It Takes Millennia to Make Ciccimmaretati: Cilento, Italy, as a Master of Biocultural Wisdom


Dario Ciccarelli Since January 1, 1995, when the World Trade Organization came into existence, the winds of globalization have picked up the world over, blowing local roofs off. As in the biblical story of the merchants selling in the temple, companies don’t self-regulate—they don’t see any limits to business. As a consequence, a vast heritage

Naming the Dragonfly | Why Indigenous Languages Matter in the 21st Century

by James D. Nations . Chiapas, Mexico, 2015 . . I spent the morning learning the names of dozens of dragonflies and skippers, the translucent-winged insects that flit along the edges of the crystalline-blue lakes where the Lacandón Maya live in the rainforest of southeastern Mexico. Chan K’in José Valenzuela, my 80-year-old Lacandón friend, has been

Rough Waves and Remembered Names in Haida Gwaii

traditional ecological knowledge

by Graham Richard On August 11, 2015 a Haida-language team set forth from G̱aaw on a three-day journey to survey the north and west coasts of Haida Gwaii (the archipelago off the north coast of British Columbia, Canada that is the Haida people’s homeland). Guided by elders’ teachings, the Haida language, historical records, and century-old maps,

Melquiades’s Garden | Exploring the Cultivated Nature of Mexico’s Chinantla Region

biocultural diversity

by Aran Shetterly . . A taxi collected me at my hotel in Oaxaca at 3:30 AM and whisked me through the silent streets of the Mexican city to the office of a small conservation NGO. A van pulled up and I squeezed on, wedging myself and a bulky backpack between half-asleep passengers on the

When Grasshopper Means Lightning | How Ecological Knowledge is Encoded in Endangered Languages

biocultural diversity

by David Stringer . . Endangered Languages and Biocultural Diversity Conservation Just over twenty years ago, many linguists were shocked into a new sense of urgency when Michael Krauss wrote his classic short article on the status of the world’s languages, in which he lamented that linguistics was about to “go down in history as the

De Prima | Stories of the Old Days in Umbria, the Green Heart of Italy


By Anna Maffi . . Olives, grapes, barley, alfalfa, and a few fruit trees are the main crops grown in the valley of San Giacomo, a tiny rural hamlet of perhaps fifty souls in Umbria, the green heart of Italy. Its dwellers consider the valley “golden” for its fertility. South-facing exposure, sandy loams, and relative humidity

Pintando La Raya | Indigenous Resistance and Biocultural Conservation through Participatory Video

biocultural diversity

By Thor Edmundo Morales At the onset of this decade, members of three ethnic groups gathered in the state of Sonora, northwestern Mexico. Seri (Comcaac), Rarámuri, and Yaqui participants went to the Yaqui village of Vicam to get their first exposure to participatory video (PV), with training provided by the UK-based organization InsightShare. Three facilitators, 16

Wild Speech | Listening Through the Portal of Imagination

biocultural diversity

by Geneen Marie Haugen . The second cougar-kill I’ve encountered in three days smells fresh: a sweetish, iron-tinged musk. The ribcage is red-stained and bare of meat; the neck has a tremendous bite mark. The deer is only partially covered with leaf litter and brush. I had not been expecting a carcass when I set off

A Blossoming Time at ÁLEṈENEȻ (Homeland) | Reclaiming W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) Place Names on the West Coast of Canada

biocultural diversity

by Alice Meyers in conversation with Earl Claxton Jr. (Thuh-thay-tun Kapilano) This is the story of my friendship with Earl Claxton Jr., a SȾÁ,UTW̱ (Tsawout) Elder and respected botanical knowledge holder from the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) Coast Salish First Nation on the territory known as Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Anglicized from his SENĆOŦEN language, his

Biocultural Diversity | Reason, Ethics and Emotion

biocultural diversity

by David Harmon . . Not long 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

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