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Bahadar ’s Almanac: Oral Tradition in Northern Pakistan Makes People Resilient and Prepared for Natural Disasters

Gurnal village

Text by Zubair Torwali Photos by Aftab Ahmad When I still used to lend a hand in the fields to my father, now 78, he would refer to a certain guy, Bahadar |bahadər|, for his oral traditions about the right weather for sowing and harvesting. At that time, I was in college and was familiar

A Chicken for Every Occasion: Exploring the Significance of India’s Native Poultry Breeds

Kanna K. Siripurapu and Sabyasachi Das A few months ago, I received a document written by my colleague Uday Kalyanapu about the success of a backyard poultry project in the tribal-dominated areas of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The project was started by WASSAN (Watershed Support Services and Activities Network), the organization with which

Learning to Write Our Native Language: The Nepalbhasa Ranjana Script of Nepal

Indigenous Languages

Manju Maharjan and Yuvash Vaidya We are Newahs, the Indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. We are worshippers in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions and belong to several different ethnic groups, but historically we all spoke a common language, Nepalbhasa. While the language is prevalent among the older folks, most of the youth

Quarantine as Ceremony: COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Quietly Rebel against the Dominant Langscape

Severn Cullis-Suzuki The Haida people know the cost of disease. They have lived on Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the west coast of Canada, for the past 14,000 years. In their recent history, after the first encounter with Europeans in 1774, waves of smallpox, measles, and other contact diseases ravaged the Haida population. From 30,000-strong,

Subversive Maps: How Digital Language Mapping Can Support Biocultural Diversity—and Help Track a Pandemic

Native Land interactive online map

Maya Daurio, Sienna R. Craig, Daniel Kaufman, Ross Perlin, and Mark Turin Maps have long been used for a variety of purposes, including to characterize land use and land cover patterns or to delineate the extent of territorial jurisdictions such as national or regional borders. In this way, cartography has long been a tool of

The Obvious Mirror: How Biocultural Diversity Is Reflected in the Natural World

Reflection of the natural world

Nejma Belarbi “All things in creation are sacred and have a diversity much beyond our understanding.” ―My grandmother, Fakhita Jazouli “Get on your hands and knees on the side of the dirt road and look down to find medicinal plants. A square foot will do.” I immediately felt that would be all but impossible. When

Tunun Kayutukun: Words Have Power

hunters

Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff and Libby Roderick Contrary to most people in modern societies who see words simply as vehicles for conveying information or expressing thoughts and feelings, people in traditional Indigenous societies view words as entities that carry great power; therefore, they must be chosen and used with utmost care. Most non-Indigenous people don’t view

Listening to Our Ancestors: Biocultural Diversity through the Indigenous Lens

Evenk reindeer herder

Text by Jon Waterhouse Photos by Mary Marshall We are now living in the digital era, when practically every component of our lives appears to be moving at an ever-increasing, unstoppable pace. In many instances it is clear that we humans are not capable of keeping up with the technology we are creating, even as

Mirroring the Land: Biocultural Diversity Embodied

biocultural diversity

Sonja Swift When it rains in California I rejoice. I see the land drinking. I see grass blades emerging, shining jade green where there was only thatch, brittle and crisp, next to a stone-dry cow patty. I know the dusty taste of summer here, and the dread of summer prolonged. I know the feeling of

Cornerstone of Resilience: Reflections on the Diversity of Species and Cultures

Life’s traces

Text by Olga Mironenko Photos by David Rapport Our planet is populated by an incredibly wide variety of creatures. Coming in different sizes and with different sets of adaptations to their respective environments, they inhabit the so-called planetary envelopes: hydrosphere, cryosphere, lower layers of the atmosphere, and upper layers of the lithosphere, creating a unique