Indigenous Knowledge

Themes in environmental history, 3

Selected by Sarah Johnson

The third volume in the reader series, ‘Themes in Environmental History’: comprising essays selected from our journals, Environment and History and Environmental Values, these inexpensive paperbacks address important aspects of environmental history by means of theoretical essays and case studies. Indigenous Knowledge investigates how indigenous peoples from various cultures interact with and conceptualise their environments, past and present; it offers accounts of indigenous conservation practice and traditional environmental knowledge alongside challenging explorations of how ‘knowledge’ is filtered through ideologies and subjectivities, from the Western scientific worldview to individual memory.


Read full text on JSTOR.

‘… provides a diverse and valuable overview of indigenous knowledge.’ 

Stephen BockingEnvironment and History


I. Defining Indigeneity

Representations of Tropical Forests and Tropical Forest-Dwellers in Travel Accounts of National Geographic
Anja Nygren
When ‘The Environment’ Comes to Visit: Local Environmental Knowledge in the Far North of Russia
Timo Pauli Karjalainen and Joachim Otto Habeck
Riding the Tide: Indigenous Knowledge, History and Water in a Changing Australia
Heather Goodall

II. Indigenous Conservation: Beliefs and practices

Sacred Groves and Conservation: The Comparative History of Traditional Reserves in the Mediterranean Area and in South India
M. D. Subash Chandran and J. Donald Hughes
The Role of Customary Institutions in the Conservation of Biodiversity: Sacred Forests in Mozambique
Pekka Virtanen
Local Environmental Conservation Strategies: Karanga Religion, Politics and Environmental Control
B.B. Mukamuri
From Myths to Rules: The Evolution of Local Management in the Amazonian Floodplain
Fabio de Castro
Reflexive Water Management in Arid Regions: The Case of Iran
Mohammad Reza Balali, Jozef Keulartz and Michiel Korthals

III. Indigenous Subjectivities: Perception, myth, memory

Deforestation, Erosion, and Fire: Degradation Myths in the Environmental History of Madagascar
Christian A. Kull
Renarrating a Biological Invasion: Historical Memory, Local Communities, and Ecologists
Karen Middleton
Environment, Ethnicity and History in Chotanagpur, India, 1850-1970
Vinita Damodaran

IV. Cultural Collisions and Competing Knowledges

Different Histories of Buchu: Euro-American Appropriation of San and Khoekhoe Knowledge of Buchu Plants
Christopher H. Low
‘Changes in Landscape or in Interpretation? Reflections Based on the Environmental and Socio-economic History of a Village in NE Botswana
Annika C. Dahlberg and Piers M. Blaikie
Bamboo, Rats and Famines: Famine Relief and Perceptions of British Paternalism in the Mizo Hills (India)
Sajal Nag
Swidden farming as an agent of environmental change: ecological myth and historical reality in Indonesia
David Henley

31 March 2012, Paperback, 380pp.
ISBN 978-1-874267-68-3, £20