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Author Forth, Gregory,
Title Why the porcupine is not a bird : explorations in the folk zoology of an eastern Indonesian people / Gregory Forth.
Imprint Toronto ; Buffalo ; London : University of Toronto Press, [2016]

Author Forth, Gregory,
Series Anthropological horizons
Anthropological horizons.
Subject Nage (Indonesian people) -- Ethnozoology -- Indonesia -- Flores Island.
Ethnozoology -- Indonesia -- Flores Island.
Description 1 online resource (xiv, 375 pages) : illustrations, maps.
nat Canadians lcdgt
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Introduction -- Investigating folk knowledge : a methodological prospectus -- Animals, humans, and other mammals -- Animals of the village : domestic and partly domestic mammals -- The giant rat of Flores and other never domesticated mammals -- Symbolic and utilitarian dimensions of mammal categories : varieties of special-purpose classification -- Birds, or "Creatures that fly high in the sky" -- Snakes : the life-form Nipa -- Neither fish nor fowl : a non-mammalian miscellany -- Things with tails but without backbones : invertebrates in Nage folk zoology -- What's in an animal name : comparative observations on animal nomenclature, classification, and symbolism -- When birds turn into mammals and mammals into fish : Nage "beliefs" about animal transformation -- Animal mysteries and disappearing animals -- Concluding remarks.
Summary Why the Porcupine Is Not a Bird is a comprehensive analysis of knowledge of animals among the Nage people of central Flores in Indonesia. Gregory Forth sheds light on the ongoing anthropological debate surrounding the categorization of animals in small-scale non-Western societies. Forth's detailed discussion of how the Nage people conceptualize their relationship to the animal world covers the naming and classification of animals, their symbolic and practical use, and the ecology of central Flores and its change over the years. His study reveals the empirical basis of Nage classifications, which align surprisingly well with the taxonomies of modern biologists. It also shows how the Nage employ systems of symbolic and utilitarian classification distinct from their general taxonomy. A tremendous source of ethnographic detail, Why the Porcupine Is Not a Bird is an important contribution to the fields of ethnobiology and cognitive anthropology.-- Provided by publisher.
Note Gregory Forth is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Print version record.
ISBN 9781487510053 (electronic book)
1487510055 (electronic book)
9781487500047 (cloth)
1487500041 (cloth)
9781487520014 (paper)
1487520018 (paper)
OCLC # 944187248
Additional Format Print version: Forth, Gregory. Why the porcupine is not a bird. Toronto ; Buffalo ; London : University of Toronto Press, [2016] 9781487500047 (DLC) 2016301849 (OCoLC)922452680

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