Registered users receive a variety of benefits including the ability to customize email alerts, create favorite journals list, and save searches.
Please note that a BioOne web account does not automatically grant access to full-text content. An institutional or society member subscription is required to view non-Open Access content.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Indigenous communities living in the Iamal-Nenets region of the Arctic Siberia incorporate reindeer antlers into various aspects of their lives, at times in remarkable ways. This is especially the case for Nenets herding families, who closely interact with domestic reindeer on a daily basis. Antlers for Nenets are not just raw materials for producing tools, but rather a part of their perceptions of time, clothing designs, gendered skills and spaces, and physical manifestations of pride. This article links current Nenets entanglements with antler to similar material practices on the Iamal Peninsula during the Iron Age. To accomplish this, we incorporate multi-generational Nenets knowledge into the analysis of modified and unmodified antler recovered during excavations of Iarte VI, an Iron Age archaeological site located on the tundra of the Iamal Peninsula. Our approach is founded upon direct engagement and collaboration with Nenets families from the Iamal region. Together, we focus on identification of reindeer age and sex through visual assessment of antler objects from Iarte VI. We also explore antler shapes and growth cycles, working qualities, and placement within and outside dwelling areas at the site. This collaborative approach sheds light on site seasonality, the ages and genders of the inhabitants of Iarte VI, and several longstanding continuities in antler practices.
Studies have identified the strong presence of sampling bias in ethnobiological research, which may seriously compromise study results. However, these studies were made in the context of Brazilian studies and global sampling evaluations are still needed. The present study adopted a global scale and was based on ethnobotanical surveys of medicinal plants in open fairs and markets. We aimed to assess sample quality and to identify the factors that interfere with it. Among the factors we investigated were how the (a) year of publication, (b) CiteScore, (c) presence of a clear research question, (d) presentation of hypotheses, and (e) the use of ethnobotanical indices influences the presence of sampling bias. The main source of bias verified in the studies was the absence of information about the sample and the population. None of the variables tested interfered with the level of bias of the studies. Efforts are needed to correct quantitative studies regarding sampling procedures, and the peer-review exercise in scientific journals should be attentive to sampling bias.
Pulque is a product made from the fermentation of the sap (aguamiel) of certain agaves and its consumption has been recorded since pre-Hispanic times. The effort to recognize the landraces of the Agave genus used to produce pulque and the study of its traditional knowledge remain limited. Studies regarding this topic have centered on farmers (experts) with the biggest production capacity. This work analyzes in different ways the knowledge that experts and non-experts (general population) have regarding the usage and management of agave landraces in Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala, one of the most iconic pulque production locations in Mexico. Two-hundred and twenty-two semi-structured interviews were carried out with non-experts and 22 with experts. The non-experts recognized 12 agave landraces, whilst experts recognized eight landraces that are mainly used to obtain aguamiel. The most important landrace that they identified was the Agave salmiana, due to the sweetness of its aguamiel and flexibility of its leaves. In total, 92 uses of agave landraces were recorded: 64 direct uses and 28 derivative uses. The oldest participants know most of its uses, but the younger participants recorded 48 uses, which indicates that agaves are a valuable resource for new generations. Experts mentioned uses directly related to the production of plants, aguamiel, and pulque, whilst non-experts included more categories of use. The agaves used for the production of pulque are of great importance for local biodiversity, culture, and economy.
In many countries, research authorizations must be obtained before field studies begin, even though it may be difficult to anticipate community understandings of ethnobiological knowledge ownership, possession, and use that should be reflected in informed consent protocols, study methods, and publishing decisions. In this article, I draw broadly on my experience conducting ethnobiological and other kinds of research involving biodiversity in five A'uwẽ (Xavante) communities in Central Brazil since 2004 to discuss the social contours of ethnobiological knowledge in their society. My goal is to provide an ethnographic account of several illustrative configurations of knowledge possession, sharing, and secrecy that shape who rightfully has access to what kinds of information and, therefore, bear upon culturally appropriate and collaboratively formulated data collection and informed consent practices. Most specialized A'uwẽ ethnobiological knowledge is considered secret and therefore not appropriate for scientific research and publication. I conclude with a discussion of how Indigenous sovereignty issues may collide with external ethics requirements while being strengthened by community action.
Anthropological studies of cattle management have frequently used nomadic open-range African pastoralists as models even when examining more sedentary agro-pastoralists relying upon combinations of crops and livestock that prevent or inhibit mobility. The relatively limited number of datasets on more sedentary agro-pastoralists makes it difficult to assess the suitability of this analogy when modeling and understanding herd dynamics in sedentary or semi-sedentary societies like those in the European Neolithic or pre-industrial colonies in North America. Census data on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French colonists in eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. reveal that household herds average fewer than eight individuals. Herds this small would have been dangerously close to collapse if animals were slaughtered and would not have had sufficient numbers to grow quickly. Using effective population size, a measure from wildlife biology, to assess the demographic and genetic health of wildlife populations, we demonstrate that Acadian herders were able to overcome the challenges of their small herds by participating in village or inter-village herd networks. Furthermore, we demonstrate that differences in herd management existed across the Acadian colonies and correspond, in part, to local involvement in cod fishing. We suggest this case study may provide a useful model for understanding prehistoric sedentary agropastoralism and the role of cooperation in prehistoric animal management decisions.
This essay is an impassioned epitaph conveying the teachings of Jotï wise persons from the Venezuelan Amazon who passed away recently. It honors their wish to spread the philosophy of jkyo jkwainï, which holds that loving-caring for everyone and everything around us is an essential human trait that holds the key to sustaining all life. If this innate faculty is nurtured, it gives people the power to maintain or even enhance the living world; if suppressed, its absence will inevitably lead to the degeneration and demise of the world. Their essential message urges everyone to use the dynamism of love already present within us to reverse the dominant trend of exploiting nature selfishly. An environmental ethic of loving-caring can actually be found in disparate cultural traditions, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. (Re)establishing loving-caring as a central guiding principle for organizing human ecological dynamics is already taking place in different urban and rural settings globally. Vital connections between ancient eco-philosophies and contemporary ecosocial movements are highlighted in order to show that real possibilities exist for building ecotopias moving forward. These arguments are attuned to postulates for biocultural conservation endorsed by ethnobiologists, Indigenous rights advocates, and environmental activists. Case studies are mentioned to stress the common ground shared by a diverse assortment of stakeholders.