Science topics: Traditional Knowledge
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Is anyone interested in the "book project" on the theme
1. Ethno-phytochemistry
2. Ethnomedicine
3. Traditional healing practices
4. Ethno-magicobotany
5. Traditional beverages
6. Traditional knowledge on early warning of natural calamities based on plant or animal behaviors....etc.
7. Feminine foods..
8. You may add...
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Yes
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The IPBES assessment "Options for delivering sustainable approaches to health” is looking for examples where programs and policies have included indigenous and local knowledge. If you know some examples even are not fully documented your contribution will be appreciated.
(Add your answers in english, spanish, or french).
Thanks
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Hola Pablo. Me parece que en el caso de la parteria en mexico se hicieron algunas reformas hace unos años.
Como resultado en CONACYT se impulso un programa de parteria tradicional para dar reconocimiento a la sabiduria de las mujeres y hombres que cumplen dicha funcion.
Saludos
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Almost all educational institutions worldwide were shut down due to spread of pandemic. Teaching and learning restored to online platforms. Institution with innovative strategies survived their educational attainment of learners. Those who couldn't pace with it had to suffer serious learning crisis. Pandemic has been a big blow for developing economies where there is great shortage of latest advanced technology and digital infrastructure. Certainly, the covid virus has challenged the ongoing traditional practices and situations in education. Time demands new developments and interventions in teaching and learning. It's a big task for developing or under developed countries. What do you think how the pandemic has interrupted the conventional mode of learning? What new educational demands it has posed before the world? Your valuable knowledge and experience will enrich the asked query. It shall also be beneficial for the novel researchers working on these issues.
Thanking in advance.
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Since climate change has become more common day by day, how it affects different communities differently.
What and how community-led intersectional adaption should be?
How can local traditional knowledge and practice be considered a scientific solution in our (academic researcher) climate change research?
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Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) is an important component of the larger picture of management and avoidance of Climate Change impacts and pressures by local people. ... CBA also provides information needs which can be shared and replicated in an appropriate format and manner acceptable by communities. https://www.adaptation-undp.org/community-based-adaptation
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Ecosystem services and Indigenous and Local knowledge
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Hi, sorry for my late contribution (I hadn't seen the post before), but here are two recent papers tackling the issue:
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Please share W category Journal on Ethnobotany and Traditional knowledge which publish free of cost?
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I want to know whether it is right to take copyright by a non-tribe on the traditional knowledge of the tribal community.
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If the information is actively circulating in the community and the community member is conversant with it, I do not see how plagiarism would apply. There are numerous examples of indigenous peoples employing information collected by anthropologists and these range from the works of Franz Boas on the Northwest Coast peoples, to Raymond Firth's "We the Tikopia:...".
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Traditional knowledge (TK) is knowledge, know-how, skills and practices that are developed, sustained and passed on from generation to generation within a community, often forming part of its cultural or spiritual identity.
It is still relevant in the modern scientific world and how?
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I suppose we have to make proper ways of integrating traditional knowledge with the modern one. It is regrettable that much of indigenous knowledge is already lost // it is even more regrettable why we still do not know full well how to combine the two brands . . . . . . . .. . .
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While going through some publications on Polyherbal formulation for the management of diabetes, I encountered a publication where goat pancreas is used as one of the ingredients in addition to plants and calcified mussel cells. Can anyone tell me the relevance of goat pancreas and also how it can be called a polyherbal formulation?
Here is the link for the paper
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Formulations restrain 2 or more than 2 herbs are called polyherbal formulation. Drug formulation in Ayurveda is based on 2 principles: Use as a single drug and use of more than one drug. The last is known as polyherbal formulation. The idea of polyherbalism is peculiar to Ayurveda even though it is tricky to explain in term of modern parameters.
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I was wondering is it possible to map Traditional Knowledge (TK) of a bigger region (say staus of TK) on the basis of sampling in a smaller region through Arc GIS and modelling? Say we sampled in few villages of a block and we want to show a heat map of TEK for whole block or district. If yes which tool would be the best and what parameters (like distance from road head, availability of resources, population etc.) should always be considered in the same. It would be great if someone can give a step-wise illustration or recommend some good papers on the same.
Thanks in advance.
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Naveen Chandra Joshi, what do you mean by traditional knowledge? Is it spatially located knowledge? I do not think how to map (with reasonable resolution) traditional knowledge of the traditional Oceania sailors, for example. Its covered just whole Pacific and Indian Oceans. Or traditional knowledge of nomad tribes? Or traditional spiritual knowledge? Maybe research task should be more limited.
In any way, any GIS could be useful for that purpose. If you are interesting in the unveiling of global superstructure of TK, Digital Earth approach for visualisation is the best (Google Earth, for example). For example, two megalithic complexes with very different history, morphologically identified like twins (Machu Picchu and Gunung Padang), located precisely on the opposite longitudes. Understanding this kind of interconnections between TK in global scale requires appropriate geospatial tools. Classic map-based GIS are not very convenient for that purposes. Of course both approaches (GIS and Digital Earth) should be combined.
О взаимном расположении мегалитических комплексов Гунунг-Пад...
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Turmeric is a golden spice famous for its culinary use in Asian cuisine. Its use has not been limited to lucrative food preparation since antiquity. Curcumin, one of the highly valued natural compounds, underlies the use of turmeric-based formula in traditional medicine. Can we find any systemic area which lacks curcumin-directed traditional knowledge or scientific evidence of curcumin-based research? So, why this nature's gift still could not find its way to conventional medicine?
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@ Dr. Abdul Hannan
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used in traditional medicine for more than 40 centuries as a herbal remedy for the treatment of inflammations, fevers, colic, scars, and skin diseases.
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during my thematic researches on several regions in the world, and on the case study on which I worked in situ, the observation was of the fact that the system arcs, vaults and domes, could resist the earthquake. I presented explanations, but are there any of you who have proved it with other methods?
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I have added the word 'extra' in the statement to emphasize that it is only possible with curved features which is an addition, compared to straight and plane members like beams and slabs
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I'm interested in the indigenous plants and their uses by the traditional owners of the land by the Wathaurong tribe (Greater Geelong area).
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Please take a look at this useful PDF attachment.
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Medicinal uses of the herb Clinacanthus nutans and the scientific studies carried out on the plant.
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Kindly go through the following PDF attachments.
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General observations reveal that the built environment in our traditional settlements have undergone major transformations in the past few decades ,where scientific and technological advancements has been one important factor for the transformations with respect to architecture. The rapid ‘modernization’ as we call it, has often led to clashes between the traditional values and the new imported ideas.
Aishwarya Tipnis in her book 'Vernacular Traditions Contemporary Architecture (2012) mentions that when buildings (traditional) fail to meet the basic requirements of contemporary standards, conflicts arise and often lead to redundancy , vacancy and overcrowding.
My PhD research is an attempt to investigate such conflicts wrt traditional and contemporary architecture. The attached images are from case studies in India. But how do we study a conflict with respect to architecture?
Please share your views and also links to any research papers, journals, books etc related to the topic.
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The conflict you're talking about has at least 2 dimensions. One is about technology, and the other one is about identity. Technological development in the contemporary era of global networks is in a way that results of a new innovation in one country can become a fashion in another country in another continent. There's nothing wrong with this as long as it serves people and their needs.
Regarding identity:
Identity, arguably has had a notable destructive function on people's lives throughout the history. In this regard I would suggest searching about what some Indian yogis (e.g., Osho and Sadhguru) have said about identity. Identity is the source of separation between people. It never results in global integration and sustainability. It always defines us vs them. What today's world needs is unity.
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Are there any publications about ethnobotany or archaeobotany? Thanks, Yvette
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Traditional knowledge is useful for scientist.
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Hi Koli,
Your question is not very clear to me but by my understanding you asking if a research on ITK is scientific? If that is that question then its very secientific. Read Briggs,(2005) "The use of indigenous knowledge in development: problems and challenges" or Situating local knowledge within development agenda Some reflections by Kolawole Oluwatoyin Dare (2009)
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Since the publication of Linda Tuhiwai Smith's book (Decolonizing Methodologies - Research and Indigenous Peoples), researchers are increasingly aware of the importance of adopting decolonized research methodologies. However, although one might understand the concept, it can prove somewhat difficult to implement in a research project. I would be interested to know about concrete examples where researchers and indigenous/aboriginal/native people have developed effective ways to decolonize research.
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To all those interested to know more on concrete ways to decolonize research, a themed issue on that topic has been published (open access) in ACME An International Journal for Critical Geographies:
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We have a project looking at the diet of people living traditional lifestyles that aims to determine the prey species they preferentially hunt and kill. We are looking for published studies and unpublished datasets that have information on the species killed by people and, ideally, the actual or relative abundance of the prey in the wildlife communities at the study site. Please contact us if you have information.
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I would add that there is a differential between some rural Americans and their more-urban compatriots. Appalachians and Cajuns are two particular groups that still hunt smaller game: squirrels, wild rabbits, even opossum and raccoon; and small game birds: quail and even pigeon/dove. My own uncle hunted squirrel in the 1960's; and a family friend often recounted eating "bang-belly", a heavily-spiced opossum-based dish, as a child in northern Kentucky.
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As per the definition of traditional knowledge it is a knowledge which is transferred orally through generations but the basic question is how to measure the transfer rate and when to consider it intact, eroded or eroding fast/slow. What percent of knowledge should be their in different age classes and age groups. Are there any studies which suggest the solution for it. What should be the correct pattern. I would also appreciate if anyone could forward me papers on traditional knowledge indicators.
Thanks in advance
Naveen
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You may estimate Knowledge Richness Index (KRI) and Knowledge Sharing Index (KSI) for the studied community at different age groups which may give a picture of distribution and richness of specific knowledge among different generations within a community.
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1. Do you find yourself displaying bias against traditional knowledge and practices?
2. Do you readily incorporate traditional knowledge into your research?
3. Have you made significant efforts to find traditional equivalents to concepts and practices in your field?
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I personally think it very useful, I did a paper comparing TK from Korea and that of The northern region of Ghana using pottery production, and to a large extent I have found it more useful than i use to think.
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I'm completing a comparison study as to the effects of digital advertising compared to more traditional methods of advertising. Ultimately, I want to assess how the advertising industry has changed. What aspects do you feel are lacking research in this area?
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Dear Maria,
The traditional debate of advertising is on the one hand that it is a waste of scarce resources of the producers(Galbraith's View), and on the other hand that it provides useful information for the consumers (Hayek's view). That debate was premised on the theory that differentiated oligopolist wants to cooperate in price competition, and compete in non-price characteristics of their product (Bain's Hypothesis). A new study can make a big contribution if it can show which of these controversies are settled with the coming of digital advertising, and whch are not.
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I want some good references in which the methodology is based on collection of data from the tentative traditional knowledge holders only which were identified after a reconnaissance survey eg. TK related to healthcare collected from the knowledge holders of the community who were thought to be knowledgeable by other community members. I am looking for a standard methodology if any can the Key Informant survey be taken as base as proposed by WHO for it? Kindly provide me some more references.
Thanking in advance
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Naveen,
I hope you have found answer to your question. If you are still searching for papers related to your topic, please clarify your question a bit more. For example what do you mean by "after a pre-survey"? Wat do you mean by "sampling of data" in this context? What exactly are your own research objectives? Good luck with your research.
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In the subject research:
Can I use a combination of the following three approaches: 1) Phenomenology, 2) Ethnography, and 3) Case Study?
Would this combination help in easing the research or complicating it?
The Kashechewan community in Northern Ontario (located at the southwestern James Bay) has been frequently experiencing (5-6 flooding events in the past 8-10 years) the flooding events, which is linked to climate change. I would like to examine climate change impacts on the community. In addition, I would like to explore potential (new) opportunities that may arise from climate change for adaptation. This mean not just focusing on the negative impacts of climate change. But also focusing on new opportunities for adaptation. I would also like to explore what contribution Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Culture can make to reduce the climate change effects and help in its adaptation.    
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It is a very interesting question, where I recommend to discuss the issue of 'indigenous'. What is meant by this? People's minority status in a society? Their difference from the mainstream? Their special exposure? Or is it that you mean just "local exposure"?. Here in Fiji the indigenous population is the majority of the population. Usually the impacts / exposure to climate change / natural hazards are not discuss under a label of 'indigenous', but under 'local', 'exposed' 'vulnerable' , 'poor' population. Often these and similar categories play a much bigger role even when there are overlaps between these categories and the category 'indigenous'.
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I was going through some papers to search for the time-period by which a practice is regarded as traditional practice or traditional knowledge but I was not satisfied by the facts as many of the workers believe that a practice being practised by more than 150 years is traditional knowledge but is there any definition or evidence (publication) which clearly differentiates local knowledge and traditional knowledge? Or which clearly differentiates traditional knowledge and recent knowledge. How is a knowledge clearly regarded as traditional knowledge as most of the people don't know the exact period by which they are practising the same thing? Any suggestions
Thanks in advance
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Interesting discussion..
Cultural practices are generally norms in behaviors and standards that developed in ethnic groups and communities in ancient history. Cultural practices are often important aspects of identity for people to connect them with others of their religion, race or region. Cultural medical practices are among the most diverse cultural practices, and vary significantly around the world. These cultural practices later become traditional practices. And , traditional practice  is the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures and traditions , whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of  soil health and raising crops over a long period of time.
Interpreting and understanding indigenous knowledge systems that are often veiled in ancient languages, rituals and cultural practices is a top priority for scholars, political leaders and conventional scientists searching for answers to the human survival questions of sustainability andeffective responses to the adverse affects of climate change. The effort torecognize, understand and communicate indigenous and traditional knowledge across cultural boundaries is complicated by the sheer complexity of diversity among indigenous peoples and their location in sometimes remote and inaccessible places.
The expression “indigenous knowledge” is often equated with the expression “traditional knowledge,” and indeed they are often used in terchangeably. Word usage is important since using “indigenous knowledge(IK),” ethnoecology, “local knowledge,” “indigenous technical knowledge (ITK),folk knowledge, “traditional knowledge (TK),” “indigenous science,” “traditional environmental knowledge” (TEK) or simply “people’s science” can signal howyou are approaching the topic or the underlying assumptions you make (Ellen &Harris, 1996). Turnbull gives specific meaning to “local knowledge” by suggesting that it is a kind of knowledge resulting from observations of the “local  environment or at a particular site and held by a specific group of people.” ..Based on Rudolph C. RYSER  , Center for World Indigenous Studieswww.cwis.org
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I am seeking your responses for my research project. I am interested, your voice relating to Indigenous community. Any help will be greatly appreciated
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Knowledge is never neutral. An individual's location within the social structure conditions his/her access to knowledge. This implies that there is a knowledge hierarchy and what you are told is what they want you to know. The custodians of local knowledge can grant access and therefore consent only if they want.
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Dear colleagues
I am working on documentation of TEK of ethenic communities of Hiamalaya. Can anyone suggest me some standard methodology (if any) to document the Traditional knowledge of a community.
Thanks and Regards
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There are many ways to go about documenting TEK, but the heart of it (in my experience) is combining ethnographic and ethnobiological methods. A good place to start will be defining what kind of TEK you want to look at (plants, animals, climate patterns, environment/human relation constructs, etc.), then using methods like free listing, pile sorts, and other structured interviews to understand cultural domains (Puri & Vogl, M. Quinlan, Berlin, Ellen, and many others have great examples of methods/theory here). These are a good jumping off point, and a great way to identify key informants in the field for future participant observation. From there, for more on informal interviews, collecting voucher specimens, etc. look up Nesbitt, Alexiades, or other ethnobotanists and -zoologists for protocol.  Hunn has quite a bit on TEK as well. Participant observation will be key.
All the best to you!
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Amongst three cross-border communities in East Africa, food that is ready to be eaten may be classified in accordance to its taste and flavor of sour-to-bitter, bland-to-rancid and other community elliptic identification parameters.
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I don not have exact knowledge of any such studies on ethnic time tested taste parameters but all organoleptic studies are based on traditional knowledge and common human taste. You can correlate these with exiting standard organoleptic taste parameters and modify it with your new derived parameters justifying the same. 
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I am synthesising thousands of pages of her life's work, but would like to know more about her.
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I would like to help you. But I have no reference. But I will be pending.
A sincere hug
Ferro
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We are writing a paper on local knowledge in which we want to compare knowledge differences between male and female or young and older participants. We do not want to make use of a individual test format, but preferably a focus group discussion to enhance individual and group learning while gaining insights on knowledge levels.
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As an Indigenous scholar and researcher and a practitioner and teacher of Indigenous Methodologies, I am deeply concerned about yet another deficit approach within an Indigenous/traditional community.  I would highly recommend that you seek out a community member to serve as a community based researcher.  My question to you is why look at it from this perspective?  Why not rather, look at traditional knowledge translation.  Why not allow the community themselves assist you in developing a question?  From my perspective with Indigenous communities there are major differences in the knowledge between males and females as well as age groups as there should be if one honours Indigenous epistemology.  Being a traditional knowledge keeper is like getting a PhD and being a young person on the road to that knowledge - there should be gaps.  I would recommend reading Linda Smith's work on Decolonizing Methodologies and Maggie Kovach's work in Indigenous Methodologies.  I would also implore you to not continue the model of deficit theorizing about traditional people's - that damage has already been done - that ship has sailed. When working within Indigenous communities, I recommend a minimum of the following:  1) Recognize and Centre Indigenous Epistemologies 2) Employ a trauma-informed perspective 3) Use community based approaches 4) strengthen resilience and 5) utilize the local policy statement on ethical conduct for research involving Indigenous peoples.  I hope this helps prevent another deficit based study on traditional peoples.
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I'm looking authors who relate agroecology with indigenous traditional knowledge specially related to the amazonian indigenous groups. 
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I'm including everything from decorative use of teeth, use of leather for shields etc., through ritual and medicinal uses. I've uploaded a summary table of what I have already - added to researchgate as unpublished research.
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Hi Simon, 
I hope your research is going on well. Let me just say this
1- many cultural groups use crocodile parts but very few document any of these, you may get more talking to traditional healers, hunters and bush meat traders because oral tradition is still a practice here as far those practices are concerned.
2- Among the bamilekes of west Cameroon, the crocodile skin is used as an ornamental on the walls of houses. I still remember one covering a side of our house wall when I grew up. wild animals are killed and eaten but the skin is kept as a reminder of the dexterity of the hunter because crocodiles are not commonly found in that hilly part of the country.
3- Yes Sandals, purses, hand bags, waist belts, hand fans, bangles are produced with crocodile skin among the Bamoun in West Cameroon and the Fulani and other arts craft men in Northern Cameroon.
A visit to the arts shop in Dscahng, Foumban, Maroua, Garoua, Ngoundere may help.There should be  some information from the recently visited Fon Palace in North west that may be useful
Thank you for immortalizing cultural anthropology
Best wishes
Aline
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I am completing a state of the art for my doctoral thesis on valuation of traditional knowledge in the Colombian Amazon. I am interested in making a deconstruction of the concept of traditional knowledge that occurs in the discourses of local organizations and institutions that instrumentalize it on specific projects.
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I did so - from a rather Foucaultian perspective and working on Sumak Kawsay or Buen Vivir. Now, I don't work with the concept of traditional knowledge (I would say that does not fit a discourse analytical approach) - so I don't know if I am being helpful...
Ah, but at least some generals: I find Hobsbawn and his invented traditions quite helpful to understand the political use of "traditional knowledge", the same goes for Spivak and the subalterns.
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How rational is to use/refer the non-native and non-indigenous plants interchangeably?
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This all depends in timelines. In Europe for example plants introduced from wherever prior to 1492 are often regarded as native, although they are technically pre-Columbian introductions, many of which have however been naturalized. Overall I would prefer "non-indigenous" species, simply for language reasons. Not all introductions are  invasive however. Also, an important aspect are local varieties - lots of crop plants have been introduced in many parts of the world, and have then been bred in distinct, local varieties. These are technically "non-native", but they are - as varieties - indigenous.
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How could one evaluate the haematinic activity of Lauha Bhasma using in vitro techniques?
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I think instead if using any kind of animal models we see the effects in patients with anaemia and comparing it with the standard treatment of Ferrous/ferric salts.
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I'm interested in comparing Indigenous research methods with other ancient cultures. Indigenous research methods are relatively well documented for Australian Aboriginals, New Zealand Maori and North American Indians. I was hoping to locate examples of other non-Western (non-Eurocentric) research methods used by cultures, such as China, Africa, South America, India etc. For example, what methodology did the Chinese use to develop their knowledge of Chinese medicine? I realise these methods may not have been documented or may be in a non-English language. Any leads would be helpful at this stage.
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Though I am not a specialist on ancient science, as Egyptologist I can recommend some references for medicine and other fields, as, for instance, J. F. Nunn, 'Ancient Egyptian Medicine', where you can easily find the medical procedures and knowledge of ancient Egyptians. You can also find some remarks in:
-N. Baum, "L'organisation du règne végétal dans l'Égypte ancienne...", in: S. Aufrère (ed.), 'Encyclopédie religieuse de l'univers végétal de l'Égypte ancienne I', Montpellier, pp. 421-443, 1999.
-N. Beaux, 'Le cabinet de curiosites de Thoutmosis III. Plantes et animaux du 'jardin botanique' de Karnak', Leuven, 1990.
-S. Uljas, "Linguistic Conciousness", in: UEE, available at the website: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0rb1k58f 
Of course, some interesting remarks are avalaible in the classical work of C. Lévi-Strauss, 'La pensée sauvage'.
I hope this can be useful for you.
Regards
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My research investigates how well Aboriginal traditional knowledge has been collected and integrated into the many components of environmental assessments in Canada. I am also considering other countries that illustrate good examples.
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How about this one:
Housty, W. G., A. Noson, G. W. Scoville, J. Boulanger, R. M. Jeo, C. T. Darimont, and C. E. Filardi. 2014. Grizzly bear monitoring by the Heiltsuk people as a crucible for First Nation conservation practice. Ecology and Society 19(2): 70.
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Do you need to use only qualitative methods in collecting data on indigenous / Traditional Knowledge in the area of water governance? and if you use the mixed method is it appropriate?
I need information or some articles on data collection with Traditional Knowledge in water resources governance, policy and practices.
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Indigenous knowledge of water governance is often collected through surveys, focal group discussions and interviews.  This information often will not have a baseline to compare with to deduce if indigenous knowledge is indeed providing better governance.  Also note that water governance in rural societies is not always knowledge based, instead rule based.  The society agrees on what is acceptable and what is not.  The best way to gain confidence in information or knowledge derived from rural communities is to combine independent analysis of the outcome due to perceived governance structure.  For example, the health of the vegetation in a rural area can be estimated with remote sensing techniques.  One could correlate indices derived from remotely sensed images with 'perceived' good or bad governance. 
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I have some funds to study traditional knowledge of immigrant groups in urban settings. The references are scarce.
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Please refer to:
Kurian, J. C. (2012). Ethno-medicinal Plants of India, Thailand and Vietnam. Journal of Biodiversity. 3(1): 61-75. 
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I'm working on Agrobiodiversity fairs in the Colombian Amazon, like a strategy to empower local communities and strengthen their traditional knowledge. 
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There are many experiences in Mexico, most of those that I am aware of are in relation to maize, but I am sure they must also include probably many other genetic resources related to the milpa. You should try contacting Flavio Aragón (INIFAP), and Amado Ramírez (Itanoni), these are some of the people who have had experienes with these fairs and could guide you. There is also an exprience from the federal government trying to finance such fairs (again, mostly tied to maize) in CONANP (the program is called PROMAC), you could contact Juan José Arreola and also Elleli Huerta from CONABIO.  My personal opinion is that fairs are key in providing means as for correctly valuinging genetic resources in local and regional contexts, incentivating seed exchange among communities, among other things. It results as a tool in strenghthening "the process" by which agrobiodiversity evolves.
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My interest is about agrobiodiversity local markets in peasants and indigenous societies and its relations with traditional knowledge. I´m working in the colombian Amazonia with some indeginous groups interested on empower traditional knowledge through exchange and agrobiodiversity local markets.
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Professor Mauro Almeida (UNICAMP/Brazil) and Laure Emperarie (IRD/France) are leading an ongoing research project on traditional people, agrobiodiversity and traditional knowledge. Some researchers of the team dedicate their studies to the impacts of urbanization over indigenous people's agriculture, specially Ludivine Eloy. You can take a look at some publications related to PACTA project in here: http://projetopacta.wordpress.com/producao/
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I’m writing a research project on Tangible Cultural Expressions (TCEs), in particular on the social, economic and political issues posed by their production, use, commercialisation, and status as intellectual property. TCE include a broad range of folk art, including wood carving, baskets, textiles and folk costumes. The proposed research, taking as axiomatic the importance of material culture in shaping and expressing ethnicity, focuses on the processes through which some objects but not others become markers of ethnic distinction, and through which some of those objects become embroiled in controversies over intellectual property rights.
Much of the research to date on the conversion of cultural expressions into intellectual property has been largely theoretical, based on secondary ethnographies, and concerned primarily with the theoretical, ethical, and practical implications of commodification of the historical past or of intangible cultural heritage. Of the few studies based on observation and real-world data (e.g. Thuen 2004; Eriksen 2004; Chaumeil 2009; Brown & Nicholas 2012), almost all have been limited to one or two societies. To date, all researchers states that has been very limited application of conventional law in the protection of the intellectual property of expressions of traditional knowledge and culture because they generally fall outside the protection of copyrights and patents. ¿Do you know examples of TCE protected by intellectual property rights? ¿How western statute and customary law do or do not protect intellectual property?.
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You will find a lot of information about this on the WIPO website. You may find some useful information on this LibGuide - http://libguides.wits.ac.za/TraditionalKnowledge
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The importance of integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) into western scientific knowledge system (WS) in NRM has been globally recognised. There has been a lot of research exploring the Indigenous traditional knowledge for environmental management. While sharing many research topics such as environmental philosophy in Indigenous culture and Indigenous participation, the research in different parts of world would have different focuses and interests. For example, in central Australia, where Indigenous people have always a close connection with the desert, such Indigenous traditional knowledge is closely associated with “desert knowledge”. In Taiwan, many studies focus on the relations (including conflicts) between indigenous traditional knowledge and modern environmental management approaches. In China, a lot of studies have concentrated on traditional knowledge protection.
It is believed that the indigenous knowledge from different indigenous communities in different countries would have some differences and similarities. Different researchers from different cultural backgrounds would also have different observations and perspectives on these issues. A comparative study, which involves researchers from different backgrounds, therefore, would be helpful to understand different indigenous cultures and therefore contribute to the integration of traditional knowledge into modern sciences to find the solutions for global environmental crises.
However, there are still some key issues associated with such comparative study, such as:  distinction of the role of TEK in NRM and the implication of integration of TEK into WS for NRM practice, research/practice gaps, and appropriate approaches….
Therefore I would like to ask these questions and expect to get answers, comments and ideas from you. Thank you.
1)      How do you say the role of TEK in NRM and the implication of integration of TEK into WS for NRM practice? Any examples?
2)      What should be done in future research to bridge different TEKs to contribute to fighting against global environmental crises? What are research gaps here?
3)      What do you think appropriate approaches /methodologies for such comparative study would be?
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Yes, you're right that it's relevant to compare different peoples, but then:
1) you have to make sure that your sampling scheme allows you to decipher differences due to peoples/cultures and differences due to context.
2) you have to take into account that, generally speaking, indigenous people do not like to be compared (at least it is the case in Canada). They feel it puts them into some kind of weird "competition", against their own will.
But all that being said, I agree with you that comparative studies, when conducted properly and following strict ethics rules, can be very informative.
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Traditional knowledge has been defined as 'the cumulative and dynamic body of knowledge, know-how and representations possessed by peoples with long histories of interaction with their natural milieu. It is intimately tied to language, social relations, spirituality and worldview, and is generally held collectively. Too often, it is simplistically conceived as a pale reflection of mainstream knowledge, in particular, Science.' (UNESCO: 2006)
Indigenous knowledge is the local knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society and which is usually passed down from generation to generation, by word of mouth. It is the basis for agriculture, fishing, health care, food preparation, education, carpentry, tool making, environmental conservation and a host of other activities. (SLARCIK: 1996: vii) Indigenous knowledge is the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, or local knowledge particular to an area, region or country, etc. Thus all indigenous peoples are traditional knowledge holders, yet all traditional knowledge-holders are not indigenous. (UNESCO: 2006) Then who are the traditional knowledge holders who are not indigenous?
References-
UNESCO (2006) Traditional Knowledge http://www.unesco.org/bpi/pdf/memobpi48_tradknowledge_en.pdf (last retrieved: 3 Feb 2013)
Sri Lanka Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (1996) Proceedings of the First National Symposium on Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development. March 19-20, 1994. Colombo: Sri Lanka Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (SLRCIK)
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Hi, Thank you for continuing this conversation. I was looking for a way to address a reviewer's question: 'Q2: Are traditional Aboriginal knowledge holders the only people authentically and 'intrinsically' connected to place?' The answer, of course, is 'no'! But I needed to say more than that, and this conversation and the sources posted by Nirekha have really helped. Amba, I have included the example of crop behaviours in relation to place-based connections and knowledge that is not a kin connection. Please say if you would rather I didn't use that example, or if you'd prefer me to quote a paper you have written. Dawn
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Many of the thousands of indigenous languages in the world do not have a word for "wild" or any of its relatives -- wildness, wilderness, wilding, etc. -- in their vocabulary. Do you know any examples of indigenous languages that do?
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Hi, Kevin, I am intrigued to hear about your large collection of Mekeo artefacts. Perhaps I'll be able to visit it one day. I would be very interested in book rescuing the material culture of the Mekeo from museum drawers. A teaching career focused on professional and organisational discourse has diverted me from my anthropological concerns based on linguistic fieldwork on Mekeo carried out in the early 1980s. Now, retired from teaching, I am working up my field notes, translating collected texts (Mekeo, Motu and Kuni), etc., within a framework of cultural interpretive anthropology. Big focus on mythology. See my article in the current issue of the Journal of the Polynesian Society: "Mythic origins of moral evil: Moral fatalism and the tragic self-conception of the Mekeo."
Also, as a linguist first, I am an unashamed proponent of comparativism , hence very interested in cross-culturally exploited "primary symbols" (Ricoeur) like the fence.
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In Hungary free mushroom inspection is available in the major market places funded by the local government. Everybody knows that and uses this service. This also results in harvesting every mushrooms in the belief the expert will select the bad ones out.
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A mushrooming is very popular in the Czech Republic. We have Czech legislation - an Ordinance no. 475/2002 Coll. „An examination of knownledge of wild edible mushroom“. Persons who sell wild edible mushroom (put on the market) obtain a cercificate after succesful graduation of the strict examination.
Web address: Mushroom advice centre http://www.myko.cz/english/
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In Canada, aboriginal people have developed a set of principles to govern data ownership, control, access, and possession (the OCAP principles, see the attached link for more information). I would like to know of concrete examples where these principles have been applied to research project, whether it worked or not. Of particular interest to me are examples detailing what has helped in the implementation of the OCAP principles, and what barriers can be encountered (and, if known, how can these barriers be overcome).
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Thanks for your answer Philipp. Regarding the (non) reaction of indigenous people in Ecuador to your research, I think you cannot ascertain they "don't care" until they tell you so. Otherwise, you could interpret their silence in other ways. For example, maybe they think your research is ok, but do not have time to participate as they might be overwhelmed by other issues they have to deal with more urgently. Here, in North America, many aboriginal communities are small (a few hundred or a few thousand members) and thus lack the human and monetary resources to do all they would like to do. Maybe also they think your research is conducted in an exogenous fashion, and that their point of view is not welcome (even if this is a misinterpretation, as you clearly asked them for feedback). Aboriginal communities in North America are often distrustful of research undertaken by non aboriginal researchers. They have been fooled for so long that now, they simply won't trust anyone easily. This is perfectly understandable. As we say, "once burned, twice shy". One way to overcome this problem is to develop trust with people and communities (this can take some time), and then work with them from the beginning of the research process, i.e., elaborate the research question and methodology in collaboration. This way of doing things is not easy to reconcile with the imperatives of scholarly publication and requirements of funding agencies, but for me it's the best way to go.
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I am interested in insights from studies that have looked at how local culture can be understood and built upon to enable appropriate development. My research is in the field of climate change adaptation, but I am interested in insights drawn from other disciplinary literature. I believe that understanding, and respectfully and appropriately engaging with local cultural forms is an imperative in developing effective, sustainable and culturally appropriate adaptation strategies. If planning does not take into account local cultural forms then the resultant strategies are likely to be ineffective, maladaptive and oppressive, and can lead to further disdain and distrust from local community towards the 'development sector'.
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There are works on local culture and local knowledge in development since the 1990s -in some cases earlier. Here a short introduction: http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5610e/y5610e01.htm
, here a longer publication by the World Bank: http://www.worldbank.org/afr/ik/ikcomplete.pdf
I think, the main problem in conceptualizing local knowledge and culture is precisely the "local" - there are as many forms as there are experiences. And while it is relatively easy to work out mechanisms of integration, it is hard to go beyond that and into what local culture really is.
I attached a text of mine on a concept born out of the discussion on local culture and development - Good Life.
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I want to see the relationship between plants and people (how indigenous plants and non-indigenous people or non-indigenous plants and indigenous people are interrelated). Again how do non-indigenous people deal with primary sites and indigenous people deal with secondary sites?
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Thank you Bruce Webber and Fabio Malfatti!
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Locals of the Mekong river like living in their houses on river with low quality of life condition than on the mainland.
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@ Zen
thanks for your answer.your idea is helpful for me. But there is one thing may wrong that is floating house cannot apply in the middle of Vietnam.Because this area has complex topography, so river flow is faster and stronger than Mekong Delta.
hope to having more your suggestion.
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I'm travelling 8 months through California (sept.-november), Chile (Aysen Region) (november-january) and Malaysia (february-april) to learn about uses for wild plants.
In France, I used to teach wild local plant uses and theoretical and practical botany to adults in a private school (5 years). I also spent 3 months in Togo studying traditional medical practices. I now wish to extend my projects, in part to understand the feeding and healing patterns of traditional societies (fixed or nomadic).
Please let me know if you are interested in these ideas. I'm always glad to meet people to share with.
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Hi Benoit
Glad to know about your interest in medicinal plants of Malaysia. I would be very happy to share knowledge about wild species of medicinal plants. You can contact me whenever you visit Malaysia. Hopefully we can arrange for some meetings and also plan some medicinal plant surveys in the area.
Regards
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Local consequences of global climate change are difficult to predict. At the same time, climate is changing with consequences experienced by certain groups of population (e.g., subsistence farmers). This may include invasions of unusual pests, or failure of certain traditional practices. What protocol can be used to document and analyze this new experience?
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Actually the post with it main heading intact is basically related to traditional knowledge which is proved to be true very precise in predicting hazards, disaster etc. but except a few almost all scientists look down on even a person mentioning traditional knowledge. I was once snubbed and laughed out by scientists when I mentioned this word in meeting on disaster management. It is because only a few articles are published on this topic in science journals so far. But, being a villager I know that traditional knowledge is transferred from generation to generation with their own experience of the just preceding. I seldom fond observed a failure.
Therefore, to know about niche of plants, their properties etc. ethnobotanists have to live with community like ethnographers and cultural anthropologists. The same approach is adopted by those who want to know ethnomedicine practices and preparation (sometimes it leads to litigation or violation of intellectual rights).
Similar, approach should be adopted by interested in local consequences of climate change. Rajna is true in pointing out,"Using social science methods, local climate change impacts can be documented. People may not respond to the questions such as has climate changed over the past? but they will definitely respond to questions such as is rainfall enough for agriculture at present? What changes have taken place in the occurrence of rainfall? etc." But, they shall also tell you about temperature change and increased frequency of extreme events. Obviously, all this can be done in the form of statement and through qualitative analysis some consistent theme may be recognised as they may reoccur several times. These using mixed methods they may be analysed.
From my boyhood when the so-called green revolution did not root in India, villagers anticipating by natural signs vegetative, temperature, wind condition and direction, direction of birds flight a good monsoon used to cultivate up low-lying land for the cultivation of rice and in case of anticipation of bad monsoon first uplands used to be cultivated for drought resisting coarse grains as millets. Lowland used to be cultivated when water was available from small rainfall for puddling to raise rice.
I am still in touch with my village and find that people before purchasing rice and wheat seeds do not forget to ask the question either from extension officer or sellers whether the crop will withstand small and irregular water supply.
I do know the project taken in tribal areas or remote part of Africa or other developing and poor countries may face several barriers as language, confidence winning, then being so close to ask some probing questions. It is especially among communities which guard violently their traditional knowledge.
Though, it would require considerable spending, time, also may involve spying and bribery, one has to accept this challenge for the human well being.
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I am a cultural anthropologist and work with traditional knowledge from oral sources. I'd like to know about the experience of research and methods in the application of oral sources / qualitative research in climatic change adaptation and mitigation, possibly in the so called 'developed countries' (i.e. Europe, North America, Australia etc.)
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Thanks for posing this important question. It is an urgent topic for field based social scientists to engage. As an anthropologist working on climate adaptation, I would agree that anthropology and human geography have been relatively marginal in the field, but I see that as an opportunity for us to step into the gap, an opportunity which more and more of us are jumping at. I totally agree that there needs to be more work on the lived processes of autonomous adapation to counter balance the current over emphasis on modeling and planning. In my own work (see my RG page), I have tried to articulate the some of the methodological and theoretical foundations for an anthropological approach to adaptation.
There is a good book on anthropology and climate change which can serve as a good starting point. Along with Carla Roncoli and Ben Orlove, I co-authored a chapter on anthropological method and epistemology relating the CC research. If you would like a copy of our chapter, please feel free to contact me directly.
I would recommend looking up other work by Ben and Carla (http://scholar.google.nl/citations?user=6ru1OMEAAAAJ&hl=en), both of whom have been leaders in the field.
Specifically regarding oral history and local knowledge, there is fair bit of good research going in the arctic areas. Julie Cruikshank's book "Do glaciers listen?" should be of interest to you.
In the arctic regions of Canada, there is quite some work being done on the co-production of knowledge between Inuit and research scientists. See references below.
Berkes, F. and D. Jolly. 2001. Adapting to climate change: social-ecological resilience in a Canadian western Arctic community. Conservation Ecology 5:18.
Cruikshank, J. 2001. Glaciers and Climate Change: Perspectives from Oral Tradition. Arctic 54:377-393.
Dowsley, M. 2009. Community clusters in wildlife and environmental management: using TEK and community involvement to improve co-management in an era of rapid environmental change. Polar Research 28:43-59.
Ford, J.; T. Pearce; B. Smit; J. Wandel; M. Allurut; K. Shappa; H. Ittusujurat; and K. Qrunnut. 2007. Reducing vulnerability to climate change in the Arctic: the case of Nunavut, Canada. Arctic 60:150-166.
Gearheard, S.; M. Pocernich; R. Stewart; J. Sanguya; and H. Huntington. 2010. Linking Inuit knowledge and meteorological station observations to understand changing wind patterns at Clyde River, Nunavut. Climatic Change 100:267-294.
Herman-Mercer, N.; P.F. Schuster; and K.B. Maracle. 2011. Indigenous Observations of Climate Change in the Lower Yukon River Basin, Alaska. Human Organization 70:244-252.
Huntington, H.; T. Callaghan; S. Fox; and I. Krupnik. 2004. Matching Traditional and Scientific Observations to Detect Environmental Change: A Discussion on Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems. Ambio:18-23.
Huntington, H.P. 2005. "We Dance Around in a Ring and Suppose": Academic Engagement with Traditional Knowledge. Arctic Anthro. 42:29-32.
Laidler, G. 2006. Inuit and Scientific Perspectives on the Relationship Between Sea Ice and Climate Change: The Ideal Complement? Climatic Change 78:407-444.
Matthews, R. and R. Sydneysmith. 2010. Adaptive Capacity as a Dynamic Institutional Process: Conceptual Perspectives and Their Application. In Adaptive Capacity and Environmental Governance, ed. D. Armitage and R. Plummer, 223-242. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer
Nichols, T.; F. Berkes; D. Jolly; N.B. Snow; and N. Sachs Harbour. 2004. Climate change and sea ice: Local observations from the Canadian Western Arctic. Arctic 57:68-79.
Pearce, T.D.; J.D. Ford; G.J. Laidler; B. Smit; F. Duerden; M. Allarut; M. Andrachuk; S. Baryluk; A. Dialla; P. Elee; A. Goose; T. Ikummaq; E. Joamie; F. Kataoyak; E. Loring; S. Meakin; S. Nickels; K. Shappa; J. Shirley; and J. Wandel. 2009. Community collaboration and climate change research in the Canadian Arctic. Polar Research 28:10-27.
Pennesi, K.; J. Arokium; and G. McBean. in press. Integrating local and scientific weather knowledge as a strategy for adaptation to climate change in the Arctic. Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change:1-26.
Sakakibara, C. 2011. Climate Change and Cultural Survival in the Arctic: People of the Whales and Muktuk Politics. Weather, Climate, and Society 3:76-89.
Smith, H.A. and K. Sharp. 2012. Indigenous climate knowledges. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 3:467-476.
Thornton, T.F. and N. Manasfi. 2010. AdaptationGenuine and Spurious: Demystifying Adaptation Processes in Relation to Climate Change. Environment and Society: Advances in Research 1:132-155.
Wenzel, G.W. 2009. Canadian Inuit subsistence and ecological instability— if the climate changes, must the Inuit? Polar Research 28:89-99.
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During interview with the local informants/traditional healers what are the questions that are usually asked?
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Usually you must ask about socieconomic aspects and other questions to characterize the profile of the informants. Then, you can ask about the use of plants and how this use is made, the aim of use of plants, and to improve your study you can collect a sample of the plants used by informants and do a botanical identification to check the correct botanical name and to make a link to the popular names. Some journals offer models of this kind of studies, such as Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, and others.
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A traditional healer is a person who is recognized by the community in which he lives as competent to provide traditional health care. They usually practices healing from generation to generation and uses traditional healing methods and medicine that are not scientifically tested. Most of these treatment methods are orally transmitted and have not been documented.
The knowledge of the traditional healers in Sri Lanka is currently tested by the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine by conducting a written and an oral test. The testers are usually Indigenous Medical Doctors who have scientifically studied Ayurveda, Siddha or Unani and have passed out from University.
My concern is whether such system of assessing traditional healers could really assess the knowledge of the healers? and What are the concerns in assessing the knowledge of the traditional healer who doesn't have a mainstream academic education in healing.
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Well, why assess the knowledge of a traditional healer? You want to be careful, tradiational healers often have very specific knowledge. This knowledge is often not meant or designed to be taken out of context. General remedies used by folks is often overlooked for what is known by traditional healers. Also, one group may have more then one healer that use very different means for healing. The spiritual aspects are more valued in the group and by the healer then by outsiders who overlook it because it can not be quantified. How does knowledge perform when it is assessed and extracted?
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Colonizer’s objective of providing a Western Education was to promote cultural assimilation by introducing English way of life and English value system. Aim of such education system is to form a class of persons “Indian in colour, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals and intellect.” (Coomaraswamy A: 1946) The colonial Government and Missionary education alienated the young generations from traditional cultures, including religion, value system, language, literature, social occupational structure, and dress sense, making them “captive minds” of colonizers. (Alatas: 1974)
As long as the colonized nations follow the western education system, they will not be able to revive traditional knowledge or to safeguard cultural identity.
How can we introduce alternative forms of education? Is it practical in a world of increased globalization and homogenization?
Notes and References-
Ananda Kethish Coomaraswamy (1946) ‘Indian Culture and English Influence: An Address to Indian Students and Their Friends’, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, January 1944. New York: Orientalia. (P:31)
‘The Captive Mind’ according to Syed Hussein Alatas (1974) is ‘uncritical and imitative mind dominated by external sources, whose thinking is deflected from an independent perspective (P: 692) Quoted in Alatas, Syed Farid (2006) Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science: Responses to Eurocentrism. New Delhi: Sage Publications (P.47)
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I think it is more than only combine knowledges, it is to decolonize the mind, recognizing the coloniality of knowlege
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What is the difference between 'Traditional Knowledge' and 'Civilizational Knowledge'? What is the most appropriate term?
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I agree with Bruce in that my concern is the apparent dichotomy, and somewhat 19th century world view, which the choice of traditional vs. civilized as oppositional terms sets up. Perhaps you could re-examine your research question in the light of seeing 'tradition' as part of civilization in a pluralist 20th century context. Social, cultural and critical philosopher Raymond Williams writings could be helpful here. Also, Anthropologist of human movement, Drid Williams writes articulately about this misunderstanding. Good Luck (from New Zealand)!
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I'm a cultural anthropologist, I work on traditional knowledges and intangible cultural heritages. My main sources of data are audio and video recording that I analyse with a qualitative analysis software (I use Transana http://www.transana.org, but i can change if needed). I need to integrate the data from the qualitative analysis (video, audio, text and categories) in a GIS. I know that I can 'cut' clip video or audio clip and insert in the GIS like photos and text. But I need to keep clip in the context of registration for different motivation: 1. for interpretative purpose 2. Because the analysis will be a continuous progress. 3. the database of video recording is big and growing (more than 100 hours).
I'd like to use software for the analysis, coding the content, integrate the coding with the georefererentiation (i.e. recording place, cited place in the account, area of influence of the knowledge ecc.) and connect with a GIS for a visual representation. I try to explain: I.e. I have 50hours of interviews on traditional land use and ethnobotanic knowledge. Some of the information will be used for traditional land right, other for sustainable management, other for food security and food sovereignty ecc. One of the query could be: let me see all the sentences about the ethnobotanical knowledge (that will have some sub categories, food, medicinal, symbolic ecc. ) on a specific plant species, and which area is connected with the single account. Or may be all the accounts about a traditional use of a specific area.
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Dear Fabio,
for my experience you need a customized application for your data. I supported during the year the development of the JGrass (http://www.jgrass.org) open source GIS (now included in uDIg: http://udig.refractions.net) and I know that the companies that are now developing the software are certainly able to find the way to support your needs.
You can certainly inquiry andrea.antonello@hydrologis.eu or silvia.franceschi@hydrologis.eu for a more detailed and technical answer.
I am also sure that the other softwares that hydrologis (one of the above companies) developed could be useful for your work (as BeeGIS, http://www.beegis.org, and Geopaparazzi, free on Android Market - http://code.google.com/p/geopaparazzi/).
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I have to integrate information from intangible cultural heritages and traditional knowledges in GIS: I'm searching for experiences, articles or ideas for graphical representation.
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Hi. Not sure if this can help: I have recenlty been involved in the development of a INSPIRE-compliant data model for spatial heritage information. Not dealing with representation issues (so far), but might be of your interest: