Print version ISSN 0104-9313
FRANCHETTO, Bruna. The war of the alphabets: indigenous peoples between the oral and the written.Translated byLuiz Costa. Mana [online]. 2008, vol.4Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0104-9313.
Based on ethnographic fragments from linguistic research among the Taurepáng, Macuxi, Wapichana and Kuikuro, conducted in distinct times, regions and situations, this article analyzes the conflict occurring between orality and writing when the orthographization of an indigenous language transforms and crystallizes sounds and speech on sheets of paper. This is an open arena where different representations and agents of writing emerge, interact and clash: missionaries, researchers, agents of the state, indigenous teachers, indigenous preachers, the indigenous community itself and so on. Here I approach writing more as a metaphor or emblem than a simple technology of correspondences between codes. The article provides, then, an interpretation of the meaning of writing that may help us to understand, among other things, the reasons behind the successes and failures of bilingual education, literacy projects and the introduction of schooling. The Indians also observe, often with considerable perplexity, the wars or dances of the letters, where orthographization consecrates whatever it includes and condemns what it excludes - the vital organs of a language.
Keywords : Ethnology; Writing; Indigenous Education; Linguistic Policies; Indigenous Languages.