We're hearing so much about Indigenous knowledge lately Knowledge about the natural world We want to know that knowledge To understand what we've done wrong To make things better But knowledge alone won't do that for us Stories we hear From indigenous mouths Are not stories of Knowledge of place alone They are stories of Sense of place...
Petul and I had just finished recording a Tzeltal Maya elder, Don Antonio, who was telling us some of the old stories about people, plants, places, and spirits. The man had been talking for hours, showing no sign of getting tired, in spite of his age. Petul and I, instead, were exhausted. As we sat back, taking a rest, I asked him—my invaluable collaborator through two years of doctoral fieldwork in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, in the early 1990s: “Well, Petul, I guess this is what you folks normally do at night, sit around with the elders telling stories?” From the puzzled look on Petul’s face, I figured that something wasn’t exactly as I had imagined. “Huh—said Petul after a moment of reflection—actually, that was the way it used to be… But now, you see, the kids are going to school, and when they come back at the end of the day (if the school is close enough that they can come back daily at all), they have homework to do. So that’s what happens at night: they sit at the table under the light bulb and do the homework. Some of the people, also, now have TV, so they sit around and watch TV at night. We don’t spend that much time visiting one another and listening to stories anymore. The kids often think that the old stories are weird, anyway, because of what they learn at school, or see on TV…”
What do we need to do to further promote biocultural diversity conservation? Since the existence of an “inextricable link” between cultural and biological diversity was affirmed in the pioneering 1988 Declaration of Belém, the field of biocultural diversity (BCD) has grown organically out of a variety of sources in the natural, social, and behavioral sciences,
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Throughout the world, biocultural diversity continues to decline, despite the growing recognition of its vital importance for the future of humanity and of all life on earth. The many on-the-ground efforts that are taking place worldwide to support and restore biocultural diversity are forging a new, integrated path toward sustainability. However, by and large these
The Rarámuri people (also known as Tarahumara by non-Rarámuri) are an indigenous group living in the Sierra Tarahumara, a part of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. This region of high sierras and deep canyons boasts an exceptional ecological diversity, and is home to some of