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An original and accessible book on how the Kuna Indians of Panama relate to the natural world, focusing 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. Translated from Spanish.
Foreword (James Howe); Acknowledgments; 1. Baba's Creation (Cacique General Enrique Guerrero with Valerio Nunez); 2. Ready to Change? (Jorge Ventocilla); 3. The Kuna (Jorge Ventocilla); 4. Rivers and Mountains (Jorge Ventocilla); 5. Terrestrial Fauna (Jorge Ventocilla); 6. Hunting in Gangandi (Jorge Ventocilla with Rutilio Paredes); 7. Money Creates Hunger (Elvira Torres with Valerio Nunez); 8. Submarine "Deforestation" (Jorge Ventocilla with Olaidi); 9. The Spirit of the Uaga (Cacique General Carlos Lopez with Valerio Nunez); 10. Medicinal Plants (Heraclio Herrera); 11. The Ueruk Palm (Heraclio Herrera); 12. To Be or Not to Be (Arysteides Turpana with Valerio Nunez); Epilogue (Mac Chapin); Appendix A. Scientific and Vernacular Names of Plants and Animals; Appendix B. Kuna Communities; Glossary; Bibliography; Authors; Index
Plants and Animals ... Documents Kuna culture, subsistence strategies, and traditional ecological knowledge while warning of the dangers of increased involvement in market economies. It does what many advocate but few accomplish by presenting indigenous views of ecology and culture. Written in large part by the Kuna for the Kuna, this book is one of the first comprehensive publications on ethnobiology that represents indigenous voices, giving ousiders a rare opportunity 'to eavesdrop, to listen as they exhort each other, to wake up, and to change.' Cultural Survival Quarterly