Download the full-sized PDF of Nakasaleka: Language, Marine Ethnobiology, and Life on a Fijian IslandDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Nakasaleka: Language, Marine Ethnobiology, and Life on a Fijian Island Open Access


Other title
metaculture of loss in Fiji
biocultural diversity
traditional ecological knowledge
ethnographic methods
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Gordon, Andrew Ross
Supervisor and department
Gregory Forth
Examining committee member and department
Helen Vallianatos, Anthropology
Andie Palmer, Anthropology
Gregory Forth, Anthropology
Jane Samson, History and Classics
Kathleen Lowrey, Anthropology
Department of Anthropology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This thesis examines the process of assembling an encyclopaedia of local knowledge of marine life in three Fijian coastal villages. Many of the details of the methods used were developed in the field through trial and error. This process allowed continuous improvements in eliciting information in appropriate cultural contexts. Much of the thesis follows these paths of methodological development, which are presented as ethnography to provide meaning. This investigation of methods and approaches raises significant questions about approaches and assumptions made by NGOs and government agencies in crafting programs for conservation and sustainable development for small rural communities. I interrogate assumptions about the appropriateness of the use of biocultural diversity as a blended ideology for revitalization of biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity. I then explore the issues around recycling indigenous taboos and totems in conservation programs. Naïve assumptions about the cross-cultural translatability of concepts, such as stewardship, may blind program developers to what really happens in the village before and after the workshop. By using an ethnographic approach in this thesis, I attempt to determine better methods for conservation and sustainable development to allow developers to anticipate the context of their plans, and for residents to understand and evaluate the propositions.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 35149614
Last modified: 2015:10:12 18:59:33-06:00
Filename: Gordon, Andrew Ross Fall 2013.pdf
Original checksum: fc485d995ae34054a96283c68de2c88a
Well formed: true
Valid: false
Status message: Invalid page tree node offset=2690017
Status message: Invalid outline dictionary item offset=34965779
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date