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Indigenous science is often dismissed as quackery or nonsense, out of touch with progress and current events. However, indigenous peoples have passed down vital information for generations, from which local plants help cure common ailments, to which parts of the land are unsuitable for buildings because of earthquakes. These scientific practices that have been developed by various indigenous peoples around the world have been largely ignored by Western colonizers in their lands. From Japan and Indonesia to Australia and Canada, indigenous science involves environmentally-focused, sustainable practices that allow people to live with the land rather than in spite of it. Here, Hendry examines science through these indigenous roots, problematizing the idea that Western science is the only type that deserves that name and drawing attention to some of its shortcomings. She takes the reader with her on the learning process and shares a myriad of sustainable examples that can be put into practice.
1. Fire and Water: Sustaining the Land
2. Making a Sustainable Living
3. Architecture and House Building
4. Health and Death
5. Calendars and Climate Change
6. Astronomy and Navigation Skills
7. Physics and Mathematics
8. Technology and Sustainability
9. Facing Both Ways
Conclusion: "Seeing through Both Eyes" Science
Joy Hendry is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University and Senior Member at St Anthony's College, University of Oxford, UK. She is author or editor of over a dozen books, including the seminal textbook An Introduction to Social Anthropology: Sharing Our Worlds (1999, 2008) and Reclaiming Culture: Indigenous People and Self Representation (2005), a Choice Outstanding Academic Title award winner. She has done extensive fieldwork in Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and has been a frequent interviewee on BBC Radio.