Seed and gene banks have made great strides in preserving the biological diversity of traditional agricultural plant species, but they have tended to ignore a serious component: the knowledge about those crops and methods of farming held by the people who have long raised them. Virginia Nazarea now makes a case for preserving cultural memory along with biodiversity. By exploring how indigenous people farm sweet potatoes in Bukidnon, Philippines, she discovers specific ways in which the conservation of genetic resources and the conservation of culture can support each other. Interweaving a wealth of ecological and cognitive data with oral history, Nazarea details a "memory banking" protocol for collecting and conserving cultural information to complement the genetic, agronomic, and biochemical characterization of important crops. She shows that memory banking offers significant benefits for local populations—not only the preservation of traditional knowledge but also the maintenance of alternatives to large-scale agricultural development and commercialization. She also compares alternative forms of germplasm conservation conducted by a male-dominated hierarchy with those of an informal network of migrant women. Cultural Memory and Biodiversity establishes valuable guidelines for people who aspire to support community-based in situ conservation of local varieties. Perhaps more important, it shows that the traditional methods of local farmers are often as important as the "advanced" methods encouraged by advocates of modernization.
A collection of papers from the Ethnobiology 2000 millennium conference in Ann Arbor. Contributions by Richard Ford, Elizabeth Wing, Steven Weber, Paul Minnis, Karen Adams, Eugene Hunn, Cecil Brown, Catherine Fowler, Nancy Turner, and Eugene Anderson.
Ethnobiology holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many because of its dedication to celebrating the knowledge and values of some of the most distinctive cultural practices in some of the most distinctive places on Earth. Yet we live in a world of diminishing natural and linguistic diversity. Whether due to climate change or capitalism, homogeneity is trumping the once-resplendent heterogeneity all around us.
In this important new collection, Gary Paul Nabhan puts forth a call for the future not only of ethnobiology but for the entire planet. He articulates and broadens the portfolio of ethnobiological principles and amplifies the tool kit for anyone engaged in the ethnobiosphere, those vital spaces of intense interaction among cultures, habitats, and creatures.
The essays are grouped into a trio of themes. The first group presents the big questions facing humanity, the second profiles tools and methodologies that may help to answer those questions, and the third ponders how to best communicate these issues not merely to other scholars, but to society at large. The essays attest to the ways humans establish and circumscribe their identities not only through their thoughts and actions, but also with their physical, emotional, and spiritual attachments to place, flora, fauna, fungi, and feasts.
Nabhan and his colleagues from across disciplines and cultures encourage us to be courageous enough to include ethical, moral, and even spiritual dimensions in work regarding the fate of biocultural diversity. The essays serve as cairns on the critical path toward an ethnobiology that is provocative, problem-driven, and, above all, inspiring.
The re-emerging field of ethnoecology offers a promising way to document and analyze human-environment interactions. This collection brings the discipline into sharp focus, conveying local understandings of environments and proposing a way of looking at the relationship between humans and the natural world that emphasizes the importance of cognition in shaping behavior. Case studies by international experts explore the varied views of scholars on the human dimension of conversation and the different views of local peoples regarding their own environments. Filled with peoples' voices from North and South America, Africa, and Asia, these cases cover a range of issues: natural resource conservation and sustainable development, the relationship between local knowledge and biodiversity, the role of the commons in development, and the importance of diversity and equity in environmental management. As the only volume to address the status of this increasingly multidisciplinary field—especially as it relates to the differential power of multiple stakeholders—Ethnoecology: Situated Knowledge/Located Lives is intended for a wide range of specialists not only in social and natural sciences but also in agricultural studies. It conveys the overriding importance of this powerful methodological approach in providing insiders' perspectives on their environment and how they manage it. CONTENTS
1. Introduction. A View from a Point: Ethnoecology as Situated Knowledge, Virginia D. Nazarea
2. The Value of Subsistence for the Future of the World, Eugene S. Hunn
3. Practical and Religious Meanings of the Navajo Hogan, Lillie Lane
4. The Agronomy of Memory and the Memory of Agronomy: Ritual Conservation of Archaic Cultigens in Contemporary Farming Systems, Michael R. Dove
5. Ethnoecology Serving the Community: A Case Study from Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, Richard I. Ford
6. Lenses and Latitudes in Landscapes and Lifescapes, Virginia D. Nazarea
7. Cultural Landscapes and Biodiversity: The Ethnoecology of an Upper R¡o Grande Watershed Commons, Devon G. Peña
8. Conserving Folk Crop Varieties: Different Agricultures, Different Goals, Daniela Soleri and Steven E. Smith
9. Plant Constituents and the Nutrition and Health of Indigenous Peoples, Timothy Johns
10. Sustainable Production and Harvest of Medicinal and Aromatic Herbs in the Sierras de C¢rdoba Region, Argentina, Marta Lagrotteria and James M. Affolter
11. Managing the Maya Commons: The Value of Local Knowledge, Scott Atran
12. Safeguarding Traditional Resource Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Darrell A. Posey
13. A Practical Primer on Intellectual Property Rights in a Contemporary Ethnoecological Context, David J. Stephenson, Jr.
14. Toward Compensation: Returning Benefits from Ethnobotanical Drug Discovery to Native Peoples, Katy Moran
15. Am I My Brother's Keeper?, Christine S. Kabuye
16. Epilogue. Quo Vadis? The Promise of Ethnoecology, Robert E. Rhoades and Jack Harlan
Fire is a daunting human ecological challenge and a major subject in science and policy debates about global trends in land conversion, climate change, and human health. Persistent environmental orthodoxies reduce complex burning traditions to overly simplistic representations of environmental destruction, degradation, and loss while reinforcing existing social inequities involving smallholders. Fire Otherwise: Ethnobiology of Burning for a Changing World advocates for a more inclusive and pluralistic fire ecology, a shift from the paradigmatic globalized version of fire science and management towards research and management that embraces anthropogenic fire regimes and broader understandings of the ways humans interact with fire. The authors present new evaluations of human interactions with fires in contexts of changing environmental conditions. Through deep description and analysis of knowledge and practices enacted by local communities who ignite, manage, and extinguish fires, this collection of case studies supports proactive local and regional efforts to adapt amidst continually changing social and ecological circumstances.
An Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology exposes students to the cultural detail and personal experiences that lie in the anthropological record and extends their anthropological understanding to contemporary issues.
The book is divided into three parts that focus on the main themes of the discipline: ecological adaptations, structural arrangements, and interpretive meanings. Each chapter provides an overview of a particular topic and then presents two case examples that illuminate the range of variation in traditional and contemporary societies. New case examples include herders’ climate change adaptations in the Arctic, matrilineal Muslims in Indonesia, Google’s AI winning the Asian game Go, mass migration in China, cross-cultural differences in the use of social media, and the North American response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Instructors will also have digital access to all the book’s illustrations for class review.
Covering the full range of sociocultural anthropology in a compact approach, this revised and updated edition of Cultural Anthropology: Adaptations, Structures, Meanings is a holistic, accessible, and socially relevant guide to the discipline for students at all levels.
Forests are alive, filled with rich, biologically complex life forms and the interrelationships of multiple species and materials. Vulnerable to a host of changing conditions in this global era, forests are in peril as never before. New markets in carbon and environmental services attract speculators. In the name of conservation, such speculators attempt to undermine local land control in these desirable areas.
Moral Ecology of a Forest provides an ethnographic account of conservation politics, particularly the conflict between Western conservation and Mayan ontological ecology. The difficult interactions of the Maya of central Quintana Roo, Mexico, for example, or the Mayan communities of the Sain Ka’an Biosphere, demonstrate the clashing interests with Western biodiversity conservation initiatives. The conflicts within the forest of Quintana Roo represent the outcome of nature in this global era, where the forces of land grabbing, conservation promotion and organizations, and capitalism vie for control of forests and land.
Forests pose living questions. In addition to the ever-thrilling biology of interdependent species, forests raise questions in the sphere of political economy, and thus raise cultural and moral questions. The economic aspects focus on the power dynamics and ideological perspectives over who controls, uses, exploits, or preserves those life forms and landscapes. The cultural and moral issues focus on the symbolic meanings, forms of knowledge, and obligations that people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and classes have constructed in relation to their lands. The Maya Forest of Quintana Roo is a historically disputed place in which these three questions come together.
In the heart of Wyoming sprawls the ancient homeland of the Eastern Shoshone Indians, who were forced by the U.S. government to share a reservation in the Wind River basin and flanking mountain ranges with their historical enemy, the Northern Arapahos. Both tribes lost their sovereign, wide-ranging ways of life and economic dependence on decimated buffalo. Tribal members subsisted on increasingly depleted numbers of other big game—deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep. In 1978, the tribal councils petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help them recover their wildlife heritage. Bruce Smith became the first wildlife biologist to work on the reservation. Wildlife on the Wind recounts how he helped Native Americans change the course of conservation for some of America's most charismatic wildlife.
There is a common but often unspoken arrogance on the part of outside observers that folk science and traditional knowledge—the type developed by Native communities and tribal groups—is inferior to the “formal science” practiced by Westerners. In this lucidly written and humanistic account of the O’odham tribes of Arizona and Northwest Mexico, ethnobiologist Amadeo M. Rea exposes the limitations of this assumption by exploring the rich ornithology that these tribes have generated about the birds that are native to their region. He shows how these peoples’ observational knowledge provides insights into the behaviors, mating habits, migratory patterns, and distribution of local bird species, and he uncovers the various ways that this knowledge is incorporated into the communities’ traditions and esoteric belief systems. Drawing on more than four decades of field and textual research along with hundreds of interviews with tribe members, Rea identifies how birds are incorporated, both symbolically and practically, into Piman legends, songs, art, religion, and ceremonies. Through highly detailed descriptions and accounts loaded with Native voice, this book is the definitive study of folk ornithology. It also provides valuable data for scholars of linguistics and North American Native studies, and it makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how humans make sense of their world. It will be of interest to historians of science, anthropologists, and scholars of indigenous cultures and folk taxonomy.
A Zapotec Natural History is an extraordinary book that describe the people of a small town in Mexico and their remarkable knowledge of the natural world in which they live.
San Juan Gbëë is a Zapotec Indian community located in the state of Oaxaca, a region of great biological diversity. Eugene S. Hunn is a well-known anthropologist and ethnobiologist who has spent many years working in San Juan Gbëë, studying its residents and their knowledge of the local environment. Here Hunn writes sensitively and respectfully about the rich understanding of local flora and fauna that village inhabitants have acquired and transmitted over many centuries. In this village everyone, young children included, can identify and name hundreds of local plants, animals, and fungi, together with the details of their life cycles, habitat preferences, and functions in the economic, aesthetic, and spiritual lives of the town.
Part 1 of this two-part work describes the community, the subsistence farming practices of its residents, the nomenclature and classification of the local biological taxonomy, the use of plants for treating illnesses, and the ritual and decorative roles of flowers. Part 2 is available online, and includes detailed inventories of all plant, animal, and fungal categories recognized by San Juan’s people; a series of indexes; a library of more than 1,200 images illustrating the town’s plants, people, landscapes, and daily activities; and sounds of village life.