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August 9, 2019

The United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to honor the estimated 370 million indigenous people around the world. The day was established to recognize the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations held in Geneva in 1982.

This year’s theme is indigenous languages. While indigenous people speak the majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages, the UN estimates that every two weeks an indigenous language disappears, threatening the survival of the respective cultures and knowledge systems. This day’s goal is to “draw attention to the critical loss of indigenous language and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize, and promote them at both national and international levels.”

For more information, please visit or keep reading to view our featured titles.

In recognition, Berghahn Journals is offering full access to Sibirica until August 16. To access, use promo code IDP19. View redemption instructions.

This year Berghahn Books turns 25! To mark this important milestone, we are offering 25% off all books. For print titles, please add the coupon code BB25. For eBooks, the discount is automatic.

Reassessing Terminology, Anarchy and Worldview in Indigenous Societies of America, Australia and Highland Middle India
Georg Pfeffer

From a new perspective, this book re-examines, confirms, and criticizes Lewis Henry Morgan’s findings on the three domains of relationship terminologies, societal forms, and ideas of property.

» Read the introduction.

Warlpiri Matriarchs and the Refashioning of Tradition
Paul Burke

This innovative book is the first ethnographic account of the Warlpiri’s indigenous diaspora, whose traditional hunter-gatherer life has been transformed through their dispossession and involvement with ranchers, missionaries, and successive government projects of recognition.

» Read the introduction.

Ethnographies of Indigenous Cosmologies, Rituals and Songs
Edited by Juan Javier Rivera Andía
Volume 37, European Association of Social-Anthropologists (EASA) series

Drawing on fieldwork from diverse Amerindian societies whose lives and worlds are undergoing processes of transformation, adaptation, and deterioration, this volume offers new insights into the indigenous constitutions of humanity, personhood, and environment characteristic of the South American highlands and lowlands.

» Read the introduction.

Indigenous Revival and the Conservation of Sacred Natural Sites in the Americas
Edited by Fausto Sarmiento and Sarah Hitchner
Volume 22, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology series

This book presents current research in the political ecology of indigenous revival and its role in nature conservation in critical areas in the Americas. An important contribution to evolving studies on conservation of sacred natural sites (SNS), the book elucidates the complexity of development scenarios within cultural landscapes related to the appropriation of religion, environmental change in indigenous territories, and new conservation management approaches.

» Read the introduction.

Publishing September 2019!
Indigenous Perspectives on the Historical Archaeology of Colonialism
Edited by Tiina Äikäs and Anna-Kaisa Salmi

Colonial encounters between indigenous peoples and European state powers are overarching themes in the historical archaeology of the modern era, and postcolonial historical archaeology has repeatedly emphasized the complex two-way nature of colonial encounters. This volume examines common trajectories in indigenous colonial histories and explores new ways to understand cultural contact, hybridization, and power relations between indigenous peoples and colonial powers from the indigenous point of view.

» View the table of contents.

Integral Ecology, Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability in Guyana
Thomas B. Henfrey
Volume 23, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology series

Based on an ethnographic account of subsistence use of Amazonian forests by Wapishana people in Guyana, Edges, Frontiers, Fringes examines the social, cultural and behavioral bases for sustainability and resilience in indigenous resource use.

» Read Chapter 1.

Confronting Electoral Communism and Precarious Livelihoods in Post-Reform Kerala
Luisa Steur
Volume 20, Dislocations series

This book offers a detailed ethnographic study of the dynamics between the Communist party and indigenist activists, defining the subtle ways in which global capitalist restructuring leads to a resonance of indigenist visions in the changing everyday working lives of subaltern groups in Kerala.

» Read the introduction.

Luck, Spirits and Ambivalence among the Siberian Orochen Reindeer Herders and Hunters
Donatas Brandišauskas
Volume 1, Studies in the Circumpolar North

Brandišauskas describes in rich details the skills, knowledge, ritual practices, storytelling, and movements that enable the Orochen to “catch luck” (or not, sometimes), to navigate times of change and upheaval.

» Read the introduction.

Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring
Frederick H. Damon
Volume 21, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

Trees, Knots, and Outriggers is the culmination of twenty-five years of work by Frederick H. Damon and his attention to cultural adaptations to the environment in Melanesia. Damon details the intricacies of indigenous knowledge and practice in his sweeping synthesis of symbolic and structuralist anthropology with recent developments in historical ecology.

» Read the introduction.

Leadership, Masculinity and Wealth in the Amazon
Marc Brightman

The Imbalance of Power demonstrates ethnographically that the Carib speaking indigenous societies of the Guiana region of Amazonia do not fit conventional characterizations of ‘simple’ political units with ‘egalitarian’ political ideologies and ‘harmonious’ relationships with nature. Marc Brightman builds a persuasive and original theory of Amerindian politics: far from balanced and egalitarian, Carib societies are rife with tension and difference; but this imbalance conditions social dynamism and a distinctive mode of cohesion.

» Read the introduction.

Embodiment and Experience among the Orang Rimba of Sumatra
Ramsey Elkholy

Anthropologist Ramsey Elkholy treats embodied action and perception as the basis of shared experience and shows how various forms of embodied experience constitute the very foundations of human culture. In a unique methodological contribution focusing on the Orang Rimba of Sumatra, Elkholy adopts a set of body-centered approaches that reflect and capture the day-to-day, moment-to-moment ways in which people engage with the world.

» Read the introduction.

Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon
Glory M. Lueong

This book examines how the Baka, who live in Eastern Cameroon, assert forms of belonging in order to participate in development interventions, and how community life is shaped and reshaped through these interventions.

» Read the introduction.

The Gwich’in Natives of Alaska
Steven C. Dinero

Using quantitative and qualitative data gathered since the turn of the millennium, this volume offers an interdisciplinary evaluation of the developments that have occurred in the community of the Gwich’in Natives over the past several decades.

» Read the introduction.

Of Related Interest from Berghahn Journals

Cover Sibirica

In recognition of Internation Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Berghahn Journals is offering full access to Sibirica until August 16.

To access, use promo code IPD19. View redemption instructions.

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