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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,

Decolonial Mapmaking: Reclaiming Indigenous Places and Knowledge

A rebbilib

Jordan Engel “More indigenous territory has been claimed by maps than by guns. This assertion has its corollary: more indigenous territory can be defended and reclaimed by maps than by guns.” —Bernard Nietschmann, geographer Throughout time and across cultures, the thing that is often most important to a people is land. While global industrial society’s

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

Biocultural Diversity: Reason, Ethics, and Emotion

Community in Zimbabwe

David Harmon A few years ago, Luisa Maffi shared an email with me. It was from a writer, well-traveled and worldly, with a background in both anthropology and biology. He had spent considerable time in Mexico walking the countryside, thinking in the open air, trying to unlock aspects of his experience that were eluding his

Drawing the Line at the Black Line: The Indigenous Sages and Stewards of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

Community meeting

Guillermo Rodríguez Navarro “Imagine a pyramid standing alone by the sea, each side a hundred miles long. It’s a mountain nearly four miles high. In its folds imagine every different climate on earth. This is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and the people hidden here call the Sierra the Heart of the World and

Pura Vida: Costa Rican Peasants Fight for a World That Contains Many Worlds

harlequin toad

Felipe Montoya-Greenheck Southern Costa Rica is one of the country’s most biodiverse regions, with ecosystems ranging from the highest tropical alpine peaks and glacial lakes in the Talamanca mountain range, to the lowland rainforests and Pacific mangroves, with an endless network of streams and rivers forming the Great Terraba River watershed. The region is home