Long-Term Ecological and Climate Changes Through Amazonian Indigenous Oral Histories

Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Francisco Apurinã, Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares

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This chapter highlights how the collective oral histories of two Amazonian Indigenous peoples reproduce, regenerate, and transmit the social memory of local biocultural landscapes, reflecting ecological changes. Based on ongoing ethnographic engagements with the Apurinã and Tsimane’ societies in the southwestern Amazon region, this chapter shows how oral histories describe their long-term interactions and engagements with other species, which are manifested in the landscape – from the distant past to the immediate present – and can be traced to specific, culturally keystone places of deep spiritual significance. They offer a rich picture of an understanding of the vulnerability of biocultural ecosystems and landscapes, on the one hand, and their recovery, on the other. The results thus highlight the enormous power of oral histories to attest to Indigenous stewardship over, and long-term connections to, their lands and waters as active relationships of engagement and communication. Both the Apurinã and the Tsimane’ place particular emphasis on specific sacred sites that bear evidence of millennia-old stewardship systems. The chapter argues that Indigenous oral histories are crucial to understanding dynamic relationality among more-than-humans and humans, and thus have an immense value for the discipline of historical ecology.
Idioma originalEnglish
Títol de la publicacióLong-Term Ecological and Climate Changes Through Amazonian Indigenous Oral Histories
Nombre de pàgines18
ISBN (electrònic)9781003316497
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 10 d’ag. 2023


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