Traditional ecological knowledge seminar

in Blog
14. 04. 09
posted by: Alejandro Chiner
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A seminar titled "When Knowledge follows the blood. Kin groups and the distribution of ecological knowledge in a community of semi-nomadic pastoralists (Gujarat state, India)" will be presented on 19th April 2014, 12.30h, as part of a series on Ethno-Ecology and Integrated Assessment.

 "Previous researches have shown that Traditional Ecological Knowledge systems are likely to increase the adaptive capacity of local communities and of social-ecological systems as a whole, when faced with change. Therefore understanding how bodies of TEK are transmitted, maintained and eventually lost appears as a key challenge in a fast changing world. But if a number of researches address the question of intra-cultural or local variations of TEK, focusing either at the individual-level or at the group-level, very few actually explore the potential role of the social organization (or what anthropologists used to call “social structures”) of the studied communities in shaping TEK transmission. Our research aims at filling this research gap, through a case-study focusing on a community of semi-nomadic herders from the Kutch area (NW India), the Rabari. Our specific aim is to identify the role of kin-related groups, namely lineages, in shaping local variations of TEK. We use qualitative and quantitative data collected during a 10 months fieldwork. We documented four main domains of TEK (ethnoveterinary, ethnobotanical, knowledge related to migration areas and soil qualities, knowledge on local breeds of sheep), and used a set of statistical tools to assess the variations of knowledge in each of these domains and in relation to the lineage groups. Our results suggest that the lineages are actually associated with divergent bodies of knowledge, a result which raises interesting questions about current approaches and methodologies in TEK studies."

For further information please consult the website of the  ICTA of UAB.