Anthropology and Humanism

Sweet Water and Exotic Fish: Ethnographic Reflections of Environmental Imaginations in Ecuador and the Great Lakes

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Abstract

SUMMARY This article explores environmental imaginations in two cultural contexts—in the tales of an indigenous Saraguro, Ecuador, storyteller and in environmental science stories from the Great Lakes. By juxtaposing two examples of cultures grappling with the presence of exotic species in their waters, I raise comparative questions about how we conceptualize human-environment relations in the contemporary world, as well as how moral authority regarding the environment is perceived in different cultural contexts. In bringing these two types of stories together, the article refutes the idea that scientifically based understandings of human-environment relations are immune to culture.

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