1st Edition

Indigenous Perspectives on Sacred Natural Sites Culture, Governance and Conservation

Edited By Jonathan Liljeblad, Bas Verschuuren Copyright 2019
    246 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Much previous literature on sacred natural sites has been written from a non-indigenous perspective. In contrast, this book facilitates a greater self-expression of indigenous perspectives regarding treatment of the sacred and its protection and governance in the face of threats from various forms of natural resource exploitation and development.

    It provides indigenous custodians the opportunity to explain how they view and treat the sacred through a written account that is available to a global audience. It thus illuminates similarities and differences of both definitions, interpretations and governance approaches regarding sacred natural phenomena and their conservation. The volume presents an international range of case studies, from the recent controversy of pipeline construction at Standing Rock, a sacred site for the Sioux people spanning North and South Dakota, to others located in Australia, Canada, East Timor, Hawaii, India, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria and the Philippines.

    Each chapter includes an analytical introduction and conclusion written by the editors to identify common themes, unique insights and key messages. The book is therefore a valuable teaching resource for students of indigenous studies, anthropology, religion, heritage, human rights and law, nature conservation and environmental protection. It will also be of great interest to professionals and NGOs concerned with nature and heritage conservation.

      1. Introduction: Indigenous Voice and Indigenous Sacred Sites, Promoting Diverse Perspectives in a Global Discourse

      Jonathan Liljeblad

      Part I Identity and embodying the sacred

      2. Giving Voice to the Sacred Black Female Body in Takayna Country

      Jennifer Evans

      3. Defending the Sacred through Plant Knowledge

      Susan Leopold

      4. Imagine Kanaloa Kahoʻolawe

      Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor

      Part II Resistance, advocacy and perseverance

      5. Kondhs' Resistance Movement to Save Sacred Niyamgiri, Odisha

      Annapurna Devi Pandey

      6. Human Rights Law and the Protection of Sacred Sites and Territories: A Case Study of the Bethany Griqua Community in South Africa

      Lesle Jansen and Ademola Oluborode Jegede

      7. Taos Pueblo Blue Lake: A Legacy of Cultural Perseverance

      Vernon G. Lujan

      Part III The sacred in intangible heritage and education

      8. The Crocodiles of Fesawa: Sacred Sites and Rituals in a Changing Context in Southern East Timor

      Brunna Crespi, Anacleto Amaral and Clementino Amaral

      9. Maghee: A Case Study of Indigenous Tharu Cultural Heritage for Democratic Practice and STEM Education

      Bhaskar Upadhyay, Mahesh Tharu Chaudhary, Dinesh Gautam and Baliram Tharu

      Part IV Recognition and preservation of the sacred in place

      10. Wirikuta: Sacred Heart of Mexico – Pueblo Wixárika (Huichol)

      Anaid Paola Velasco Ramírez, Úrsula Garzón Aragón, Andrea Ulisse Davide Cerami and Santos De La Cruz Carillo

      11. Hongan di Pa'ge: The Sacredness and Realism of Terraced Landscape in Ifugao Culture, Philippines

      Marlon Martin, Stephen Acabado and Raymond Aquino Macapagal

      12. Perpetuation is the Key to Preservation: Encouraging Local Development and Valuing Indigenous Culture as the Sole Bastion against Bagan's Museification

      Bérengère Boüan and Kathy Khine

      13. Protecting Our Sacred Water: Cenote Conservation in the Maya area of Yucatan, Mexico

      Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado

      Part V Conclusions

      14. Indigenous Perspectives in a Global Discourse on the Conservation of Sacred Heritage

      Bas Verschuuren


      Jonathan Liljeblad is Senior Lecturer, Law School, Swinburne University, Australia, and a Steering Committee Member of the IUCN Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas. He received his PhD and JD from the University of Southern California. Born under the name Nanda Zaw Win, he is a member of the Pa’oh people of Shan State, Myanmar.

      Bas Verschuuren is Associate Researcher at the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, Co-Chair of the IUCN Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas, and Programme Coordinator for the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative.