Conference Panels

INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT [IUAES Commission on Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development]

Co-convenor: Viatcheslav Rudnev (contact person), Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
E-mail: roudnev@mail.ru
Co-convenor: Dorothy Billings, Anthropology, Wichita State University
E-mail: dorothy.billings@wichita.edu

The tendency toward unification, predominating in the modern world, has an important meaning on the global level. Everyone can see the effects on culture in general and on views of relationships in the nature-society system. This tendency coexists with the process of radical transformations in this system and increasing risks in ecological systems, life-support activity and health protection that have stimulated interest in investigation into sustainability with special attention to the unique value of cultural diversity.

Agenda 21, adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992), focused on the necessity for new solutions for the problems of the relationships between nature and society, and pointed to interdisciplinary research as a positive way to search for solutions to new problems, citing as a goal a balance of nature, society and humans. Pre-industrial society was oriented to different goals and experiences in using nature and solving problems of life-support activity under a regime of sparing nature. Research has indicated that folk knowledge and folk technology can, in a number of instances (e.g., farming methods), actually assist in solving high-level problems caused by the human impact on the environment and, as a result, offer possibilities for a sounder and, at the same time, more effective basis for long-term sustainable production at the local level. Anthropologists have often considered the value of pre-industrial nature-society systems as an interesting data base (especially regarding folk/Indigenous experience in life-support activities and using nature) for re-thinking and re-interpreting modern society's mode of life.

In this session we would like to discuss different aspects of traditional heritage and focus attention on analysis of folk wisdom in the light of discourses on sustainability. We hope to discuss the role of traditional cultures (cultures of Indigenous peoples/ folk cultures) in sustainability. Questions about the role of traditional culture in modern post-industrial society's life are highly significant theoretically, especially, in the context of theories about the participation of Indigenous people in development. We hope to involve specialists having experience in researching Indigenous/folk culture, problems of ecology, health protection and law in discussing these issues and to introduce clarity into the problem of the role (and value) of Indigenous knowledge in the globalising world.

  • SESSION 1     Room: G.28 SOC SCI     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 11.00-12.30     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Art as Identity, Commodity, Sustainable Development, Survival
      • Dorothy Billings, Wichita State University
    • Paper 2: Natural and artificial systems of life-support of the man
      • Boris Markov, St. Petersburg State University
    • Paper 3: Folk Heritage in Nature Using and Problems of Sustainability
      • Viatcheslav Rudnev, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • SESSION 2     Room: G.28 SOC SCI     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 13.30-15.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Indigenous knowledge and Scientific Forestry for Sustainable Development: an Indian Perspective
      • Hemant K. Gupta, Forest Survey of India
    • Paper 2: Turning Indigenous People into Subjects: Baladong Nyungars and Sustainable Development in the Avon Valley, Western Australia.
      • Virginie Bernard, EHESS
    • Paper 3: Traditionalism and neo-traditionalism in a Globalizing World: New phenomena in the life of a modern Siberian city
      • Elena Fursova, Russian Academy of Sciences
    • Paper 4: Islamic Compliant Financial Practices and the Globalization of Financial Institutions: What the West Can Learn From the Islamic Prohibition Against Gharar
      • Susan Hascall, Duquesne University
  • SESSION 3     Room: G.28 SOC SCI     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 15.30-17.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: State Law and the Protection of Indigenous Peoples and Cultures
      • James S. Phillips, Wichita Indochinese Center
    • Paper 2: Mordvinian ethnic traditions of justice in the modern times
      • Yulia Sushkova, Mordovian State University
    • Paper 3: Traditional beliefs, Buddhism, and Christianity in modern life of Buriats.
      • Alexey A. Nikishenkov, Moscow State University
    • Paper 4: Molocans in Russia and Abroad
      • Elena Mokshina, Mordovian State University
  • SESSION 4     Room: G.28 SOC SCI     Thurs 7/7/2011     Time: 11.00-12.30     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge of Health Care Practices: An Anthropological Observation
      • Somenath Bhattacharjee, Assam University & Bhattacharjee, Raka, North Bengal University
    • Paper 2: Using of a licorice by American Indian Healers.
      • Zhanna Pataky, Wichita Indo-Chinese Center
    • Paper 3: The Role of Ethnic Medicine in the Life Support System of Migrants from Trans Caucasian area in the Republic of Mordovia
      • Liudmila Nikonova, Research Institute of the Humanities by the Government of the Republic of Mordovia
    • Paper 4: Indigenous Knowledge of Natural Resources for Sustainable Livelihoods in Garhwal Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India
      • Bhagwati Uniyal, NAVDANYA
  • SESSION 5     Room: G.28 SOC SCI     Thurs 7/7/2011     Time: 13.30-15.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge and Environmental Sustainability: An Anthropological Observation
      • Raka Roy Bhattacharjee, North Bengal University & Somenath Bhattacharjee, Assam University
    • Paper 2: Migrants from CIS (formerly the USSR countries) in Russia and the problem of Sustainability.
      • Marina Martynova, Russian Academy of Sciences
    • Paper 3: Bread in the Life Support System of Migrants from Transcaucasia in the Republic of Mordovia
      • Anna Shevtsova, Moscow Institute of Open Education
    • Paper 4: The cause of inadequate human perception of environmental danger
      • Eduard Girusov, Russian Academy of State service
  • SESSION 6     Room: G.28 SOC SCI     Thurs 7/7/2011     Time: 15.30-17.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Scientific and Pre-Scientific Knowledge: The New Forms of Synthesis in the Context of Knowledge -Society Concept
      • Valeria Vasilkova, St-Petersburg State University
    • Paper 2: Sustainable development, Local Knowledge and Conflict Resolution in Rural Communities of Bangladesh
      • Alam Mahbub, Independent University Bangladesh
    • Paper 3: Tindering: folk craft, folk art and hungaricum
      • Gyozo Zsigmond, University of Bucharest
    • Paper 4: Participation of Tribes in Agricultural Development Programme
      • Emmanuel P.K. Das and Topno Martin, Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Science
  • SESSION 7     Room: G.28 SOC SCI     Fri 8/7/2011     Time: 11.00-12.30     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development of the Peng Parja of Orissa, India
      • Behera Deepak Kumar, Sambalpur University
    • Paper 2: The input of Vladimir Mainov in Ethnologic-Anthropological and Legal Research of the Mordvins
      • Nikolai Mokshin, Mordovian State University

SESSION 1

Chair: Viatcheslav Rudnev

Paper 1: Art as Identity, Commodity, Sustainable Development, Survival

Dorothy Billings, Wichita State University

Anthropologists who study the arts of indigenous peoples or First Nations around the world have generally focused on the art objects or performances themselves, and have followed the most sacred of traditional strictures: holistic analysis of any aspect of a culture within the whole cultural context to see how it is made and used and what it means. As with many aspects of culture in more recent decades, students have looked at fluctuating identities as problematic within the context of colonization, decolonization, recolonization, neocolonization and independence within a globalizing context. One of the concepts that has become increasingly popular is Acommodification: some students have seen indigenous arts become separated from their contexts as they have been sold to tourists, museums, or even to other local peoples. As art has cut lose from its culture, students and buyers have become concerned about whether or not the commodification of art has destroyed its Aauthenticity(at) and begun to rend apart whole cultures. In this paper I look at specific examples of changing uses of the arts in the Pacific and elsewhere to try to see what has happened to the cultures and how the local people feel and think about it.

Paper 2: Natural and artificial systems of life-support of the man

Boris Markov, St. Petersburg State University

Hunters - nomads have already rendered serious harm to a nature. Since Mankind sat on ground, it began to live in an environment of dumps. Still there is a difference between traditional and modern hunters, following behind furs and rare animals; between excrement of traditional settlements and smoke of megalopolises; between hand-to-hand fights and gas attacks. It is, however, possible to draw an impressive picture of destruction of natural environment already at an early stage of the history of mankind as well as in the present period, which opened as an apocalyptical stage of human civilization. Is that included in the structure that is referred to as life-support? Actually man can not live in natural conditions. Long since he built something like a hothouse, in which he lived in artificial climatic conditions and ate not crude, but prepared food. Sharp changes in weather or the emissions of substances harmful to breathing, force man to develop various devices for clearing water and air, for maintenance of a climate, and for preservation of physical forms etc. In this connection research concerning experiences of the creation of artificial systems of life-support is urgent. It is necessary to search for the solution of this problem on ways of synthesis of traditional ecology and modern technologies of clearing of an environment. Wherein developed human essences having healthy physical and spiritual qualities.

Paper 3: Folk Heritage in Nature Using and Problems of Sustainability

Viatcheslav Rudnev, Russian Academy of Sciences

Cultural diversity is one of the brightest phenomenon in mankind’s culture. Understanding of the source and causes of this phenomenon and its value have great meaning for sciences researching humanity and nature. The tendency toward cultural unification and the global ecological problems of modern industrial society have stimulated a special interest in research concerning cultural diversity. Knowledge of folk/indigenous cultures, including facts about their original life-support activity and ways of using Nature are useful for solving problems of modern society. In the 20th century, industrial society has put enormous pressure on the environment that has resulted in economic prosperity but also in a range of ecological problems which threaten future generations. Agenda 21, adopted at the United National Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, focused attention on the urgent need for new solutions for problems arising from the relationship between nature and society. In this context, many folk technologies (known as “friendly” to nature) are interesting for modern society in guiding toward sustainability. In this paper I will pay attention to actual folk experience in using nature for solving modern problems of sustainability and to problems of the beginning of this heritage.

SESSION 2

Chair: Dorothy Billings

Paper 1: Indigenous knowledge and Scientific Forestry for Sustainable Development: an Indian Perspective

Hemant K. Gupta, Forest Survey of India

Forests in the mountain societies is a part of a cultural landscape linked to livelihood concerns for those living close to nature and natural resources, whilst for Forest Department it means management for timber extraction. In the present day context, where forest resources are rapidly being degraded, the issues involved are about sustainable forestry for economic benefits (timber and non -timber forest products - NTFPs) to the society, and conservation of biodiversity in the given landscape. Very often intangible elements have tangible implications at all scalar dimensions- species, ecosystem, and landscape levels. The emerging viewpoint is that socio-culturally valued species often are ecologically valuable keystone species, and community centered sacred groves and sacred landscapes which are held as commons also have implications for sustainable forest management. Traditional knowledge systems remain deeply influenced by religious-cultural customs and bear on the secular processes of decision- making, both at the personal and the community level. Development planning and administration must therefore take into account the belief systems and community created commons, traditional management systems and historically created community consciousness that remain powerful motivators for sustainable forest landscape management leading to sustainable development.

Paper 2: Turning Indigenous People into Subjects: Baladong Nyungars and Sustainable Development in the Avon Valley, Western Australia.

Virginie Bernard, EHESS

The Avon Valley in the Wheat belt, the main agricultural region of Western Australia, has been extensively cleared and farmed. The Aboriginal people who call this area home are the Balardong Nyungars. They have developed a deep spiritual understanding of their environment, which has been irreversibly disrupted by colonisation, along with their traditional way of life and beliefs. Nowadays, the environmental crisis comes as a new threat to the small body of knowledge they have managed to preserve. Yaraguia is a Balardong Nyungar family-based association that focuses on ‘healing the country and the people’. On its property in the Avon Valley, Yaraguia tries to revitalize Balardong Nyungar traditional knowledge and combine it with Western science and techniques to secure sustainable land management practices. Yaraguia’s aim is to also help Balardong Nyungars re-connect with their country and culture and improve their social and economic conditions. Including Balardong Nyungars in ecological conservation processes has the potential to secure an environmentally, economically as well as socially sustainable futurefor the Avon Valley. I argue that Indigenous people have to be considered as subjects, not objects, with a valuable set of expertise and understanding and that their traditional knowledge has to be integrated in a positive and productive mode of re-thinking modern society and sustainability.

Paper 3: Traditionalism and neo-traditionalism in a Globalizing World: New phenomena in the life of a modern Siberian city

Elena Fursova, Russian Academy of Sciences

Modern society recognizes the importance of tradition as a mechanism for producing the continuity of culture and history of an ethnic group. In this connection it is of special importance to acquire a modern neo-traditionalism, brought to life by the natural desire of people to maintain cultural identity. Today the reconstructions are performed by professional ethno- and folk -executives, private and other centers. In addition, at the beginning of the XXI century, an era of globalization and urbanization, a group of citizens, following «tradition» was formed. They are mindful that their grandfathers abandoned those traditions in a Soviet period. For these groups of young people religious expression is typical, and also the system of child-rearing, which involves them in the traditional game culture. In such a families is a trend to have many children, make vintage weddings, special attention is paid to an outlook, which is different from the modern style. These city dwellers never lived in the countryside, but truly believe in the identity of their way of life with the culture of Russian peasants of the 19th century. The source for the restoration of tradition in these communities and families is a specific scientific and popular literature, membership in ethnic and cultural centers, and information from the old generation. To study a phenomena of traditionalism and neo-traditionalism is especially important now when the world realizes that there can’t be a «universal recipe» for modernization, and violent measures can lead only to a conflict with the harmonious development of society, deprived of the autonomy of choice.

Paper 4: Islamic Compliant Financial Practices and the Globalization of Financial Institutions: What the West Can Learn From the Islamic Prohibition Against Gharar

Susan Hascall, Duquesne University

The global financial crisis of 2008 affected every economy in the world and has caused and continues to cause hardship for ordinary working people. The reasons given by expert economists for this meltdown vary widely; some blame the regulators, some blame the investment banks, some blame the ratings agencies. All of these actors deserve some of the blame, but the issue is more fundamental than the failures in the current system. The true reason for the meltdown goes much deeper, and no amount of retooling the regulations or oversight will prevent the next “bubble. ”The question is not whether another crisis will occur, but when. The global financial system is built on fundamental capitalist concepts that have been guiding the world’s economy since the 19th Century and before. When economies were more separate and less complex, the capitalist ideals were more easily retained during economic crisis. Crises could be overcome without the wide-scale destruction of far flung economies. Socialism as the competing economic scheme was not successful in most instances as a viable alternative. But there is a third way. Islamic economic theory is beginning to take hold in many parts of the Muslim world, and has come to the West as an alternative system of banking and finance. Islamic economics are based on the Qur’an, which prohibits certain types of transactions: e.g. excessive risk-taking (gharar).This paper will examine the role of gharar in the economic crisis and argue that those in power should take into consideration the prohibition of investments that are so inherently risky that they threaten the entire economic system.

SESSION 3

Chair: Viatcheslav Rudnev

Paper 1: State Law and the Protection of Indigenous Peoples and Cultures

James S. Phillips, Wichita Indochinese Center

Probably the most direct or immediate way to enforce the legal rights of indigenous peoples is through application of state law by nation-state actors. However, the question arises as to whether state law is adequate, both substantively and procedurally, to ensure survival of indigenous peoples and cultures. Moreover, to what extent is international law likely to be incorporated by state judicial, legislative and executive branches of government to aid the indigenous community? Also to what extent can international tribunals intervene to guarantee enforcement of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights and customary international law which, arguably, is set forth in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous peoples adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007? I will examine these questions in assessing the currant legal status of indigenous peoples. Although the United Nations has declared this era (2005-2015) as the “Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples,” the struggle to preserve indigenous knowledge, cultural diversity, sustainable development and indigenous assets cannot be achieved in the absence of legal action given the power of multinational corporations and the global financial institutions.

Paper 2: Mordvinian ethnic traditions of justice in the modern times

Yulia Sushkova, Mordovian State University

In the modern times of the state and law development of Russian Federation, when the main source of law is written normative act, the functioning of customary law (moksh., erz. koi) is significantly limited. Nonetheless the research of current ethnic legal culture shows that customs in great part remain its actuality even nowadays as unique source of peoples’ wisdom: their comprehension of law and justice, in many cases, is not identical with the norms of the official law. In conditions of modern times traditional grounds of the peoples’ (ethnic) justice had overcome serious changes. They do not appear in pure form, as it took place in the recent past, but continue by its spirit to penetrate many ethnosocial relations; often fulfilling lacunas in the legal system or correcting legal omissions. In the context of the existing legal doctrine traditions are regarded at the same time as positive and negative display of legal pluralism; because, on one hand, they are presented in the form of moral addition to law, supporting and developing socially accepted and promoted values, but, on the other hand, they are a dangerous kind of negative unofficial (shadow) law, which contradicts the actual in certain state legal systems. Norms of customary law and nowadays continue to regulate social relations, evolving with the ethnos and obtaining new forms, adequate to the modern life, and quite often they are more effective than other legal sources.

Paper 3: Traditional beliefs, Buddhism, and Christianity in modern life of Buriats.

Alexey A. Nikishenkov, Moscow State University

There exists an old point of view, that the Buriats are divided in three religious groups: Orthodox Christians in Western Baikal region, Buddhists in Transbikalia, and shamanists mainly in Western Baikal region and partly in Transbaikalia. Today such classification cannot be regarded entirely as correct. Shamanism is the ancient system of beliefs and cult absolutely dominated among Buriats before the penetration of Buddhism and Christianity in their society. Nevertheless, after that penetration shamanism survived among all groups of Buriats. Christianization (convert to Christianity) of Buriats began in the end of 17thcentury. Christianization was formal, and in 1905, after the tzar’s manifesto on the freedom of the faith, there was the massive withdrawal of the christianised Buriats out of the Orthodox Church. Buddhism in Tibetan form (school gelugpa) began to penetrate to the territory of Buriats in 17 – 18 centuries from Mongolia. During so called “post soviet period” (since 1991), after 7 decades of atheistic repressions, the process of rehabilitation and revival of religion began. Among the Buriat intellectual and political elite and nowadays the majority of Buriat society reached the consensus – the spiritual background of the Buriats is the synthesis of Buddhism and shamanism. Now the Orthodox Buriats are almost absent – Christianity categorically denied pagan rituals, while Buddhism and shamanism formed an organic synthesis throughout centuries.

Paper 4: Molocans in Russia and Abroad

Elena Mokshina, Mordovian State University

The sect of molocans is one of the confessional group of the spiritual Christians, separated from doukhobors. It appeared in Russia at the end of the 18th century and was established by Semen Uklein from Tambov province, where originally most of the aborigines belonged to the Mordvinian ethnos. In one of the villages of that province he got acquainted with I. Pobirohin. However later on in five years they separated from each other. According to certain sources confessionim “Molocans” originated from the idea that representatives of this sect drink milk; other sources claim that their studies are “spiritual milk”; and third sources state that Molocans were sent by the czar government on the land by the river Molochnaya (Ukraine). Molocans do not accept icons, priests, cross, orthodox rituals and so on. Molocan communes elect heads of the communal gatherings – old men (startsi). Governmental and church authorities have been interested to isolate Molocans from other people and get them settled on the boards of the country. Lots of Molocans started to migrate to Tambovskaya, Saratovskaya, Penzenskaya, Voronezhskaya and other provinces of Russia to Caucus. During 1901-11 more than 3,500 thousands Molocans immigrated to the United States (California).

SESSION 4

Chairs: Dorothy Billings and Viatcheslav Rudnev

Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge of Health Care Practices: An Anthropological Observation

Somenath Bhattacharjee, Assam University & Bhattacharjee, Raka, North Bengal University

The existence of our life is very much related with the environment. The natural environment provides the resources to us for survival. It lies in the surroundings of forest, land, air, water and the substratum beneath the Earth’s surface and thus it is the habitation for us in complete sense. Our economic, social, political, religious entities are closely related with the natural resources. These issues are very much justified particularly in case of the tribal people and other indigenous communities in India. They are mainly dwelling in the hills, forest and isolated regions. Their daily livelihood is immensely related with nature, and the issues related with their food, nutrition and health care practices deserves special attention. These practices as well as the traditional knowledge related with it are keenly interrelated with the surrounding environmental resources. Every culture irrespective of its simplicity and complexity has its own beliefs and practices concerning health, disease and treatment. These practices are keenly interrelated with surrounding environment. Eastern and North- East Himalayan region has a rich ethnic and cultural diversity. On the other hand it is a rich zone of bio-diversity, particularly of medicinal plants. It is noteworthy to mention here that the concerned people have their own indigenous knowledge of health-disease and treatment, with the help of medicinal plant resources. The present study has been primarily focused on the importance of indigenous knowledge of health care practices among a few indigenous communities of the said region.

Paper 2: Using of a licorice by American Indian Healers.

Zhanna Pataky, Wichita Indo-Chinese Center

Cherokee medicine is taken as an example of an Indian medicine. Cherokee medicine is a way of life for the Cherokee, and for other American Indians. Others will come to better knowledge and understanding this way of life that shows respect for every living thing here on Mother Earth, how each has its own beauty and is a helper to us. American Indians lived a life of natural dependence in the forests, plains and costal regions, and existed festively for many generations. Depending on the area, the Indians used wild species as plant food and medicine. Berries of all kinds were eagerly gathered in the spring and eaten by everyone as a spring medicine, or as a general blood builder. Training as an Indian Healer began very early. Selection was from the family or from signs of devotion, wisdom and honesty. The Indian healer was an artist in the best tradition of Hippocrates’ principles. Licorice has a common name as sweet wood in the Indian culture. Essential details of the species’ features, habitat, natural range, uses, a way of preparation complete above mentioned herb. Thus, health of the modern person in many respects depends on quality and the quantity, acting with food, biologically active substances. Therefore their application is one of the major alternative methods of improvement of the person’s health and preventive maintenance of the most widespread diseases.

Paper 3: The Role of Ethnic Medicine in the Life Support System of Migrants from Trans Caucasian area in the Republic of Mordovia

Liudmila Nikonova, Research Institute of the Humanities by the Government of the Republic of Mordovia

Based on complex field ethnographic researches in Mordovia, Russian Federation (2004–2011) we have analyzed a daily practice of folk remedies used in families of immigrants from the Trans Caucasian region (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan). We think that ethnic medicine can play a role as an original ethnic marker, especially in situations where there are other cultural and ethnic environments. Everywhere in Mordovia Caucasian migrants use the traditional folk remedies accepted in the homeland.. The therapeutic effect of the majority of these remedies proves to be true modern medicine, though our informants often accept rational explanations of "advantage" with reservations: “it will help, if you will pray”, “it helps, because we and our grandfathers always were treated so”. Our informants think that the usual meal can be a medicine too. Here are some folk remedies: mint tea dissolved in water and honey, dog rose broth helps treat a headache, an anxiety, a fatigue, a raised arterial pressure (the Georgians, the Armenians, the Azerbaijanians). When you are cold, you need a grape vodka and raspberry tea (the Georgians), mulberry vodka (the Armenians), grinding by fat tail (the Azerbaijanians). Under the influence of the local population (the Mordvins, the Russians, The Tatars), a lot of migrants began to build the baths (banya) esteemed by the people of the Volga region as a means to help cure all illnesses, to prepare wood berries and medicinal grasses.

Paper4: Indigenous Knowledge of Natural Resources for Sustainable Livelihoods in Garhwal Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

Bhagwati Uniyal, NAVDANYA

The Garhwal region of Uttarakhand state is rich in indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants, natural resources and its cultural heritage. The state has been designated as herbal state and treasurer of variety of highly valued medicinal plants and natural resources. In Himalaya, more than 1700 species are known as medicinal plants. In regional scale, more species of medicinal plants have been reported from Uttarakhand than from any other Himalayan states of India. Studies have been conducted to document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants and natural resources in remote villages of Garhwal. The aim is to provide support to rural communities for the management of biodiversity and natural resources for long term livelihoods. Identification of natural resources was selected by initiating a series of group meetings with rural women of the area. Indigenous species of potential value have been identified for empowering the rural community. The outcome of the study shows that, women are keen to participate in this type of innovations, but lack of technology and training. They lack of exposure and need technical support for managing their natural resources. Major objectives of the study were to suggest recommendations based upon the present state of knowledge for establishment of long term sustainable development.

SESSION 5

Chairs: Dorothy Billings and Viatcheslav Rudnev

Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge and Environmental Sustainability: An Anthropological Observation

Raka Roy Bhattacharjee, North Bengal University & Bhattacharjee, Somenath, Assam University

In the multi-ethnicity of India the tribal population has their own identity and cultural heritage. Their modes of occupational pursuit and cultural norms, values, customs, practices are very much interrelated with their ecological habitat. The indigenous knowledge and folk culture of the tribal people reflects their close interactions with the environment. Nature plays here the keen role to create collective consciousness and unanimous celebration of folk cultural performances among the tribal societies. The Eastern and North Eastern Himalayan region is a rich zone of bio-diversity. A number of tribal communities and indigenous groups are dwelling here since time immemorial. They have distinctive culture of their own and it has a deep co-relation with surrounding environment. On the other hand, it denotes about the preservation and protection of natural resources which helps in the sustenance of their common minimum livelihood. This paper is an attempt to discuss the indigenous knowledge of the tribals and also the folk concepts regarding environmental sustainability among a few sub-Himalayan tribes of North Bengal and among the Karbis, a north-eastern Himalayan tribe of Karbi Anglong Assam, in India.

Paper 2: Migrants from CIS (formerly the USSR countries) in Russia and the problem of Sustainability.

Marina Martynova, Russian Academy of Sciences

I am going to speak about the Russian experience in the sphere of migrant’s adaptation and integration, particularly in the Moscow area. Over one million migrants arrive every year to the Moscow area. Most of them are coming from the former USSR countries (Uzbekistan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan). According to expert evaluation the non-Russian population exceeds ten percents in the capital’s ethnic picture nowadays. In my paper I examine the legislative regulation and Russian practices of the adaptation and integration of the people living in the foreign cultural environment including refuges, foster resettles, internal displaced persons and other categories of migrants. Growing multicultural environments turn the attention of the anthropologists towards questions like conflicts of the social and cultural integration of the migrant groups into host community, as well as to the negative and positive consequences of the strong immigration movement to the traditional life of the host society. Different migrants groups with different origin follow different strategies to become successfully integrated in the host society and have also different chances to reach their goals. This paper shows various approaches to the adaptation and teaching of migrants, to the preventive measures against possible conflicts, and to the organization of intercultural dialog among adults and children.

Paper 3: Bread in the Life Support System of Migrants from Transcaucasia in the Republic of Mordovia

Anna Shevtsova, Moscow Institute of Open Education

The multicultural and multinational Mordovia land became a native home for the thousands of immigrants from the Trans Caucasian region (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia). Traditional food, especially bread and home-made bakery can play a role of ethnic marker, especially in the environment of other cultural and ethnic groups. A batch of traditional grades of bread is a way to keep and represent their ethnic identity. For example, the Armenian food tradition includes many varieties of bread, but the most widespread variety, which is connected with many ritual and sacral connotation, is the flat and very thin “lavash” (unleavened wheat cake in diameter to 1 m!). “Lavash” plays an important role in the wedding ritual: it is a symbol of prosperity, riches and a life. This sort of bread is universal – you can use it not only as a meal but also as a plate or a wrapper for roasted meet, cheese and fresh greens. Ability to bake tasty bread is an obligatory skill of the woman. The complex of ideas, connected with traditional Caucasian bread and bakery, ovens, makes bread and baking rite in the Caucasian culture to act as a universal mediator between people and the world, a key medium of social ties in the rural milieu in the conditions of other cultural and ethnic environment.

Paper 4: The cause of inadequate human perception of environmental danger

Eduard Girusov, Russian Academy of State service

Environmental danger in its global application is vast and serious, though the attitude of most people to it is very careless and frequently even ironic. A number of reasons can explain that; we dwell only on the few most important ones. First of all, environmental risks, as a global phenomenon, present a new and unusual issue for people. It is, apparently, the first time when a threat to the existence of a mankind has occurred so rapidly and feasibly. Usually there is a fairly large time interval measured in decades between the disaster origin and its implementation. Such prolonged processes of ecological hazards create an illusion of a non-extreme threat. The second reason perhaps the most important one, lies in the enormous and radical transformation of society require, starting from the basics of production and consumption activities and finishing with altering the entire body of knowledge, educational work, and education including a reorientation of human philosophical foundations. A huge investment with no immediate profit is necessary for such work, but this is not what attracts businessmen who still determine the state policies at a large scale. Finally, the last reason is the state of knowledge about the biosphere, which, due to its structural complexity and heterogeneity, cannot be scientifically described even in terms of modern science that has been too differentiated so far. An intensive synthesis of sciences is necessary.

SESSION 6

Chairs: Viatcheslav Rudnev and Dorothy Billings

Paper 1: Scientific and Pre-Scientific Knowledge: The New Forms of Synthesis in the Context of Knowledge -Society Concept

Valeria Vasilkova, St-Petersburg State University

Scientism dominating the second half of XX century has seen the correlation between scientific and pre-scientific knowledge through the evolutionist perspective: only scientific knowledge conditions social and technical progress, while pre-scientific knowledge is inauthentic, inaccurate, unable to deliver innovations. However, at the beginning of XXI century, the knowledge-society concept, popularized by UNESCO, started to bring back to life pre-scientific knowledge. The latter is conceived as a way both to secure cultural variety and to enrich innovative potential for scientific knowledge to bring about social and economic development of humanity. Scientific and pre-scientific knowledge, while existing in different cognitive matrices, still enable various forms of hybrid knowledge necessary for contemporary society. These forms may emerge through: -Development of useful prescriptive knowledge, which includes technologies; creating a contemporary image of the world based on new cosmological concepts; forming a new identify by ‘assembling’ various cultural values and experiences; and generating virtual worlds in cyberspace

Paper 2: Sustainable development, Local Knowledge and Conflict Resolution in Rural Communities of Bangladesh

Alam Mahbub, Independent University Bangladesh

Conflict can arise surrounding issues of natural resource management within rural communities in Bangladesh. In addition to rivalry among factions, conflict emerges centering on issues of access to different resources. Although conflict is sometimes inevitable, local people hold certain knowledge that can help them resolve such conflicts at the community level. Development practitioners are currently developing various consensus-building models that relate to sustainable natural resource management in order to resolve community-level conflict. These efforts by outsiders are inadequate in many respects because they are based on limited insight into the culture and largely ignore local knowledge. The responses of the community to conflict resolution need to be taken into account by development practitioners if they are to achieve a clearer understanding of the issues involved in sustainable development. This paper focuses on the above issues according to the experiences of the community members of Charan Village from Bangladesh.

Paper 3: Tindering: folk craft, folk art and hungaricum

Gyozo Zsigmond, University of Bucharest

This paper tells us about the art and craft involved in the treatment of tinder (Fomesfomentarius) in Korond (Corund, Transylvania). Tinder is harmful to trees: cutting it helps to clean, to cure the forest, to help its health and to obtain different useful objects for the people. The trade of working with tinder was also known in other countries, being used mainly for making ships water-tight, lighting the fire or to stop bleeding. It is the merit of this village, Korond, to have made a popular trade from using the tinder. Every year a considerable amount of tinder products are sold, although it is harder and harder to get the material. Tinder ware now consists of the following: cap, hat, cloth (round and oval), bag, pincushions, mouse, picture, “mărţişor” (a kind of breast-plate), and brush-carrier. Among the customers there are a lot of foreigners. The ornamentation of tinder ware is simple, tasteful, traditional. Birch tinder was almost exclusively used to make “mărţişoare” ‘a kind of bauble’ given as a present (to girls and women by boys and men) on March 1st, the first day of the traditional agricultural year; as is the case, for example among Bulgarian and Romanian people. This craft, unique all over the world, practiced in Korond, has made, in its turn, a great contribution to the support of Romanian and Hungarian customs and traditions.

Paper 4: Participation of Tribes in Agricultural Development Programme

Emmanuel P.K. Das and Martin Topno Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Science

The tribals constitute a major portion of Indian rural population. They are the original inhabitants of this country. India has the largest concentration of tribal population any where in the world except perhaps, in Africa. The Jharkhand state of India has a total of thirty scheduled tribes and all of them have been enumerated in 2001 census, among which Ho, Santhat, Oraon and Munda are prominent. The tribal populations of the state differ widely among themselves in the level of socio – economic development. The number of people living by hunting and food gathering is very small and only a few tribal communities still devote themselves to shifting cultivation. The rest of the tribals who form 95.0 percent of the tribal population are settled agriculturists in plough cultivation in villages. About 93.0 percent of tribal population resides in villages and are subsistence cultivators. The four major tribes i.e. Ho, Oraon, Munda and Santhal, of the region are comparatively advanced, and are settled agriculturist. The present study was conducted in the west Singhbhum district of Jharkhand state with specific objectives: To study the socio- economic profile of tribes involved agriculture; to determine knowledge and attitude of tribal farmer towards selected development programmes in the area.

SESSION 7

Chairs: Dorothy Billings and Viatcheslav Rudnev

Paper 1: Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development of the Peng Parja of Orissa, India

Behera Deepak Kumar, Sambalpur University

There are numerous tribal communities living in isolated pockets far from the hustle and bustle of the modern urban conglomerates in India. The interaction of tribals with nature rests on a balance carefully struck between utilization and revitalization of nature’s bounty, and they have devised cultural mechanisms which regulate their interaction with nature. Many development projects, designed without taking the interest of the indigenous tribal population into account, are not sustainable. The present paper deals with the impact of a mega-dam project on the indigenous knowledge of the Pengs, a tribal community of Orissa. Their traditional adaptation is shifting cultivation, which demands pooling of work at the time of clearing and burning the forest. Conversely, during the three lean months of the year there is a need to redistribute the results of the dispersed productive activities that are possible (fishing, gathering of forest products) in order to ensure survival for all. This production cycle was regulated by the ritual year, which helped to ensure that resources were not used prematurely and were thus maximally distributed The impact of the dam has been to destroy or separate common territory, making co-operation difficult, as also to separate kin groups from each other, disturbing patterns of marriage and co-operation among kin.

Paper 2: The input of Vladimir Mainov in Ethnologic-Anthropological and Legal Research of the Mordvins

Nikolai Mokshin, Mordovian State University

In 1877, the year scientific secretary of the Section of ethnography (Imperator Russian Geographic Society) Vladimir Nikolaevich Mainov suggested sending a special expedition to research physical anthropology, religious-mythological views and legal practice of the Mordvinian ethnos. The ethnographic section approved the project and asked Mainov to organize it. That year scientists visited Mordvinian villages in six provinces of the European part of the Russian Empire. (As a result of the expeditions three monographs were written: one concerned physical anthropology, the second legal anthropology, and third the mythology of the Mordvins. The most significant research completed by Mainovtill nowadays remains “Remarks on the Legal Practice of the Mordvins” (1885), in which the author for the first time on the monograph level studied norms of customary law, family traditions, property and land relations, and customs of ethnojustice. It was the first experience, and quite successful, in producing a systematic description of the traditional legal practice of the Mordvins in its diversity. Actualization of traditional law after legal reforms of the 1860s in Russia led to serious research not only in theory, but also in a methodology in collecting concrete empirical materials in this field.

Discussion