Cultivating plants and Waorani society

2017-08-01T16:05:41Z (GMT) by Maria Gabriela Zurita-Benavides
<p></p><p>Abstract Agricultural practices produce information that reveals the relationship between people and the environment. This study describes and analyzes the agricultural itinerary of the Waorani people of the Ecuadorian Amazon, through which major sociocultural characteristics are materialized: individual freedom and personal autonomy. During fifteen months of fieldwork in two Waorani villages, participant observation and field walks were undertaken to identify cultivated plants. With the collected information, socio-cultural and environmental aspects of slash-and-mulch were established. The practice of this agricultural system is not common in other parts of the world, it is relatively unknown and is undervalued because of its yield. This article presents a case study of slash-and-mulch agriculture as part of the Waorani cultural world view, agricultural practices and representations, which persist despite contact with other types of agriculture. The continuation of these agricultural practices can be explained by the very conceptualization the Waorani people have regarding the dynamics of transforming natural resources.</p><p></p>