Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

The Djenne Project, Mali: Jean Louis Bourgeois, Coordinator

The Djenné Project, Mali: Jean Louis Bourgeois, Coordinator The Djenné mosque -- the world's largest adobe structure -- and surrounding town rank with Tombouctou (Timbuktu) and the famous Dogon (Bandiagara) Escarpment as the most important of Mali's tourist attractions. The town now faces disaster as plans for an upstream dam progress.

The Asmara Declaration on African Languages and Literatures

We writers and scholars from all regions of Africa gathered in Asmara, Eritrea from January 11 to 17, 2000 at the conference titled Against All Odds: African Languages and Literatures into the 21st Century.

Shuar Visit Cultural Survival

Cultural Survival was fortunate to have three Shuar visitors in February from the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Recreating a Language: a socio-historical approach to the study of Shaba Swahili

Swahili is a Bantu language spoken in a wide area of Africa. In East Africa, it is spoken in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the southern part of Somalia; in central Africa, one hears it in Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), also known as the former Zaire; in Southern Africa, it is spoken in Zambia and Mozambique.

Plan A and Plan B Partnerships for Cultural Survival

"There are nine different words in Maya for the color blue in the comprehensive Porrua Spanish-Maya Dictionary but just three Spanish translations, leaving six butterflies that con be seen only by the Maya, proving beyond doubt that when a language dies, six butterflies disappear from the consciousness of the earth."

Orang Asli at Odds with the Nation-State

Orang Asli are the original people of West Malaysia. Under federal law, they have no ownership rights to their traditional lands, despite having lived in Malaysia centuries longer than other groups. When Malaysian officials or businessmen want Orang Asli land, they may bring in a bulldozer and flatten houses and gardens. Orang Asli, however, are most often dispossessed by legal maneuvers.

On the Brink: Griko; A Language of Resistance and Celebration

Italy, a land of distinctive culture, is also full of linguistic diversity. The language officially spoken today is a convention of the 19(th) century Accademia della Crusca, which emerged after the wars of unification (Risorgimento) (circa 1848-1861). At that time, the intent was to forge an Italian people by forcing them to speak one standard language.

Maintaining Lakota on the Cheyenne River Reservation

The Lakota language in South Dakota is currently facing a process of attrition similar to that of many native languages around the world. The older generation still consists of fluent first language speakers and commonly extends to 40- and 50-year-olds, while the younger generations can typically understand but no longer speak fluently.

Looking For The Two-Way Street: Indigenous Australians Battle To Keep Their Languages Strong

There were about 300 indigenous languages spoken in Australia before Europeans occupied the continent, with the number of speakers of each language varying between a hundred and a few thousand. As small language groups died out, others shifted to English, creole, or other indigenous languages. Speakers of traditional languages declined.

Land Use and Fung-shui: Negotiation in the New Territories, Hong Kong

With the intensive rural development and increasing values in property from the late 1970s in Hang Kong, land administration became a more complicated task. The Government increasingly needed more land for future development, both industrial and residential; but the government's claim to indigenously-held land was strongly rejected by the land's owners and dwellers.

Can Quechua Survive?

Quechua has been spoken in Perú since it became the unifying language of the Inca Empire 600 years ago. As the most widely spoken autochthonous language of Perú, it is considered to be an official language along with Spanish. Statistics vary, but the number of Quechua speakers in Perú is estimated at four and a half million, approximately 19 percent of the total population.

By Any Means Necessary? Tourism, Economics, and the Preservation of Language

Native American languages are disappearing. In Oklahoma last year, only 127 Pawnee (six percent) spoke their Native language; all were elderly. Out of a population of 2,500, there were only five fluent speakers of Osage in the Mississippi Valley; they, too, were aged. Only one person speaks Coos.

Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practice

Alexander M. Ervin Allyn and Bacon, Boston. 2000. ISBN 0-321-05690-6 (paperback) REVIEWED BY IAN S. McINTOSH

You are a Dead People

"You are a dead people." This is what I hear when someone calls my language dead. Just what is language? The answer to this question will vary wildly depending on whom you ask. For many of those who have written and spoken on this matter, the answer has been that a given language is the core of that culture, and that the culture cannot survive without its language.

The Last Survivors

How would it feel to be the last speaker of your language on earth? Most English speakers could scarcely imagine the possibility: Marie Smith, the last Eyak Indian of Cordova, Alaska, explained how she felt at being the only full-blooded Eyak and the only remaining speaker of her language: "I don't know why it's me, why I'm the one. I tell you, it hurts. It really hurts....

Justice Recognized - Justice Denied: The State of Aboriginal Treaty Rights in Canada

When Donald Marshall Jr. dipped his eel nets into a Nova Scotia river, he knew exactly what he was doing. The Mi'kmaq man harvested close to 500 pounds of eels, then sold his catch. Soon afterward, he was charged by federal fisheries officers with fishing out of season, fishing with illegal nets, and selling illegal fish. Marshall Jr. took the government to court.

Japan's Ainu seek help to preserve their native culture

With burning wood scenting the spring air, the elder chanted softly: God of trees, god of the earth, god of river, god of water, god of wind, god of clouds, god of the heavens, gods residing in the mountains of this area, god of seas, god of the bear: To all these gods, please descend on this land. Please make our wishes true.

Indigenous and Traditional Peoples of the World and Ecoregion Conservation

Gonzalo Oviedo & Luisa Maffi, with Peter Bille Larsen WWF International - Terralingua, Switzerland. 2000. Appendices and maps. ISBN 2-88085-247-1 (paperback) REVIEWED BY TAKI MIYAMOTO

Hemalkasa: Journey into the Jungle!

It is Oct. 3, 2000, and a full day since I boarded a jeep to travel nine hours into the jungles of central India. The forests abound with the chattering of monkeys, parrots, and giant gliding squirrels. Eventually, my jeep staggers onto a dirt path leading to Hemalkasa, a village belonging to the Madais..

For reasons out of our hands: A Community identifies the causes of language shift

What causes a community to shift from one language to another is generally a significant consideration for language maintenance programs. Yet research in specific language communities seldom investigates the community's ideas about the causes of its language shift.

Desert Foods: Nutritious, Delicious and Necessary for Survival

The raspy sound of grinding mesquite beans fills the humid summertime air. Monsoon rains have returned to the Tucson basin to quench the desert's thirst, sprout wildflowers, and help to produce a healthy crop of kui (O'odham for mesquite beans).

Cultural Survival vs. Forced Assimilation: the renewed war on diversity

Ethnologue, published by SIL International, estimates that of the more than two million people who identify themselves as American Indians in the United States, only 361, 978 still speak one of the remaining 154 indigenous languages, and many of those are only spoken by the very old. This is about half the number of languages spoken in 1492 in what would become the United States.

Can This Language be Saved?

Words are fascinating things. With meanings that expand and contract, they can be popularized, bought and sold in a linguistic marketplace, or, if denied access, they can be forced off the conversational road, never to be heard from again. Atapaka, for instance, was on someone's lips one hundred years ago, as were Wyandot, Galice, Nootsack, Salinan, Twana, and Lumbee.

The Saami Languages: the present and the future

The Saami languages are Fenno-Ugrian languages spoken from central Sweden and Mid-Southern Norway to the tip of the Kola Peninsula in Russia by 25,000-35,000 speakers. The number of ethnic Saami is probably nearly 100,000.

The Nagas: People Without a State

The independent Nagas fought the British from 1833 to 1879 in defense of their sovereignty. Finally, by [the] 27(th) March, 1880, an accord was reached with the British as per Naga customary practices and norms. A circle was drawn on the ground and the representatives of the British and the Nagas got into the circle.

The Growing Shadow Of The Oroqen Language And Culture

Tucked away in the foothills of the Greater Hinggan mountains in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia lies Alihe, a city of quite modest size by Chinese standards, with a population of around fifty thousand.

Requiem or Recovery: The 21st Century Fate of the Reindeer-Herding Peoples of Inner Asia

Reindeer herding as a way of life in the Eastern Sayan Mountain region along the Russian-Mongolian border faces the threat of imminent extinction as a result of the collapse of communist-era institutions and a variety of related crisis factors.

Language Shift on the Kamchatka Peninsula

"Itqat klhqzuknen..." begins the old woman. "Long ago it was." Her granddaughter leaves the room, the sounds and structure of the language no more familiar to her than they were to me when I first traveled to the swampy western shores of Russia's remote Kamchatka peninsula.

Artist Offers Scathing Commentary, Healthy Snack

Long touted as a tasty source of potassium, it seems bananas may also be rich in global socio-political commentary. Thanks to New York-based artist Douglas Fishbone, the fruit is emerging as a piquant symbol of American imperialism and an international culture of consumerism.

Endangered languages in town: The Urbanization Of Indigenous Languages In The Brazilian Amazon

Brazil's territory covers an area of 8,500,000 square kilometers (3,286,170 square miles), and is home to a population of about 169,500,000 inhabitants, only 16 million of whom live in rural areas -- the number has not changed since 1950.

This Is My Hope: Lecture notes from a Cultural Survival Conference, "Justice before Reconciliation in Canada," Harvard Universit

Hello. Kwei, kwei. My name is Jack Penashue. I'm here to represent the Innu Nation, an organization of 1700 Innu people of Nitassinan (Labrador, Canada). This meeting is about reconciliation. When I think about reconciliation, I think about hope. It is my expectation that, in the short time we have to spend together, you will gain a better understanding of what hope means to my people, the Innu.