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

  • Author / Creator
    Gordon, Andrew Ross
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Jane Samson, History and Classics
    • Andie Palmer, Anthropology
    • Gregory Forth, Anthropology
    • Kathleen Lowrey, Anthropology
    • Helen Vallianatos, Anthropology