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Plants and Animals in the Life of the Kuna

by Jorge Ventocilla, Heraclio Herrera, Valerio Nunez

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"The earth is the mother of all things"; thus begins this original and accessible book on how the Kuna of Panama relate to the natural world. An integrative project involving Kuna traditional leaders and trained scholars, and fully illustrated by a Kuna artist, this translation of Plantas y animales en la vida del pueblo Kuna focuses on Kuna plant and animal life, social life, and social change as a means of saving traditional ecological knowledge and "returning" it to the community. The authors hope to preserve the Kuna environment not only by reviving traditional technologies but also by educating the Kuna as to what needs protection. While the Kuna have a tradition of living in harmony with the land, the intrusion of the market economy is eroding the very basis of their sustainable way of life. As a response to this crisis, this book seeks to develop native self-awareness and provide a model for collaboration. It will appeal to Latin Americanists, anthropologists, and ethnobotanists, as well as to a general readership in environmental issues.… (more)
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An analysis of aspects of Kuna of Panama plant and animal life, social life, and social change as a means of saving traditional ecological knowledge.
  anne_fitzgerald | Oct 30, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jorge Ventocillaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Herrera, Heracliomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Nunez, Valeriomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Howe, JamesForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, ElizabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The earth is the mother of all things, the Great Mother.
Foreword: The Kuna of Panama have been learning the same hard environmental lesson as the rest of the world, that one mus tpotect nature agains oneself as well as against others.
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"The earth is the mother of all things"; thus begins this original and accessible book on how the Kuna of Panama relate to the natural world. An integrative project involving Kuna traditional leaders and trained scholars, and fully illustrated by a Kuna artist, this translation of Plantas y animales en la vida del pueblo Kuna focuses on Kuna plant and animal life, social life, and social change as a means of saving traditional ecological knowledge and "returning" it to the community. The authors hope to preserve the Kuna environment not only by reviving traditional technologies but also by educating the Kuna as to what needs protection. While the Kuna have a tradition of living in harmony with the land, the intrusion of the market economy is eroding the very basis of their sustainable way of life. As a response to this crisis, this book seeks to develop native self-awareness and provide a model for collaboration. It will appeal to Latin Americanists, anthropologists, and ethnobotanists, as well as to a general readership in environmental issues.

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