Knowledge Systems: Indigenous Knowledge of Trees and Forests

  • Klaus Seeland
  • Mihir K. Jena
Reference work entry

Trees and forests act as indicators of cultural phenomena when interpreted in the context of a society. Their socio‐cultural interpretation indicates specific social needs and cultural values, while stimulating culturally distinct economic and technological processes. Methodologically, it is difficult to understand what trees and forests mean in a particular culture, as they are descriptive terms, not analytic ones. They invoke aesthetic and religious perceptions, botanical and silvicultural classifications, and economic valuations. The indigenous perspective is always an amalgamation of these perceptions and valuations, which characterizes the development of the local culture (Harrison 1993; Bahuchet 1993) and even culture in general.

Forests represent a legacy and are a testimony to the evolution or migration of biological species, flora and fauna, in various societies. Forests, trees, and their products are managed by indigenous people, who are knowledgeable about local consumption,...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Seeland
  • Mihir K. Jena

There are no affiliations available