Knut Olav Krohn Lakså conducted fieldwork among the Pataxó Indians in Brazil. He wanted to see how indigenous groups use their ethnic identity as a political resource. He found many paradoxes: In order to be acknowledged as an Indian with certain rights, it is necessary to adapt to an enchanted romanticism of themselves as The Other in which they are portrayed as The Noble Savage, he writes:
For instance, at every meeting with IBAMA or FUNAI officials, the Pataxó were always careful to wear feathers, painting or other traditional outfits such as loincloth.
This performance hasn't much with the Indians' needs in common, he shows:
The Pataxó’s main problems are that they are poor, unemployed and stigmatized. (...) The Pataxó themselves are mainly concerned with everyday challenges. They want to feed their families. They want their children to grow up. They want a school and they want money. In short, they want to change their social position to achieve material goods -- something quite the opposite of what the Western World wants from the Noble Savage.