History of Indigenous Mapping

History of Cartography Project (HISTCART@MACC.WISC.EDU)
Mon, 16 May 1994 07:50:00 CDT

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Call For Information:

Indigenous Mapping

As part of an ongoing multi-volume history of maps and mapmaking,
we are exploring mapping as it is practiced by indigenous cultures.
Our definition of "map" is extremely broad: Maps are graphic
representations that facilitate a spatial understanding of things,
concepts, conditions, processes, or events in the human world.
More than practical records of locations, maps are a visual
shorthand for a society's perception of space -- culture-bound
documents with social, economic, political, and religious meaning.
Worlds mapped can be geographical, celestial, or cosmographical.
The act of mapmaking can range from ephemeral gestures and dreams
to more conventional aspects of material culture such as painted
surfaces or objects.

We would very much appreciate hearing of people who have worked on
(or close to) this topic for the cultures of New Guinea and non-
Inkan South America. If you know of any related information,
articles, or books that address these issues, please let us know by
contacting the History of Cartography Project at:


With many thanks,

David Woodward, Editor and Principal Investigator
The History of Cartography Project
Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin-Madison