Room 05: Gold Lifeways

Wall: Amazon


In the Amazon, gold mining dictates a lifestyle that influences the development of local communities. It is alive in the names of hotels, streets, equipment  stores, general shops, and a historical movie theatre. Words like “ouro”, “gold”, “garimpo”  and “garimpeiro” are omnipresent in the streetscape. Depending on the distance from the closest villages, miners usually live in the  vicinity of the mining site. The living quarters can be more or less  structured, but there is always a hammock to ensure some comfortable rest. Closer to urban places sometimes wifi is available. In other cases, people  have to walk to the nearest hill to be able to connect to telephone and  internet lines to maintain long-distance relationship with families. In Brazil, cooperatives disseminate messages about the transformation of the image of garimpeiros. They promote miners as a social group concerned with sustainability issues, reducing mercury pollution, legalizing mining  operations, and generating technological innovation for cleaner extraction.

Next Wall:
Gold Lifeways