trees-knots

Trees, Knots, and Outriggers. Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring

Trees, Knots, and Outriggers. Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring
Frederick H. Damon
Berghahn Books, 2016

http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/DamonTrees

Trees, Knots and Outriggers (Kaynen Muyuw) is the culmination of twenty-five years of work by Frederick H. Damon and his attention to cultural adaptations to the environment in Melanesia. Damon details the intricacies of indigenous knowledge and practice in his sweeping synthesis of symbolic and structuralist anthropology with recent developments in historical ecology. This book is a long conversation between the author’s many Papua New Guinea informants, teachers and friends, and scientists in Australia, Europe and the United States, in which a spirit of adventure and discovery is palpable.

“A rare and formidable work. This is a wholly distinctive contribution to multi-species ethnography, of environments made as people tie living materials to one another. It is also a wholly original account of the research process: had Damon not recorded the patchiness of knowledge – locally, regionally — he would not have understood how people draw things together and keep them moving at the same time. String figures, he was told, untie the mind and keep it supple — so does this energizing book.” · Marilyn Strathern, University of Cambridge

“This is a hugely important book. It’s publication marks a milestone in anthropological theory – a must read in any course concerned with material culture, science and technology, and human ecology, and a treasure for those interested in maritime cultures.” · Susanne Kuechler, University College London

“This research is a bold undertaking in its intention and in its attention to detail… this book leaves no stone unturned, no leaf unexamined, no canoe fixture unquestioned.” · Shirley Campbell, Australian National University

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