MY POSTS ABOUT ETHNOECOLOGY
Links to maps of the USA & Canada and Mexico, which show original names of Native American tribes, and to a news article about their creation. Exploration of hypotheses for why diversity of tribal names is so high in the west coast and lower in other areas.
About how little hunter-gatherer cultures needed to work to meet all their needs and wants to sustain a comfortable life since they had so little to need or want. How their lives so much easier, simpler, and fulfilling compared to those in the western, agro-industrial cultures.
How traditional soaproot harvesting techniques of California Indians increased the populations of soaproot, and without this harvesting, the soaproot population declines.
Link to an article by my brother about the importance of ecology, and the harmful disconnection of modern humans from their environment and ecological knowledge.
My poem and drawing about cycles in nature and humans as part of these cycles.
Link to article about how tree diversity in the Amazon corresponds to historical human habitation since Amazon Indians managed useful tree species composition.
My story about finding a ringtail cat killed on a highway, seeing it’s live brethren, and about the cave they led me to.
Ethnoecology is a new field of scientific research, recently developed (largely by Victor Toledo, see Toledo and Barrera-Bassols 1992), that has addressed landscape management and modification by hunter-gatherers (Anderson 2011). Its recent discovery that ecosystem management was ubiquitously practiced brings question to the entire idea of preserving “wild” landscapes, since apparantly many vegetation types were shaped by regular burning and proto-agricultural practices by Indians. When first encountered by the colonists, American Indians were thought to be living in a raw, untouched, virgin wilderness, hunting and gathering whatever was available at a given time and ultimately living at the mercy of the whims of Mother Nature. This view has persisted in popular notions until recent times with the scientific discovery and dissimation of the knowledge that Indians actually practiced ecosystem management techniques extensively, being strongly active in enhancing the productivity of key resources in the ecosystem. The first and best example of this is the burning of forest, savannah, and grassland to drive animals for hunting, clear cover for easier future hunting, stimulate growth of young nutritious growth that deer and other prey feed upon, and stimulate growth of straight shoots for basketry (Cronon 2003, Lightfoot and Parrish 2009). In addition to the ubiquitous use of fire for ecosystem management, American Indians also extensively practiced proto-agricultural techniques of “tending the wild;” enhancing the production of useful wild plants and animals through intimate understanding of their ecology and natural history (Anderson 2005). Such techniques include burning, pruning, removing debris, transplanting, coppicing, harrowing, sowing, weeding, mulching, fertilizing, digging, irrigation, tilling, seed broadcasting, building enclosures, selectively harvesting and replanting (Lightfoot and Parrish 2009, Fowler and Lepofsky 2011).
Anderson, M. K. 2005. Tending the wild: Native American knowledge and management of California’s natural resources. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Cronon, W. 2003. Changes in the land: Indians, colonists, and the ecology of New England. Hill and Wang, New York, NY.
Fowler, C. S. and D. Lepofsky. Traditional resource and environmental management. In Anderson, E. N., D. M. Pearsall, E. S. Hunn, and N. J. Turner (eds.). 2011 Ethnobiology. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ.
Lightfoot, K. G. and O. Parrish. 2009. California Indians and their environment. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Toledo, V. M. and N. Barrera-Bassols. 1992. A etnoecologia: uma ciencia pos-normal que estuda as sabedorias tradicionais / Ethnoecology: a post-normal science studying traditional Knowledge and Wisdom. In Etnobiologia e Etnoecologia: pessoas & natureza na América Latina. Edited by Silva VA, Almeida ALS, Albuquerque UP. Recife: Nuppea; 2010:13–36.