I gave up attending conferences without presenting at them a long time ago and this year I'm giving two presentations tomorrow in a session dedicated to ethnoornithology and titled "Birds in historical, cultural & archaeological context" where we will "examine birds and human culture in a variety of contexts, including birds, humans and fire, birds and archaeology and what happens when birds, birders and sacred and ancient grounds meet."
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.