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.


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.