Accepted Paper:

Sustaining Community Heritage and Knowledge by utilizing Life Histories, Digital Interactive and GIS Approaches among Indigenous Peoples: Visual Anthropology on the Seafaring Community of Sri Lanka   

Author:

David Blundell (National Chengchi University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper demonstrates the ECAI, UC Berkeley, and the Shung Ye Museum, Taipei, for projects with indigenous people. Research tools include visual anthropology, community discussions, life history interviews, GIS mapping, research in archives, and others for local community research.

Paper long abstract:

This paper demonstrates the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI), UC Berkeley, and the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, Taipei, for projects with indigenous people. Research tools include visual anthropology, community discussions, life history interviews, geographic information systems (GIS) mapping, research in archives, and others for local community research.

Methodologies developed use spatiotemporal mapping to enable tracing: development of cultural history, visualizing traditions and their transformations.

The work has studied the indigenous fishermen of southeast coastal Sri Lanka to better understand their lives and ways of living in the present after years of civil strife (1983-2009) and a tsunami (2004). This is of particular interest to me since I would like to know how the rebuilding of a community takes place after such social and material devastation. It is generally agreed that globally other destructive situations will continue to occur. At stake are the people who need to re-collect their lives and live on with a sense of cultural sustainability in modern civil society.

My question is - how could the results of my ethnographic case studies be applied toward developing viable guidelines for sustainable indigenous community rebuilding after years of human strife and natural crisis?

The outcome is a multi-dimensional interactive Web-based visual anthropology/ cultural atlas of indigenous peoples with vibrant ethnographic portraits serving as a local community bulletin board for scholarly exchange.

Panel BH04
Indigenous knowledge and sustainable development (IUAES Commission on Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development)