A look at some of the work being undertaken across the globe by researchers and indigenous people with an interest in birds, people, cultures and the land and environments that they share - from the 13th International Society of Ethnobiology Congress at Montpelier, France in May 2012.
I was half way though my last beer when two young buskers set up in front of the cafe, he with a squeezebox and all of the brass, class and front of a seasoned performer, his younger sister hesitant and less assured. They rattled off a few tunes for the passing parade and received a few donations. As I finished my beer and wandered over to drop a Euro in their paper cup an old man stopped by and told them: "Vous êtes de vrais artistes ..."
Rue Cremieux is lovely in the pre-dawn, and not too bad later in the day when two old men strolled along the pave playing along on their trumpets ... looking for well-earned tips for their Saturday tipple.
One night King Solomon invited all the birds to sing to his noble guests. All came except the hoopoe. Angry, the king ordered a search, and when the hoopoe was found and rebuked, the bird explained that he was not guilty of disrespect. On the contrary, for the last three months he had hardly tasted any food or water, flying all over the world to discover if any place existed which was not yet subject to Solomon. Finally he found the land of Sheba, ruled by a beautiful and wise woman called Queen Balkys, where they have not heard the name of Solomon.
Further to my previous post here on the 33rd Society of Ethnobiology meeting at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island, the following week I traveled up to the small resort town of Tofino for the 12th International Congress of Ethnobiology conducted by the International Society of Ethnobiology. There I joined with my colleague from Nature Kenya, Fleur Ng'weno, to co-chair a larger symposium on Ethnoornithology than I had presented the week before in Victoria, BC.
The population of this beautiful mid-sized forest-dweller, Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco fischeri) is of near to threatened status and is found in coastal and riverine forest and woodlands in Kenya, north-eastern Tanzania and southern Somalia along the east African coast.
The conference theme, "The Meeting Place" is well represented by the Grouse and the other Atla'gimma spirits who gather in the ceremonial "bighouse" to share in the song of sacred interactions that keep the forest ecosystem alive. Just as each Atla'gimma character has their own dance, every ethnobiologist has their own discipline and interests. But, the synergisms of shared knowledge, like the magic of each Atla'gimma spirit dancing to the same music, is far more powerful than the sum of the parts.
Here are just a few pix from the northern part of my trip though the USA and Canada over the past few weeks. I’m in Mississippi right now and will post some more pix from my trip down the Mississippi River over the next few days.
In recent years Ethnoornithology has emerged as a valuable sub-discipline of ethnobiological research, partly for its potential to be able to make a valuable contribution to bird conservation and also as a means of empowering people of all cultures preserve, re-examine and discover the connections between individuals, groups and cultures and the birds that people hunt, venerate and cherish.
New Orleans 4 years ago - there was no water purification equipment on site, no chemical toilets, no antibiotics and no anti-diarrheals stored for a crisis. There were no designated medical staff at work in the evacuation center.