Exploring Indigenous Landscape Classification across Different Dimensions: A Case Study from the Bolivian Amazon
Decisions on landscape management are often dictated by government officials based on their own understandings of how landscape should be used and managed, but rarely considering local peoples' understandings of the landscape they inhabit. We use data collected through free listings, field transects and interviews to describe how an Amazonian group of hunter-horticulturalists, the Tsimane', classify and perceive the importance of different elements of the landscape across the ecological, socioeconomic, and spiritual dimensions. The Tsimane' recognise nine folk ecotopes (i.e. culturally recognised landscape units) and use a variety of criteria (including geomorphological features and landscape uses) to differentiate ecotopes from one another. The Tsimane' rank different folk ecotopes in accordance with their perceived ecological, socioeconomic, and spiritual importance. Understanding how local people perceive their landscape contributes towards a landscape management planning paradigm that acknowledges the continuing contributions to management of landscape by its inhabitants, as well as their cultural and land use rights.
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Volume (Year): 40 (2015)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
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