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Indigeneity and the Sacred: Indigenous Revival and the Conservation of Sacred Natural Sites in the Americas

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Volume 22

Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

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Indigeneity and the Sacred

Indigenous Revival and the Conservation of Sacred Natural Sites in the Americas

Edited by Fausto Sarmiento and Sarah Hitchner

278 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-396-5 $149.00/£110.00 Hb Published (June 2017)

ISBN  978-1-78920-495-7 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (June 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78533-397-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The effect of the whole [volume] is to emphasize the importance of saving sites locally sacred to Indigenous or majority peoples, and to take full account of how they are regarded and how they must be reverently and civilly managed to keep from offending…Highly recommended.” • Choice

“This volume has multidisciplinary implications, and includes geographers, cultural anthropologists, and archaeologists, as well as the leader of an indigenous group as authors. This book will be an excellent complement to other existing texts in the field of ecological anthropology.” • William Balée, Tulane University


This book presents current research in the political ecology of indigenous revival and its role in nature conservation in critical areas in the Americas. An important contribution to evolving studies on conservation of sacred natural sites (SNS), the book elucidates the complexity of development scenarios within cultural landscapes related to the appropriation of religion, environmental change in indigenous territories, and new conservation management approaches. Indigeneity and the Sacred explores how these struggles for land, rights, and political power are embedded within physical landscapes, and how indigenous identity is reconstituted as globalizing forces simultaneously threaten and promote the notion of indigeneity.

Fausto Sarmiento, is a Professor of Geography and Director of the Neotropical Montology Collaboratory at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, U.S.A., where as a mountain geographer and expert on Andean ethnoecology, he develops transdisciplinary approaches to critical biogeography and political ecology to achieve sustainable biocultural heritage conservation.

Sarah Hitchner is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Center for Integrative Conservation Research and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, U.S.A. She is a cultural anthropologist specializing in sacred sites and cultural landscapes of Southeast Asia.

Subject: Environmental Studies (General) Development Studies Anthropology (General) Heritage Studies
Area: North America Latin America and the Caribbean


List of Figures, Tables, and Boxes

Prologue: Whose Sacred Sites? Indigenous Political Use of Sacred Sites, Mythology, and Religion
Randall Borman


Fausto Sarmiento and Sarah Hitchner

Chapter 1. Sacred Natural Sites in a Conservation Management and Policy Perspective
Bas Verschuuren, Robert Wild, and Gerard Verschoor

Chapter 2. Structural Changes in Latin American Spirituality: An Essay on the Geography of Religions
Axel Borsdorf


Introduction to Part II: Framing Sacred Sites in Indigenous Mindscapes
Fausto Sarmiento and Sarah Hitchner

Chapter 3. El Buen Vivir and “The Good Life”: A South-North Binary Perspective on the Indigenous, the Sacred, and their Conservation
Esmeralda Guevara and Larry M. Frolich

Chapter 4. Sacred Mountains: Sources of Indigenous Revival and Sustenance
Edwin Bernbaum

Chapter 5. Frozen Mummies and the Archaeology of High Mountains in the Construction of Andean Identity
Constanza Ceruti

Chapter 6. Changing Images and Dimensions of Andean Indigenous Identities in Space and Time
Christoph Stadel

Chapter 7. National Park Service Approaches to Connecting Indigenous Cultural and Spiritual Values to Protected Places
David E. Ruppert and Charles W. Smythe


Introduction to Part III: Case Studies
Fausto Sarmiento and Sarah Hitchner

Chapter 8. Collaborative Archaeology as a Tool for Preserving Sacred Sites in the Cherokee Heartland
Benjamin A. Steere

Chapter 9. Biocultural Sacred Sites in Mexico
Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz and Geraldine Patrick Encina

Chapter 10. New Dimensions in the Territorial Conservation Management in Ecuador: A Brief Political View of Sacred Sites in Ecuador
Xavier Viteri O.

Chapter 11. Traditional Ethnobotanical Knowledge and Sustainable Development in the Peruvian Amazon
Fernando Roca Alcazar


Sarah Hitchner, Fausto Sarmiento, and John Schelhas


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