package of generic techniques. This process was evidenced in Brazil of the 40, where the South and Southeast passed through the modernization process, described by Graziano da Silva as "painful modernisation", whose consequences are noted in deep environmental imbalances and a deep segregation and disregard for traditional practices of rural societies.

According to reports from farmers, the technicians who are responsible for the installation of productive project financed with funds of the PRONAF, designated the area logged timber to be sold, and with it, pay the first installment of the agricultural financing to which they were subjected.

In this way, it is observed that the principles he wrote of theories about development have not been observed, is, possibly, economic activity will support the payment of installments of agricultural financing. Thus, farmers who submit for sale the wood deforested area to carry out the rural credit installments for the strengthening of family activities.

It is observed that there was a new economic logic based on the breaking of relations historically built between rural societies and living nature, the main cause of unbelief regarding a proposal for a more harmonious development.


Another context presents itself when we observe the activities developed by the peasants in relation to your use of the work for income generation. Within the specifics of each context, a different reality, which will be presented below.

In Boa Vista pines, one of the families surveyed, the non-agricultural activities are still undeveloped, restricting themselves to only one family that has wages, and another that sells the workforce outside the family unit.

According to the data collected, the cultural activities that have an impact on income generation are present in the reality of half the families, meaningful data for analysis.

During the feast of St. in the Quilombo of black Juçaral, in addition to the organizational aspects and strengthening of cultural identity, there is a very large potential for income generation through products and even services, configuring, so as alternative to these societies, in addition to demonstrate to other companies, aspects related to your way of life.

The formal jobs are not yet part of the demands presented by the farmers of Boa Vista pines during research was found only a public official that exerts the function of teacher in the Community (table 1).

Table 1 – sale of workforce and non-agricultural incomes in the town of Boa Vista, Presidente Juscelino pines – MA

Community activities
Cultural activities
1 family 256 256
2 family
Family 3 400 400 800
Family 4 18,000 600 360 18,960
5 family 280 280
6 family 360 360
7 family
8 family 400 400

Source: field research, 2015.

Farmers of Boa Vista pines, although squatters, do not have the income based on your sale of the workforce through empreitas daily, therefore, develop economic activities based on the production of flour, which is the flagship of your production (table 1).

The cleaning of the water sources of the Juçaral and the conservation of areas of forest reserves are also the responsibility of farmers. For these activities are invested significant labor montas (table 1).

For the party, there is also the involvement of the population, because, some donate a day for putting the process and manage with that assume posts capable of generating economic subsidies, as stand-alone miscellaneous vendors and/or jobs as security guards, cleaners and cleaning-related event, characterized as jobs generated by cultural activities (table 1).

Community activities have a great potential for income generation, therefore, are responsible for enabling basic services for the development of economic activities. An example of this is the Bayou, where is placed the juçara to ferment (pubar).

Cultural activities are also responsible for generating services with economic potential, as religious festivities, football tournaments and visits to other communities. These events allow the emergence of small businesses which enable income generation.

In black Juçaral, non-agricultural activities to generate income are restricted to the sale of the work force through daily to some farms in the region, where, in these specific moments, the way to handle the ground expresses the quilombola identity.

Thus, there is an appreciation of the labor in the Quilombo of Juçaral, because, according to them, the final yield is significantly higher.

The issue of parties and religious manifestations are very present in the reality of the Juçaral society of the blacks, because, in this city there are three religious festivals during the year, and these have influence across the region, bringing people from other parts of the municipality, requiring a large amount of additional work to ensure your achievement in this way voicing your income generating potential.

On the above, the parties that express the preservation of local culture are responsible for important percentage of the income generated by this society. In this context, exactly half of the surveyed families generate income from activities related to traditional parties (table 2).

Table 2 – sale of workforce and non-agricultural incomes in the Quilombola community of President Juscelino Juçaral dos Pretos-MA

Community activities
Cultural activities
1 family 900 900
2 family 300 300
Family 3 180 320 120 620
Family 4 40 40
5 family
6 family 200 120 320
7 family 200 200 400
8 family 200 200
9 family 900 560 120 120 240
10 family 200 200 400

Source: field research, 2015.

Community activities are associated with cleaning, the conservation of natural resources and also the production of the parties, so that 70% of the surveyed families develop activities related to these specific activities (table 2).


The observed changes were not just social relations, as stated earlier. The rapidity of the changes, also altered the way the settlers of Folhal observe the need to preserve water resources, once the swamp did not have the same importance as before in the life of these people.

The process of participant observation reveals that in black Juçaral the relationship with natural resources is more harmonic, because, the local society know the dimension of the importance of the physical environment for your survival, mainly observing your level of dependency, being that hauled the clothes are washed, the animals are bathed, the personal hygiene of the families is carried out, and in a location where it is traditional to that society.

The trip to the swamp is performed daily by the quilombolas families of Juçaral, and during this event is observed as well, the need for cleaning and maintenance, task that is divided and performed by all the members of this society.

Specifically, noting the economic aspect, the income depends on the preservation of bog, Yes, it is performed at the cassava fermentation to be transformed into flour, the basis of the local economy, and this natural resource constitutes a fundamental element for the preservation of the way of life of these families, which doesn't matter to be abandoned but rather preserved and passed on to future generations.

In Boa Vista pines, this relationship with the physical environment is also very strong, because the activity of extraction of juçara is one of the pillars of the local economy, along with the flour that is fermented in the Bayou, existing collective labor investment in your preservation.

This community views the environmental issue as fundamental, because her depends directly on your economy, not referencing by the cultural aspect. The romantic aspect was abandoned, being replaced by the opportunity offered by the markets in acquiring cassava flour and Hameed of the communities of farmers of President Juscelino.

Access to Federal Government social programs can be seen as positive therefore meets needs of access to some consumer goods, and the pressure on natural resources decreases significantly.


Social transfers are today in a significant element in raising the income of rural societies. A point noted is how this income interferes with the maintenance of the cultural aspects and strengthening of the relationship with the territory and its natural resources.

In Boa Vista pines Community 40% of families receive economic subsidies of the income transfer programs, and this fact differs significantly, forming in a main element of the income of these families.

The total annual income of the families in this community is R $178,676.00, amounting to an average per capita of R $22,334.50 per family. Watching only families who receive social benefits that average rises R $27,056.00. If we exclude the families who don't get Bolsa Família, this income decreased to R $3,200.00, i.e. the income obtained through social programs is pretty relevant.

In this context, note the presence of two families that have very low income, statistically, considered a bias, but reflect the reality experienced by the families of Boa Vista pines. Fit finds that these families have strong sources of preservation of cultural identity, which does not mean that they are suffering from conditions of extreme poverty.

This fact demonstrates the social isolation and lack of efficient rural development policies geared to the production, processing and marketing of production. The State does not cover agricultural production and marketing as able to generate income and development.

Thus, investments in research and rural extension are unnecessary, being privileged income transfer policies and technological replacement and products.

Cultural identity, arguably, is an element of strengthening development. In the context of income transfer, strengthens the process, since it gives access to the families of farmers to the means of production necessary to develop.

Table 3 – benefits and social transfers paid by the Federal Government to farmers from the community of Boa Vista, Presidente Juscelino pines – MA

1 family 1,352 3,128 4,480
2 family 5,136 5,136
Family 3
Family 4 9,384 Pension 9,384
5 family 18,768 9,384 Pension 9,384
6 family 3,552 3,552
7 family
8 family

Source: field research, 2015.

In black Juçaral, social programmes also contribute heavily to the formation of the final income, accounting for more than one-third of the total revenue of the Quilombola families, but not interfere in the process of changing the social and cultural structure, which deserves a deep and reading of this reality.

Most of the families surveyed, this increase in income has served to improve some infrastructures needed for the condition of life. There was change in the structure of the houses, leaving of being of taipa and rebuilt with masonry.

Another fact that stands out is the strengthening and greater involvement of communities at parties and religious movements. There has been an increase in the frequency of Juçaral society members. Possibly, this fact can be understood as a seizure of the Maroons that these parties have a potential with respect to income generation.

In the Folhal settlement, social programs take on a completely different connotation for being the farming families of this area, living a process of deconstruction of cultural identity.

The data in table 4 show that 90% of the families surveyed access government social programs and have them most of your monetary income. Agriculture does not have much importance, and there is also a new phenomenon structuring. This phenomenon refers to the formal jobs that begin to emerge in this society (seen in table 2).

Table 4 – benefits and social transfers paid by the Federal Government to the Maroons of President Juscelino Juçaral dos Pretos-MA

Bolsa família
Basic basket
1 family 4,416 4,416
2 family 2,400 2,400
Family 3 9,500 9,500
Family 4 9,500 9,500
5 family 2,304 2,304
6 family 1,200 1,200
7 family 2,580 2,580
8 family 9,500 9,500
9 family
10 family 9,500 9,500

Source: field research, 2015.

This fact is observed more intensively in the Folhal settlement, where the relationship man/nature is quite fragile, followed by the community of Boa Vista pines and infrequent in the runaway Juçaral.

Thus, today, based on the weakening of agricultural production and of the relationship between man and nature, the decisive element more important quantitative point of view is the monetary income, where what counts is getting the monetary capital. Nature is seen only as a strategy of generating money.

Table 5 – benefits and social transfers paid by the Federal Government to Settlers of Folhal, President Juscelino – MA

Retirement (R$) Bolsa família
Basket (R$) Other
Total (R$)
1 family 2,400 2,400
2 family 8,768 3,144 11,912
Family 3 3,228 3,228
Family 4 2,220 2,220
5 family 5,040 5,040
6 family 3,872 3,872
7 family 3,000 3,000
8 family 3,720 3,720
9 family 2,400 2,400
10 family

Source: field research, 2015.


Rural societies have attracted the gaze of many other societies, a fact that has instigated the curiosity of researchers who seek to understand the reasons and the consequences of this approach. A possible reason for this phenomenon refers to cultural differences that structure and differentiate the different societies, different attraction has always been developer of crystallization processes of social differences.

This fact was also observed in this survey of income formation, for it have been raised beyond the agricultural income other elements such as selling services, tourism, processing and production factors influencing training end of rent.

Note that the diversification of economic activities to obtain income have influenced on decrease of the pressure on the natural resources, because where there are other methods of work pressure on the land and waters is less. This fact is observed in Boa Vista and pines in the Quilombo of Juçaral dos Pretos because, in these places the Earth and its resources are taken as a savings account for the future.

In Boa Vista pines, this relationship is represented by two families who obtain income from the practice of freight, and this activity is responsible for influencing many others, among them the direct sale of agricultural production in agro-ecological fair, held at the seat of the municipality of President Juscelino-MA.

At the most, adding value to primary products, such as the processing of manioc into flour and beans are pulped and juçara, packing has been responsible for a high representative in monetary income.

Other activities such as rural tourism, sale and production of handicrafts are still insufficient to influence the income of this community. A constant fact in the daily life of this society are the visits of groups of people, that on weekends and holidays attending the wellsprings of community. This fact, which aroused in local families for a way to generate income from this activity.

Table 6-non-agricultural Incomes several obtained by farmers from the town of Boa Vista, Presidente Juscelino pines – MA

Direct sale/trade show
Extraction (R$) Car hire
1 family 1,190 320 3,576 5,086
2 family 2,560 515 3,075
Family 3 7,440 1,360 8,800
Family 4
5 family 3,000 3,000
6 family 100 100
7 family
8 family 600 600
9 family
10 family

Source: field research, 2015.

In black Juçaral, the non-agricultural incomes are perceived, even though a fundamental importance for the maintenance of cultural identity. However, in this society, there is a lower dependence on monetary capital, because most needs is met by means of the reproduction of the traditional way of life and its conditions, in which the dependence of markets, to acquire products, is little used, practice ensuring greater independence.

A practical example of this reality is the production of brooms with Juçara fibers, for cleaning of the houses and yards of the Quilombola families. In this way, there is no need for generation of financial capital for the purchase of this product.

Quantitatively, the non-agricultural activity that introduces greater weight in the formation of the income of the families of black Juçaral is the extraction of juçara, which is practiced by all families in this community. The local vegetation characteristics fruits like mango and cashews are also widely exploited by quilombolas, but these are not marketed, but used in reciprocal relationships, strengthening social relationships and, in particular, expressing respect for the natural resources in their area.

Table 7-non-agricultural Incomes several noted in the quilombola community of black Juçaral, President Juscelino – MA

Direct sale/trade show
Car hire
1 family 300 300
2 family 380 380
Family 3 270 270
Family 4 320 320
5 family 260 260
6 family 240 240
7 family 360 360
8 family 280 280
9 family 280 280
10 family 240 240

Source: field research, 2015.

In the Folhal settlement, income diversification is of little consequence. Most of the income is formed by social transfers, and the rents generated by formal jobs, a fact observed from the deconstruction of the human/nature relationship culminating in the destruction of the cultural patterns established.

In this way, different from other cases, the income is used to strengthen the external consumer relations at household production units, being obtained individually, Deconstructing the culture and tradition of reciprocity and exchange within the community.

A fact that translates this affirmative is the extinction of local parties, planning meetings of community activities and the entry of Evangelical Pentecostal churches, where the fate of society's responsibilities are transferred to God, solely responsible for the fate the families of the settlement.

Table 8 – non-agricultural Incomes several observed in community in the Folhal settlement, President Juscelino – MA

Direct selling
Car hire
1 family
2 family 300 300
Family 3
Family 4
5 family
6 family
7 family
8 family
10 family 300 300

Source: field research, 2015.


The process of transformation of technological standards no doubt is observed within the communities surveyed, but this is not tied to knowledge and insertion of the families of farmers markets, decision closely linked to the needs of the families of farmers.

This fact is present in the community of Boa Vista, who pines for failing safety with respect to the ownership of the land, seeking production and increased productivity a way to maintain the link with the countryside, maintaining its characteristics of peasants.

Social transformations are also reflections of the decreased supply of resources and environmental services available, these being replaced by alternatives have been found and taken to form rural societies where the endogenous process happens.

3 clipping only, specifically in the process of transformation of quilombo in settlement, it was observed that in addition to the breach of identity, little concern with the environmental issue that makes this can bring serious problems to these families.

In the first two cutouts, all the comments made on the logic of preservation of livelihoods observed, leading to different results, however, privileging continuity practices of cultural specificities where traditions are central elements in contexts.

In the third cut, discontinuity observed by the introduction of a new organizational logic that privileges the individualism and dependence of households income transfer policy and job generation, making them more vulnerable.

The concept of the traditional training income refers to cultural specificities that are evidenced in the context of economic activities whose goal is the formation of income within rural communities. This concept is abstract, deserving a more thorough approach in how intertwine the relationship society, nature and culture, taking in the terms of trade a key element for your understanding.

In this way, the reading of this concept necessarily must be built differentiating the specifics. In each of the surveyed realities, there are differences, and these depend on, above all, local and organization-level social relations built, developed and practiced by each specific society.

The indigenous ways of relating to the environment are essential to the way used in obtaining monetary income, from the local to the regional and so on, and not the global to the local, causing the specificities of each society could be covered by public policies.

The practices of reciprocity are in a very strong element for the promotion of rural development, where these are observed, the relation between man and nature is strong, having this a decisive element in the formation of the final income, since the level of dependency of the natural resources is still quite significant.

The environmental potential should also be used differently in each reality, ways to observe the environment and how this can influence the development is not seen uniformly, so each group has a specific reading and different perception of how this potential can be used.

The cultural aspect is also very important for the development of economic activities where this aspect is observed in the form of Division of labour, quid pro quo between relatives, cronies and partners, and for the strengthening of the planning process locations, causing them to have positive results for income generation. Consequently, influencing society's life together.

The diversification of economic activities, in this context, it is very important for the preservation of cultures and traditions, Yes, there is a very close relationship between man and nature, and this relationship is fundamental to the development of economic activities, as the extraction of juçara and flour processing, activities that are based on the local economy.

Social transfers have also important role in context studied, since exercising different functions, depending on the organisational level directly, observed a reciprocal relations and the importance of the cultural element for each specific community.

In the quilombo, where the traditional has a great importance, social transfers serve to ensure the social infrastructure needed to a better quality of life for families, improving the dwelling houses. In the area of occupation and possession, where trade relations assume great importance, the monetary income acquires the role of productive infrastructure for adding value to traditional products, and in the settlement, where social and cultural relations are in collapse, the rent acquires the role of strengthening of consumer relations and individualization of local society.

The diversification of production and adding value to traditional products such as Hameed and flour, has a great potential in the process of generation of monetary income, strengthens relations of reciprocity and enables the manifestation of social phenomena, such as the reciprocity, while also allowing a greater integration of societies where this is evidenced.

In societies in which the process of loss of identity is constant, noted the practices of reciprocity and cronyism, walking towards individualisation and cultural loss, which refers to practices merely economic.

A fact that suggests this is financing policy analysis through the PRONAF, in Folhal settlement. Originally intended for promotion of productive activities has served, above all, to the dismantling of social relations that exist in the community, focusing only on the aspect of monetary income high, affecting the social and organizational cohesion, increasing the fragility of that society.

Community environmental preservation activities and cultural practices are important to the formation of the final income therefore enhances the production factor and work, also, that the process of preservation of cultural identity is preserved.

In this way, the conjunction of productive elements, cultural identity and are crucial to the process of obtaining income, because these factors when evidenced allow the strengthening of relations with the media, and also transfer to the companies the final decision on the rural development model to be adopted.

This combination provides the elements necessary for productive alternatives are reached, and also favour processes of preservation of cultural identity and strengthens the relationship with the media, triggering a virtuous cycle of rural development by the communities where this is evidenced.

The trans-cultural diffusion technology, supported by the need to increase productivity, makes the whole process built for years by local companies come to be eroded. This happens on behalf mainly access to markets that are not accessed.


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[1] He holds a Bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering from Universidade Estadual do Maranhão (2001) and a master's degree in Agroecology Universidade Estadual do Maranhão (2009). Doctor in Rural Development at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (2017) and substitute teacher at the Universidade Estadual do Maranhão responsible for the disciplines of Sociology and Rural legislation, Agrarian and Environmental Policy, and Agricultural Marketing. Developing research in the area of income generation in rural areas and public policies for rural development.

[2] Professor, Department of Economics and international relations at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences (1989) and fine arts (2000), master's degree in Botany (1997) and a PhD in Social Anthropology (2006) from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Works with the graduate program in Rural Development (PGDR) and integrates the Desma groups (Center for studies in sustainable Rural Development and Atlantic forest), Visual (Visual Anthropology) and Nesan (Center for Studies on food and nutritional security). Has been addressing the following themes: rural development and sustainability, ethnobotany and Ethnoecology, social practices related to natural resources and anthropology of the image.

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