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Issue No:56
  • :0973–1121
  • :July
  • :2010

The Fisherwoman
The fisherwoman
in her boat
under the sky,
deep blue above,
deep blue below,
hat
salty, skin
rippled,
waiting,
the fisherwoman
sings.

A soft song
o my love, o my lord,
carry me, float me, rock me, rescue me
a soft song for the fish and the sky
and the broad ocean and all the things on islands
that call to her.

Buildings, streets, people, suits
on green islands
across the ancient ocean,
the endless sleeping sea.

Through the light she sees the islands
and the fish watch
and wait.

—Janet Jackson

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BP Oil Spill

How Ethnoscience Has Been Affected by the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

In loose terms, ‘ethnoscience’ is a way to describe an educational trend towards programmes that provide more generalization in the sciences. The ‘ethno’ prefix partially pays respect and attention to the indigenous knowledge that people have, because that indigenous knowledge has a way of providing understandings that will never happen in the confinement of devotion to European and Western thought, scientific speciality and scientific method.

Indigenous knowledge is fragile and complex knowledge that is passed on through oral traditions. It is infused with linguistic, mythical, strategic and other issues. Mythical content has mixed in with concealed content over time in order to give political and social power, to soothe the group’s need for explanations of the unknown, and to protect trade and political secrets.

In the current era of globalization in just about every science, from military and political science, to world health and biological prospecting, local and indigenous people’s knowledge about their parts of the world is taking on more respect simply because that knowledge is valuable and powerful. It is based on thousands of...

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