Birds and Indigenous People, Culture and Society
Edited By Sonia Tidemann and Andrew Gosler
Mansfield’s fellow in Human Sciences is shortly to publish his new book, jointly edited with Sonia Tidemann.
An African proverb states that when a knowledgeable old person dies, a whole library disappears. In that light, this book presents knowledge that is new or has not been readily available until now because it has not previously been captured or reported by indigenous people. Indigenous knowledge that embraces ornithology takes in whole social dimensions that are inter-linked with environmental ethos, conservation and management for sustainability. In contrast, western approaches have tended to reduce knowledge to elemental and material references. This book also looks at the significance of indigenous knowledge of birds and their cultural significance, and how these can assist in framing research methods of western scientists working in related areas.
As well as its knowledge base, this book provides practical advice for professionals in conservation and anthropology by demonstrating the relationship between mutual respect, local participation and the building of partnerships for the resolution of joint problems. It identifies techniques that can be transferred to different regions, environments and collections, as well as practices suitable for investigation, adaptation and improvement of knowledge exchange and collection in ornithology. The authors take anthropologists and biologists who have been trained in, and largely continue to practice from, a western reductionist approach, along another path - one that presents ornithological knowledge from alternative perspectives, which can enrich the more common approaches to ecological and other studies as well as plans of management for conservation.