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"Ceremony and ritual are not important for conservation, they are conservation:" An inquiry into remembering and reviving culture and ritual for the protection of land and sacred sites

Knight, Rachael Sydney (2021) "Ceremony and ritual are not important for conservation, they are conservation:" An inquiry into remembering and reviving culture and ritual for the protection of land and sacred sites. Master of Science by Research (MScRes) thesis, University of Kent, N/A. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.87142) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:87142)

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Language: English

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https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/01.02.87142

Abstract

This paper argues that land-honouring ceremonies and rituals are an intrinsic component of indigenous conservation efforts. It first summarizes the drivers of an overall global decline of communities' conservation and stewardship of local sacred natural sites. It then presents the stories of nine communities' efforts to reverse these trends by strengthening or reviving cosmologies, rituals and ceremonies necessary to the protection and conservation of sacred sites, ecosystems and species. Through a comparative qualitative content analysis, six practical strategies necessary to such revival and revitalization are discerned: (1) strong leadership and regular community meetings that create unity and allow for the dismantling of internalized oppression; (2) efforts to establish greater tenure security; (3) the revival or strengthening of indigenous leadership structures that value and uphold traditional beliefs, practices, protocols, and knowledge; (4) the revival of core aspects of indigenous culture, including seed-keeping, agricultural practices, traditional medicine, music, stories and song, among others; (5) the remembrance and enactment of ceremonies and rituals that function to protect, care for, and "feed" the lands and sacred natural sites; and (6) the creation of schools and programs that ensure intergenerational transfer of knowledge, skills, beliefs, and worldviews. The paper then explores three intangible processes that necessarily go hand-in-hand with such practical efforts, including: 1) cultivating intimacy with nature; 2) being open to collaboration with the more-than-human world; and 3) innovating to ensure that one's culture remains current and relevant in present times.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Science by Research (MScRes))
Thesis advisor: Puri, Rajindra
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.87142
Uncontrolled keywords: Ceremony, ritual, sacred natural sites, conservation, decolonization, dismantling internalized oppression
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2021 17:10 UTC
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 15:38 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/87142 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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