Indigenous groups living in tropical rainforests have developed a vast knowledge of their surrounding environments, establishing cultural systems of mutually beneficial and respectful interaction between people, animals, plants, and the spiritual entities associated with each of these groups. In the Amazon region, however, this accumulated knowledge is in many cases on the path to extinction. Multiple threats to the territory and cultural integrity of indigenous groups have been disrupting their social mechanisms for the transmission of cultural and environmental knowledge, creating a gloomy landscape. Can we avoid the loss of such valuable knowledge accumulated for thousands of years?
This book addresses this question by examining the experience of the Nahua of the Peruvian rainforest, including the practical usage and symbolic component of their environmental knowledge, and analyzing the main causes of social change leading to the degradation of their cultural heritage.
“Endangered Legacy: The Loss of Indigenous Environmental Knowledge Among the Nahua of the Peruvian Rainforest,” by Rodolfo Tello. Coming in hardcover, paperback and electronic editions, spring 2018.