Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Indigenous Nature

I've been told I'm Eurocentric for saying that indigenous cultures tend to see reality as a trickster rather than as natural. I've been asked to point out which indigenous cultures do this.

I've been doing that, but I'm also going to turn it around: I defy such a pointer-out to find me an indigenous culture that cleaves to the concept Nature.

Go on prove it.



5 comments:

Bill Benzon said...

I'm not sure if he's got anything to say about tricksters, but Latour certainly asserts that the notion of Nature is a modern one and that, therefore, traditional cultures have no such idea.

Bill Benzon said...

Hey, Tim, in the previous captcha I got the number "42". Does that mean I know now the secret to the universe?

Karl said...

my reading in anthropology/ethnography, which led me to you and Latour, was usually saying nomadic/sedentary hunter-gatherers and other indigenous peoples were already in an "Ecology without Nature" mode of thinking.

the eurocentrism is in their own mirror.

just a few sprinkles of reading through Richard B. Lee, James Woodburn, Tim Ingold, Lorna Marshall, Mathias Guenther (Tricksters and Trancers: Bushman Religion and Society) and others will show the trickster.

Jennifer Rock said...

This is probably a rather superficial contribution but happened to just run across relevant mention by P Knudtson/D Suzuki [Wisdom of Elders] of Koyukon (Alaskan Interior) described with creator figure also trickster (e.g. raven) ... equates to Native ecological perspective that embraces chaos? They refer to Joseph Campbell (comparative mythologist) ' Native trickster represents chaos principle... disorder... force careless of taboos...'

Diorisma said...

Perennialists like Schuon have interest in the American Indian Metaphysics.
http://religioperennis.org/documents/Fitzgerald/Indian.pdf.