Re: pomo meets eco again

Fri, 11 Aug 1995 04:00:05 -0400

Hi there,

There are just as many examples of such societies that distinguish
themselves very clearly from nature. It all depends on what the
'observer' is looking for when he/she 'observes' these societies.
Different researchers are going to emphasise different aspects of
their relationship with the environment. Animal rights activists
would, for instance, use the San/Bushmen/!kung etc as examples of
this 'harmonious' relationship with nature, the giving of human
characteristics to 'non-human animals'. The 'harmonious' images
dissipate very quickly when one actually goes on a hunt with
such people. Reconstructions of the 'primitive' view, runs the risk
of interpreting environmental relations of the past in terms of
environmental concerns of the present. Karina's statement about
'romanticising' such relationships, therefore, raises a valid

Conrad Steenkamp

> Karina: Actually my view is a reconstruction of the so-called
> "primitive" view, in which humans in many societies thought
> of themselves as part of nature, as much a part as non-human animals and
> plants. I don't know whether anthropologists who wrote about such people
> romanticized them, but there were quite a few societies described in
> these terms, so not all would have been romanticized. Ruby Ronrlich