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Indigenous Permaculture- What, where, how, who and why?

 
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Mt.goat wrote:
Warren,I agree but also disagree on some counts.I`m all for bringing in new plants and technique but also for looking closely at the cultures that came before and how they survived and I have found native plants to be quite reliable in my area so ...more tools in the tool box.Now where I have more problems is with the `cultural needs`crowd.`needs` are often subjective and many native cultures have been wiped out by european culture(being often incompatible)in the name of `needs`.Now if I asked someone if they needed dairy so much,would they be willing to kill someone?They would probably say no but in a convoluted way thats what happened.Settlers thought they needed dairy so than they needed domestic animals which they needed to protect.The natives who had no concept of private ownership would poach the animals and would than be needed to be killed.Thats what happened in CA with sheep hearders.

Well I'm not about to wipe out any native cultures so I have no idea why you are telling me this?
 
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Just pointing out how peoples Ideas of what their bodies need is often rooted in psychology that cultural needs have been the manifesto of manifest destiny.Did the colonisers actually try living native?or did they just impose their ideas of land management over an already functioning and well established food system.Now that the traditional food models are destroyed,there is no longer a need for destroying them.
 
pollinator
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Mt.goat wrote:
Just pointing out how peoples Ideas of what their bodies need is often rooted in psychology that cultural needs have been the manifesto of manifest destiny.Did the colonisers actually try living native?or did they just impose their ideas of land management over an already functioning and well established food system.Now that the traditional food models are destroyed,there is no longer a need for destroying them.


Aye, so how do I find out what is "native"? I am sure that a lot of the weeds around are not (dandy lions for example) but what is? There are black berries from one end of our wilds to the other, the black bears love them.... where did they come from? I hear the canes dry very quickly maybe they would make a good fuel. I am willing to learn to eat new food.... I would really like a coffee substitute that has caffeine. There are foraging manuals, but they tend to be somewhat location specific... and also deal with what is now, however the plant originally got here.
 
                                            
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Toby Hemenway points toward that moment in human history between hunter / gathering and agriculture referring to it as horticulture. That approach applied the best of both systems and manifests currently as forest gardening and "traditional" or indigenous polyculture. Watch the video, entitled How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Earth, but Not Civilization, at http://kjpermaculture.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-permaculture-can-save-humanity-and.html

This tradition lives on in many tropical cultures even today and, of course, in many permaculture sites around the world. It's up to us to become indigenous to the places we reside.
 
                                            
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Take a look at http://www.indigenous-permaculture.com/ for modern (or is that post-modern) examples of native Americans who've embraced permaculture.

Snip
"OUR MISSION

    * Revitalize Native and local communities through indigenous science, land stewardship, sustainable agriculture, community food security, and sustainable development.
    * Promote awareness of human impacts on the natural environment and on Indigenous communities when unsustainable choices are made
    * Use locally-available resources and demonstrate the power of conscious choices to create self-sufficient communities that care for and preserve Mother Earth

We share traditional farming practices and apply environmentally and culturally-appropriate technology, with the ultimate goal of community food security, and do this work in an affordable way that builds capacity within the community. We provide holistic support to design and implement community food security projects, inspired by indigenous peoples' understanding of how to live in place.
 
master pollinator
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urbanpolyculture wrote:
Toby Hemenway points toward that moment in human history between hunter / gathering and agriculture referring to it as horticulture.



I'm not sure that's really anthropologically accurate, though, because horticulture is not a "moment in human history." As previously pointed out, many or most HG practiced some kind of land management techniques.  Horticulture is not "between" HG and agriculture.

This again: 

"What divides agriculture and horticulture is less a question of a particular technique or even the intensity of investment, but rather, the ecological effect of their strategies. Horticulturalists in the New World created the Amazon rainforest and the Great Plains.4 By the same token, the first farmers laid waste to the cedar forest that once covered the Middle East and turned the Fertile Crescent into a wasteland. So here we have a workable definition: agriculture is cultivation by means of catastrophe. Tillage emulates catastrophe, and the plow is a catastrophe-emulating machine. By contrast, horticulture is cultivation by means of succession. Fallowing allows succession to advance; the lack of tillage and the plow is merely the lack of artificially-induced catastrophe to set back succession."

http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/2008/05/agriculture-or-permaculture-why-words.html



 
                                            
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Ludi,
Please pardon my inexactitude. Let us refer to a transitional period / phase that did not disappear from the scene despite the emergence of agriculture and the diminishment of hunter gathering which also did not vanish. I have no argument with your assertion / observation / clarification.

 
gardener
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Not to make light of the topic I'm wondering when does one become indigenous? How many generations does it take?
I'm a small portion American Indian so where does the rest of my past ethnic mix fit in? Do I have a place?
http://davetroy.com/posts/becoming-indigenous
 
Warren David
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Mt.goat wrote:
Warren,I agree but also disagree on some counts.

So what exactly do you disagree with? (without going into a ramble about native cultures)
 
Warren David
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Mt.goat wrote:
Just pointing out how peoples Ideas of what their bodies need is often rooted in psychology that cultural needs have been the manifesto of manifest destiny.Did the colonisers actually try living native?or did they just impose their ideas of land management over an already functioning and well established food system.Now that the traditional food models are destroyed,there is no longer a need for destroying them.

Why are you pointing that out to me? I don't really care what the colonizers did. It's like we are having two different conversations.  All I'm saying is that people should be eating for health. I know what foods I thrive on and what foods I don't. I let that be my guide when it comes to food choices.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thank you, urbanpolyculture. 

 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Robert Ray wrote:
Not to make light of the topic I'm wondering when does one become indigenous? How many generations does it take?
I'm a small portion American Indian so where does the rest of my past ethnic mix fit in? Do I have a place?
http://davetroy.com/posts/becoming-indigenous



I think we can become native or indigenous to our place by learning about it, the plants, animals, weather, history of other peoples who lived there, and feeling deeply rooted to it.

 
Matt Ferrall
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The native or naturalised plants grow without irrigation,cultivation,or heavy subsidized through outside inputs.The sustainable elements of idigenous management are what Im interested in promoting.I`m all for grownig and eating what a person thinks their body needs as long as it meets these sustainable criteria.Eating what a person wants to if it is less sustainable than these criteria I would like to discourage.
 
Warren David
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I see what you mean. Yes I'm interested in that. I don't eat a huge variety of plants because I really don't do well with most vegetables but I'm interested in indigenous food for animals. 
 
                  
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Indigenous Gardening History

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3-E099ObH4
 
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Must see for all who are interested in this thread.
http://vimeo.com/14100075
 
                  
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would not a permaculture unit in Oak country have acorn trees as there staple ?


ACORNS AND EAT ‘EM

http://www.californiaoaks.org/ExtAssets/acorns_and_eatem.pdf
 
permaculture expert
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Permaculture is an evolution of humanity, relative to present time with the full intention to engage with the ethical design science using available and appropriate global living and technology elements, without metaphysics or belief systems required.
Indigenous peoples had very few choices and were sanctioned by the living and technology elements available to them, we have more choices like the computer we are both using.
The present time is very relative to human evolution potentially towards a naturally abundant future greater than any other time in Earths history, with permaculture design a positive intention to facilitate creative events is possible with an inclusive style of approach.
 
pollinator
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I just love the subject, so I am sorry to say that I join it now and will reply to all that I was not there before to answer!!!

Abe Connally wrote:
But these were not hunter gatherers, either.  They were very advanced civilizations, rivals to anything in Eurasia at the same time period.

The reactions of the first settlers were that America was a pristine wilderness, but it was actually not a wilderness at all. But that assumption followed for several centuries.  Almost every corner of the Americas had been influenced by the inhabitants through agriculture and semi-domestication of species.

... Some things we do know are that the management practices were wide spread, they seemed to be sustainable, and seemed to be very successful at maintaining a large population in the Americas.



I think it is better to stop talking about "hunter gatherers", as the people were tending the land.
How can you even make arrows without pruning so that the wood grows fast and straight?
they just cultivate in a so different way that the Europeans did not see it.

And most of us still do not see it! Well, even the anthropologist have been confused about this too. The parks would not be that much off human activity if we were more conscious about the way to do it. (an offer of tending national parks would be a great permacultural project!!!)

People were moving, but not randomly, and not just for 'summer holidays', though the break and seeing again the summer or winter land surely was a great pleasure!

Tyler Ludens wrote:Indigenous peoples around here ate a varied diet but had a primary staple food which they harvested from the wild, the plant Sotol, which has an edible stem. To my knowledge none of the people here farmed, they were either hunter-gatherers (Apache) or raiders (Comanche).



Even if they did less (especially with the disturbance from the invaders), I am sure they knew where to go and harvest. Hunter-gatherers who hardly left a foot print behind them is a nice myth I believe...

Our idea to leave "wilderness" off human hand completely is just coming from the romantic XIXth century!
This started when people fed up of the city could rest in the countryside, and one extreme created the other one...
 
Xisca Nicolas
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I could have read all before telling the same stuff up there!
Really, the post were more and more interesting!

Matt Ferrall wrote:It is now believed that virtually all peoples managed their landscapes. Beavers and deer do it. Why would humans be not bright enough to encourage what they liked and discouraged what they didn't.
The roving/non managing hunter gatherer is somewhat a figment of our imaginations(IMO).
The idea that agriculture is a natural progression from `hunter gather`is another myth.



Yes, I think the word "Hunter-gatherers" just propagated the idea of opportunist people hoping to find what they need on their way!

Abe Connally wrote:We may not see this as agriculture, but it was a conscious attempt to increase the food supply around them.  It was extremely successful.  It was very similar to permaculture and the food forest models.

The ultimate point of all of this is that there was not a wilderness in which the natives were living.  The natives were creating the environment around them, and the so called "wilderness" that the Europeans found was actually a well managed ecosystem.



Abe Connally wrote:They had a HUGE effect on their landscapes, from creating the forests of the Eastern US, to literally creating the composition of the majority of the Amazon forests.

The Americas as a whole were maintained landscapes, not wilderness.  We, as permaculturists, can learn a lot about managing these same ecosystems from people who did so for millennium.



Learn, and re-find what is lost... Thanks for this clear insight of the topic Abe.


Matt Ferrall wrote:A couple of good books about west coast horticultural tribes are "Keeping it Living" by Nancy Turner and "Tending the Wild" by Cat Anderson. ... what I would call Native American permaculture.



Well, I am not native to the place where I live, but I know it better than the place where I was born, I hope to serve my piece of land the best I can. I want to do it with heart but also with knowledge. When the knowledge is not great, this is also a myth to pretend to rely only on the heart!
 
pollinator
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:At the risk of opening a big can of worms, doesn't it seem like strict vegetarianism throughout the world is always based on philosophical or religious reasons?  Barring that, I would imagine that people pretty much ate whatever came to hand unless they had some taboo against it.

Kathleen



Yes you are correct.

I visited a few tribes in the Amazon forest; they eat mostly plants, manihoc flour, roots, fruits, nuts, saps, insects, fish... whatever they could grab, but there was a general lack of large (mammals) animals
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:At the risk of opening a big can of worms, doesn't it seem like strict vegetarianism throughout the world is always based on philosophical or religious reasons?  Barring that, I would imagine that people pretty much ate whatever came to hand unless they had some taboo against it.



Agree with confirmation by Paulo, and would add something:

1) Not only vegetarism but other diets are based on religion. You can tell people not to do something (like eating sugar) for health reasons, and they would not do it. Tell people not to eat pork or sacred cows for religious reason, and they will do it. And by the way, there are some health reasons for not eating pork, and I avoid it!

2) About taboo: this is a Polynesian word. A taboo there, was not permanent as we are used to about taboos! The medicine men/priests decided a certain fish was "taboo" when they saw there was less of them. And when the fish had been given a sufficient rest, the taboo was over.

So, religious reasons had been a help to make respect some useful rules that would not be followed otherwise.
This is a great way to accept and follow some human necessities in the mental/emotional functioning we have!
 
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