By J. Donald Hughes
This paintings presents a concise background, from old to fashionable instances, of the interactions among human societies and the opposite varieties of lifestyles that inhabit our planet. It investigates the ways that environmental adjustments, frequently the results of human activities, have triggered historic has a tendency in human societies.
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Extra resources for An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life (Routledge Studies in Physical Geography and Environment)
The student of animal behavior, Francine Patterson, reported a conversation with a gorilla named Koko in which Koko indicated that she had a self-concept. ”22 Gorillas, in studies cited by Patterson, have been observed to communicate by signs of their own in the wild. In coming to understand the place of the human species in the history of Earth, it may be more instructive to examine resemblances to the rest of creation than differences. All things considered, we are more like than unlike other animals.
33 Each of these cultural attitudes helps to adapt humans to the environment and to keep them in balance with it. For example, hunters had an extraordinary reverence for the animals they hunted. The magnificent paintings on cliffs and overhangs in Australia display this feeling, and it is explicit in descriptions provided by primal hunters of the modern period when questioned by explorers and anthropologists. It may seem incredible to those who have never encountered it, because urban people tend to think that a hunter would regard his prey as an enemy, an inferior victim, or a prize of sport, as many “civilized” hunters do.
Members of the community must defend it against human enemies from outside. Individuals may go out into the world of nature, or into the world of dreams, to gain spiritual power, and this power is to be used for the benefit of the tribal group. Elders are respected and protected, since they embody the wisdom and memory of the community. 32 But Dreamtime is not only in the past; Aboriginal people maintain their identification with the land and other living things. As Big Bill Neidjie, elder of a Gagudju clan, put it, “That tree same as me.
An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life (Routledge Studies in Physical Geography and Environment) by J. Donald Hughes