Marking the Land

Marking the Land : Hunter-Gatherer Creation of Meaning in Their Environment

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Marking the Land investigates how hunter-gatherers use physical landscape markers and environmental management to impose meaning on the spaces they occupy. The land is full of meaning for hunter-gatherers. Much of that meaning is inherent in natural phenomena, but some of it comes from modifications to the landscape that hunter-gatherers themselves make. Such alterations may be intentional or unintentional, temporary or permanent, and they can carry multiple layers of meaning, ranging from practical signs that provide guidance and information through to less direct indications of identity or abstract, highly symbolic signs of sacred or ceremonial significance. This volume investigates the conditions which determine the investment of time and effort in physical landscape marking by hunter-gatherers, and the factors which determine the extent to which these modifications are symbolically charged. Considering hunter-gatherer groups of varying sociocultural complexity and scale, Marking the Land provides a systematic consideration of this neglected aspect of hunter-gatherer adaptation and the varied environments within which they more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 22.86mm | 566g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 black & white tables
  • 1138950998
  • 9781138950993

About William A. Lovis

William Lovis, Professor, Department of Anthropology and Curator of Anthropology, MSU Museum, Michigan State University Robert Whallon, Professor, Department of Anthropology and Curator of Mediterranean Prehistory, Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, University of Michiganshow more

Table of contents

1. Hunter-Gatherer Landscape Perception and Landscape "Marking": The Multidimensional Construction of Meaning William A. Lovis and Robert Whallon Section I: The Northern Latitudes 2. Initializing the Landscape: Chipewyan Construction of Meaning in a Recently Occupied Environment Robert Jarvenpa and Hetty Jo Brumbach 3. Places on the Blackfoot Homeland: Markers of Cosmology, Social Relationships and History Gerald A. Oetelaar 4. Markers in Space and Time: Reflections on the Nature of Place Names as Events in the Inuit Approach to the Territory Claudio Aporta 5. Inuksuk, Sled Shoe, Placename: Past Inuit Ethnogeographies Peter J. Whitridge 6. Network Maintenance in Big Rough Spaces with Few People: The Labrador Innu-Naskapi or Montagnais William A. Lovis Section II: The Southern Latitudes 7. Physical and Linguistic Marking of the Seri Landscape - Are They Connected? Carolyn K. O'Meara 8. Bonescapes: Engaging People and Land with Animal Bones among South American Tropical Foragers Gustavo G. Politis 9. Unfolding Cultural Meanings: Wayfinding Practices Among the San of the Central Kalahari Akira Takada 10. Continuity and Change in Warlpiri Practices of Marking the Landscape Petronella Vaarzon-Morel 11. Signaling Presence: How Batek and Penan Hunter-Gatherers in Malaysia Mark the Landscape Lye Tuck Po Section III: Synthesis 12. Marked Sacred Places of Hunter-Gatherer Bands Robert Whallon 13. Hunter-Gatherer Landscape Perception and Landscape "Marking": The Multidimensional Construction of Meaning Robert Whallon and William A. Lovisshow more

Review quote

'This indispensable theoretical and empirical companion to editors Brian Codding and Karen Kramer's Why Forage? (CH, Jan'17, 54-2326) focuses on understanding the multidimensional bases for hunter-gatherer perceptions and constructions of environmental value and meaning. Thirteen essays are appropriately divided among specialists in archaeology, ethnography/ethnology, ethnoarchaeology, and anthropological linguistics. They convincingly demonstrate that the creation, marking, and maintenance of sacred places help to "embed patterns of behavior and behavioral responses that articulate with environmental variability [both spatial and temporal] in an adaptive way." Excellent addition to the archaeological and ethnographic literature on hunting-gathering societies. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' - B. Tavakolian, Denison University, in CHOICEshow more