Mi'kmaq Landscapes: From Animism to Sacred Ecology, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Mi'kmaq Landscapes

From Animism to Sacred Ecology, 1st Edition

By Anne-Christine Hornborg


214 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780754663713
pub: 2008-05-28
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315595375
pub: 2016-07-22
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book seeks to explore historical changes in the lifeworld of the Mi'kmaq Indians of Eastern Canada. The Mi'kmaq culture hero Kluskap serves as a key persona in discussing issues such as traditions, changing conceptions of land, and human-environmental relations. In order not to depict Mi'kmaq culture as timeless, two important periods in its history are examined. Within the first period, between 1850 and 1930, Hornborg explores historical evidence of the ontology, epistemology, and ethics - jointly labelled animism - that stem from a premodern Mi'kmaq hunting subsistence. New ways of discussing animism and shamanism are here richly exemplified. The second study situates the culture hero in the modern world of the 1990s, when allusions to Mi'kmaq tradition and to Kluskap played an important role in the struggle against a planned superquarry on Cape Breton. This study discusses the eco-cosmology that has been formulated by modern reserve inhabitants which could be labelled a 'sacred ecology'. Focusing on how the Mi'kmaq are rebuilding their traditions and environmental relations in interaction with modern society, Hornborg illustrates how environmental groups, pan-Indianism, and education play an important role, but so does reserve life. By anchoring their engagement in reserve life the Mi'kmaq traditionalists have, to a large extent, been able to confront both external and internal doubts about their authenticity.


'Anne-Christine Hornborg provides valuable insights into changing spiritual and land-based practices of Mi'kmaq in Canada (principally Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island) since the seventeenth century, focusing on the twentieth century while also considering prospects and limitations for knowledge of pre-contact and early contact Mi'kmaq traditions.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

About the Author

Anne-Christine Hornborg is Professor in History of Religions in the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University, Sweden. She has also previously lectured at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Human Ecology Division and the Department of Social Anthropology, Lund University. She has undertaken fieldwork, conducted 1992-1993, 1996 and 2000 on the reservations of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and Canada, during 1998 and 2001 in Tonga, and during 2004 in Peru. Anne-Christine Hornborg has written several international, published articles concerning indigenous worldviews, rituals and embodiment, the phenomenology of landscape, the anthropologist in field, and ecology and religion. Currently she is developing the new interdisciplinary field "Ritual Studies". In this field of research, she will examine rituals as lived experience, new rituals in late modernity, ritual and practice theory, and the importance of cross-disciplinary studies in developing theories of ritual and of ritual practices.

About the Series

Vitality of Indigenous Religions

Routledge's Vitality of Indigenous Religions series offers an exciting cluster of research monographs, drawing together volumes from leading international scholars across a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Indigenous religions are vital and empowering for many thousands of indigenous peoples globally, and dialogue with, and consideration of, these diverse religious life-ways promises to challenge and refine the methodologies of a number of academic disciplines, whilst greatly enhancing understandings of the world.

This series explores the development of contemporary indigenous religions from traditional, ancestral precursors, but the characteristic contribution of the series is its focus on their living and current manifestations. Devoted to the contemporary expression, experience and understanding of particular indigenous peoples and their religions, books address key issues which include: the sacredness of land, exile from lands, diasporic survival and diversification, the indigenization of Christianity and other missionary religions, sacred language, and re-vitalization movements. Proving of particular value to academics, graduates, postgraduates and higher level undergraduate readers worldwide, this series holds obvious attraction to scholars of Native American studies, Maori studies, African studies and offers invaluable contributions to religious studies, sociology, anthropology, geography and other related subject areas.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / History