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July 2002 Issue
The Geographical Review
July 2002, Vol. 92 (3), pp. 415-431
SEASONAL FLOODPLAIN-UPLAND MIGRATION ALONG THE LOWER AMAZON RIVER
ANTOINETTE M. G. A. WINKLERPRINS
Keywords: Amazon River, land use, migration, smallholders.
A current pattern of seasonal migration, particularly among smallholders, is marked by movement between the Amazon River floodplain and upland bluffs near the city of Santarem, Brazil. Nearly fifty years of jute cultivation "subsidized" residents of the floodplain, enabling them to remain there year-round. Without this incentive, annual flooding and the concomitant seasonal dearth of cash-economy activities make permanent occupancy difficult. The present-day seasonal migration and complementary use of both upland and floodplain environments has broad implications for theories about past patterns of settlement and for the region's future sustainable development.