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Subversive SpiritualitiesHow Rituals Enact the World$

Frederique Apffel-Marglin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199793853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793853.001.0001

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(p.205) Appendix

(p.205) Appendix

Subversive Spiritualities
Oxford University Press

Indigenous notions of biodiversity excerpted from “Voices of the Earth” inDarrell Addison Posey, ed., Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity (London: UNEP/Intermediate Technology Publications,1999), 119–166.

“The entire environment around us is pretty much the way of life of our own people.”

Henrietta Fourmile, Polidingi, Australia, page 125

“What is equivalent to the biodiversity here, to the things that surrounds us, is my life.”

Pera, Bakalaharil, Botswana, page 130

“Biodiversity is a Western concept that has no correspondence in the language of the Paraci people.”

Daniel Matenho Cabixi, Brazil, page 132

“When Sibö decided to create this world, the earth, the first people he made were the indigenous people. He brought corn seeds from the other world and planted them in the soil of the earth, and they grew into the first indigenous people. We are called /dtsö/, which means corn seeds.”

Report from a group in Costa Rica, page 135

“We believe—and it is true—that there are lakes and big hills in the jungle where our souls and the souls of our ancestors live. We communicate and live together with everything that is alive because everything has a spirit which strengthens us.”

Cristina Gualinga, Quichua, Ecuador, page 136

“The spiritual element is the yachag, an indigenous wise man, that is curing. This means that not only the physical part is biodiversity but also the spiritual part, and human society must be included.”

Bolivar Beltran, report on workshop, Ecuador, page 142

(p.206) “In our language, there is something called ‘ adat,’ an unwritten understanding of common things that everybody should know … Adat is not only important in how we deal with our resources but also in how we live. It isn’t like the concept of managing, but rather that two things happen at the same time. While you might manage something, what you manage is also managing you. A person is a part of a greater single action, a larger balance or harmony. Adat is often described as a traditional legal system but, to the indigenous peoples, it is much more, encompassing a set of beliefs and values that affect all aspects of life. Further, adat is a set of unwritten rules and principles that extends to everything and to relationships within both the physical world and the spiritual world.”

Patrick Segundad, Kadazan, Malaysia, page 147

“I can say unequivocally that the term biological diversity is not easily translatable into an indigenous culture, such as Maori … What does biological diversity mean for me? Ultimately, it means that anyone who commodifies biological resources; separates them from cultural heritage; attempts to exert exclusive individual ownership, is consigning the diversity of life to solitary confinement in a prison that condemns all those who regard nature and peoples as being more important than trade.”

Aroha Te Pareake Mead, Maori, New Zealand, page 151

“[My life] includes everything. We say ‘ lotwantua,’ which means everything is included. When I think of biodiversity it is the same: everything is included. I could not be a reindeer herder without it. It is a necessity. Biodiversity is both art and necessity.”

Johan Mathis Turi, Saami, Norway, page 152

“Personally, when I look at the word bio-diversity, there is a very spiritual connotation to the word. Biodiversity has a more spiritual sense than in the sense that ‘bio’ means life and ‘diversity’ means having different kinds of things in life …”

Michael Kapo, Papua New Guinea, page 156