Re: pomo meets eco again

Pauline Shafer (pali@U.WASHINGTON.EDU)
Tue, 15 Aug 1995 08:03:39 -0700

Excellent! This something that has intrigued me. An anthropology of
anthropological literature. What sort of constructions have been created,
and had influnces. Such as of Native Americans. The evolutionary model
that some dude came up with somewhere, influenced Indian policy in the
One place that illustrates the perspective thing in a rather amusing way
is a snit a read about between Obeyesekere and Marshall Sahlins. These
are both very learned men, I tend to think they are both right. And I'm
sure each feels their view is more complimentary to the "Natives".

On Fri, 11 Aug 1995, CONRAD : STEENKAMP wrote:

> 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
> concern.
> 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
> >