Amerindian Perspectivism and (De)Coloniality in Oré awé roiru’a ma—Todas as vezes que dissemos adeus (2002)
This paper examines Kaká Werá Jecupé’s Oré awé roiru'a ma - Todas as vezes que dissemos adeus as an autobiographical account of coloniality that recounts the experiences of young indigenous man living between diverse communities in late 20th century Brazil. Kaka Werá’s text employs “Amerindian perspectivism” (Viveiros do Castro, 1998) that challenges the Western division between nature and culture in order to chronicle Kaká Werá’s memories in a way that respects indigenous epistemology despite the limitations of the Western medium. The semi-autobiographical story recounts varied ways western culture continues to erase indigenous ways of knowing and being through Kaká Werá’s vivid stories of displacement, the outward sprawl of São Paulo, and public education, and the difficulties of writing itself. In conjunction these forces work together to reify the power structures of coloniality as described by Aníbal Quijano, Walter Mignolo, and other decolonial theorists. However, the colonial order is challenged by Kaká Werá and this text in its presentation of Amerindian perspectivism, the narrative structure’s emulation of oral storytelling, the use of Tupi-Guarani vocabulary, and Kaká Werá’s exploration of the indigenous experience and heritage in the context of contemporary society. Approaching Kaká Werá’s work from a cultural studies perspective that analyzes text using critical works based in studies of literature, history, and anthropology this essay demonstrates how Kaká Werá’s activism, writing, and his assertion of Amerindian perspectivism challenge modern/colonial power structures and encourage readers to explore and adopt a decolonial mindset.