Among Saints, Enchanted and Orixás: a journey through the diversity of sacred natural sites in Brazil
Erika Fernades-Pinto & Marta de Azevedo Irving2018
Recognition on the multiple values of nature has been increasing in the recent decades in global forums on strategies for environmental conservation– including those considered as cultural. The so-called sacred natural sites, recognized in various parts of the world, have been gaining visibility as a key theme in the perspective on reconnecting society and nature. Amidst a substantial body of world information on the subject, it is noteworthy that references to sites in Brazil (a country of great biological and cultural wealth) are rare. In view of this situation, this article aims to illustrate the diversity of these Brazilian sacred natural sites, its main characteristics, and socioenvironmental implications, evaluating how this theme has been approached in national surveys.
The analysis was based on a bibliographical and documentary survey, driven by a collaborative strategy of knowledge construction. The results show that the recurrence of the manifestation of this phenomenon in the different regions of the country and its importance for many social groups contrast to its incipient recognition in public policies. Information on the subject is, for the most part, dispersed in non-indexed
references to studies that permeate various areas of knowledge, often disconnected from the international debate.
The reflection indicates a need to recognize the interdependence between culture and nature, based on interdisciplinary investigations and on theoretical approaches capable of promoting dialogue between scientific knowledge and popular wisdom, deconstructing these dichotomies. Finally, we launch an invitation to form alliances that contribute to the mission of unveiling the enchantment and mysteries of nature’s sacred dimensions in Brazil.
Erika Fernades-Pinto & Marta de Azevedo Irving (2018) Among Saints, Enchanted and Orixás: a journey through the
diversity of sacred natural sites in Brazil. Entre Santos, Encantados e Orixás: uma jornada pela diversidade dos
sítios naturais sagrados no Brasil. Desenvolv. Meio Ambiente, v. 46, p. 37-60, agosto 2018. DOI: 10.5380/dma.v46i0.57281. e-ISSN 2176-9109