Why Native Americans do not separate religion from science

“Scientists began thinking and writing about how Native Americans understand the natural world in the 20th century. Instead of seeing a conflict between Western science and Native American knowledge, they started thinking about ways to learn how Native Americans addressed environmental and ecological issues differently.”

https://theconversation.com/why-native-americans-do-not-separate-religion-from-science-75983

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Modern World Tugs at an Indonesian Tribe Clinging to Its Ancient Ways

“They, and others like them, have for decades resisted Indonesian government policies that pressured the forest-bound indigenous groups to abandon their old customs, accept a government-approved religion and move to government villages. That shift, along with the inevitable lure the modern world has for their children, has led to major disjunction between generations of Mentawai.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/world/asia/modern-world-tugs-at-an-indonesian-tribe-clinging-to-its-ancient-ways.html

Is All Fur Bad Fur?

When considering the ethics of hunting and wearing animal skins, how do we balance our society’s ethics with the traditional practices of indegenous communities that rely on hunting and wearing animal skins? This issue connects to both ethics and indigenous knowledge systems and is an interesting case to examine how we can balance the ethics of different communities and whether we can come up with a defensible way to find balance.

“But an amendment to the Marine Mammal Act of 1972 exempted “Indians, Aleut, and Eskimos (who dwell on the coast of the North Pacific Ocean) from the moratorium on taking provided that taking was conducted for the sake of subsistence or for the purpose of creating and selling authentic native articles of handicraft and clothing.””

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/fashion/sea-otter-fur-hunting-alaska-fashion-debate.html

NAVIGATING BY FEEL: Polynesian Maps and Navigation

Polynesian Maps

“The Polynesians, scattered as they are over islands across the central and southern Pacific Ocean, are master navigators who tracked their way over a huge expanses of ocean without any of the complex mechanical aids we associate with sea navigation. They didn’t have the astrolabe or the sextant, the compass or the chronometer. They did however have aids of a sort, which though seemingly humble, were in fact the repositories of an extremely complex kind of knowledge. They are called Rebbelibs, Medos. and Mattangs.”

http://kurungabaa.net/2010/07/12/navigating-by-touch/

Below is a documentary about the Polynesians as well.

 

A Hawaiian Canoe Crosses the Oceans, Guided by Sun and Stars

An interesting undertaking but also an interesting debate over who settled the Polynesian islands and how. What I also find interesting is why does it matter what the truth is? Why validate and continue to pursue this knowledge system? What value does it bring to continue to use traditional methods rather than use modern ones? Why keep this method alive?

“In a nod to their seafaring ancestors, the crew of 13 will forgo modern navigational equipment — no compass, sextant or GPS devices, not even an iPhone — in favor of wayfinding, a traditional navigational technique that relies on gauging the position of the sun, moon and stars, taking into account variations in ocean currents and wave patterns and even the behavior of fish and birds.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/science/a-hawaiian-canoe-crosses-the-oceans-guided-by-sun-and-stars.html?smid=fb-nytscience&smtyp=cur&_r=0

One woman’s mission to photograph every Native American tribe in the US

What does this article tell us about the power of culture and imagery in shaping our perceptions of various groups of people? To what degree can those perceptions be changed? Is it wrong to propagate false or inaccurate representations? This connects to the debate about sports mascots to some degree.

“Matika Wilbur has traveled more than 250,000 miles to ensure stereotyped images are replaced with accurate ones to change history’s collective psyche.”

“A search for Native Americans on the internet yields almost nothing but reductionist, 18th-century representations of a ‘feathered and leathered people’, Wilbur says. She hopes the pictures she’s taking can someday replace the stereotyped, dated ones found in internet searches, and the ones we hold on to in our collective psyche.

“‘I’m ultimately doing this because our perception matters,’ she says. ‘Our perception fuels racism. It fuels segregation. Our perception determines the way we treat each other.'”

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/07/native-american-photographs-matika-wilbur-project-562?hash=105388b0-c278-4722-9bb6-2b2df05942bb