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A Decade of Cultural Survival Quarterly

With this issues, Cultural Survival Quarterly begins its tenth year. And in 1992, Cultural Survival, Inc, will be twenty. Over these time spans, the magazine and the organization have come into their own, making this a fit time to reflect on where we have come and where we are going. For a decade, CSQ has been Cultural Survival's face to the world Quarterly have changed US, British, French,…

The Source of Our Cures: A new pharmaceutical company wants to provide reciprocal benefits and recognize the value of indigenous

The Source of Our Cures: A new pharmaceutical company wants to provide. reciprocal benefits and recognize the value of indigenous knowledge FOR 500 YEARS, SINCE THE People of South America encountered Europeans on their soil, the global pharmacopoeia has been enriched by a number of important plant-derived medicines discovered and utilized by indigenous people. The skeletal muscle relaxant d-…

The Fabric of Life: Repatriating the sacred Coroma textiles

IN FEBRUARY 1988 PIO CRUZ AND Cristina Bubba, representatives of the Aymara community of Coroma, Bolivia, arrived in San Francisco. Their presence symbolized one step in process that their community had initiated to locate and ultimately return sacred textiles that had been "removed" (i.e., stolen) from their community beginning in the late 1970s. This community's determination to regain its…

The Antiquities of Nepal: It is time to start listening to communities whose possessions have become objects of international co

The Antiquities of Nepal: It is time to start listening to communities. whose possessions have become objects of international consumption It is not seemly nor of good report That thieves at home must hang, but he that puts Into his overgorged and bloated purse The wealth of Indian nations, escapes. TO CONSIDER THE ETHICS OF collecting cultural property is to consider what is good and bad or…

Singing Other Peoples' Songs: Indigenous songs are often considered "public domain" -yet a mainstream musician can turn them int

Singing Other Peoples' Songs: Indigenous songs are often considered. "public domain"-yet a mainstream musician can turn them into "individual property" WHEN MY WIFE, JUDY, AND I were doing field research among the Suy Indians in Mato Grosso, Brazil, we all sang together a lot. Between 1970 and 1982 the Suy learned many of our songs - just as they had learned the songs of more than 10 "foreign"…

Power and Patronage in the Philippines: Environmental and cultural survival in Palawan Province

Power and Patronage in the Philippines: Environmental and cultural. survival in Palawan Province IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT Organizations concerned with the environment, conservation, and human rights are converging on a common strategy to protect both natural resources and cultural groups in tropical forest ecosystems. The strategy involves obtaining legal rights for ethnic groups to the land and…

Oasis of Hope: Sahrawi refugee camps in Western Sahara bear the fruits of self-sufficiency amid a harsh environment

Oasis of Hope: Sahrawi refugee camps in Western Sahara bear the fruits of. self-sufficiency amid a harsh environment THE SAHRAWIS OF WESTERN Sahara are an indigenous African people hardly known in the West. There have been no televised-music concerts nor front-page news stories on their plight. Yet this desert nation has persevered. The Sahrawis' country, the former Spanish Sahara, lies across…

No Hunting! Biodiversity, indigenous rights, and scientific poaching

IN A RECENT ARTICLE, THE Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes denounced the US invasion of Panama as the Bush Administration's declaration of its intent to hunt whomever, whatever, and wherever it likes in Latin America. Fuentes warned, "If we do not post `No Hunting' signs, our lands will be poached on. We must set up our signs quickly and be prepared to enforce them with prudence and a firm will."…

Massacre in Santiago Atitlan: A turning point in the Maya struggle?

Massacre in Santiago Atitlán: A turning point in the Maya struggle? ON 2 DECEMBER 1990, THE Guatemalan Army opened automatic weapons fire on an unarmed crowd of between 2,000 and 4,000 Tzutujil Mayas from the town of Santiago Atitl n in highland Guatemala, about 100 miles west of the capital. Fourteen people, ranging in age from 10 to 53, were killed; another 21 were wounded. Two weeks later, as…

Local Politics, Global Politics

Nineteen ninety-two promises to be a turning point in national and international politics. Here in the United States, a presidential campaign will take a place at a time when revolutionary changes are sweeping the international community. The quality of life for working and middle class citizens is in rapid decline. US foreign and domestic policies face unprecedented challenges in addressing…

Liberia's Seeds of Knowledge

IN THE AFTERMATH OF CIVIL WAR, Liberia's urban and rural peoples alike face a daunting burden of national reconstruction: restarting self-sufficient rural agriculture, providing health care for the war's victims, and restoring the national economy, to name a few (Thomasson 1990). Indigenous knowledge systems can contribute to recovery and maintain and enhance the lives of Liberia's nonurban…

INTRODUCTION: The Politics of Ownership

In our consumer-happy Western society, physical property - as well as intellectual property - are commodities to buy, sell, and own. Western law allows us to patent and copyright the products of our thoughts, and we are outraged when the fruits of our mental labor are stolen by others. Yet when such labor is the result of hundreds of years' worth of research and experimentation by a tribal…

Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity: Global commons or regional heritage?

THE DEVELOPING WORLD IS home to the bulk of the world's genetic diversity and customary knowledge of plant uses. The developed world, with its growing sophistication in biochemistry, genetic engineering, and biotechnology, holds the means to develop such resources. With cultural and environmental change, however, both biodiversity and customary knowledge are being lost at an increasingly rapid…

Folklore, Tradition, or Know-How? The ethnopharmacological approach to drug discovery depends on our ability to value non-Wester

Folklore, Tradition, or Know-How? The ethnopharmacological approach to. drug discovery depends on our ability to value non-Western knowledge of medicinal plants MEDICINAL PLANT RESEARCH has been and continues to be considered a fruitful approach in the search for new drugs (Svendsen and Scheffer 1982; Samuelson 1989). The scientific basis that accounts for the presence of medically useful…

Effecting International Change

CURRENTLY, NO INTERNATIONAL convention is discussing the question of intellectual property rights (IPR) for indigenous people. Some progress is being made toward that goal, however. Many UN agencies and governmental and nongovernmental organizations realize the significance of indigenous knowledge and IPR in science, agriculture, and drug development. INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION The United…

Cultural Survival Canada - 15.3

Algonquin of Barriere Lake It is with great relief that we can inform readers that the tense situation at Barriere Lake, Quebec, has been resolved through negotiation. At the time of our last update, further confrontation at the logging road appeared virtually inevitable. But thanks to last-minute mediation, the Quebec government returned to the bargaining table. As a result, an agreement has…

"I Fight Because I Am Alive": An interview with Davi Kopenawa Yanomami

ALARMED BY REPORTS OF THE desperate situation of the Yanomami of Brazil, the American Anthropological Association resolved to take the unprecedented step of appointing a special commission to investigate matters and recommend actions in support of the Yanomami. Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, the chief spokesman and leader of the Brazilian Yanomami, served as a consultant to the commission; this…