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Browsing by Subject "Cultural heritage"

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  • Madrid, Martha (2023)
    Food security is increasingly threatened in agrarian societies as environmental change has disrupted traditional food systems around the world, thus robbing the affected communities of their rights to food sovereignty. This thesis seeks to examine the role of traditional Indigenous (agri)cultural heritage maintenance in the present day, especially as impacted by climate change and land degradation. Using the case of Hek’o:we – or “waffle gardening” – in the Zuni Pueblo (known also as the Middle Place), the study aims to illuminate the benefits of youth-oriented education for the protection of food sovereignty, the continuance of ancestral knowledge, and the conservation of the land and natural resources. Existing literature was reviewed to evaluate the need for this research, as well as to illuminate the place of this study in the broad literature base of related topics in Western academia. The resulting literature review was compiled to serve also as a theoretical framework for narrowing down three key contexts in which this case study could be examined: 1. The history, development, and use of Hek’o:we, as understood currently in Western academia; 2. Indigenous food sovereignty; and 3. The role of youth education in the (re)production of agricultural knowledge. Much of the earlier research regarding Zuni (agri)cultural heritage maintenance and Hek’o:we agriculture has been conducted without considering the needs of the Zuni community. Thus, significant ethical considerations were central to the development of this study, including the goal of amplifying Zuni voices in the dissemination of the research results. Data collection was conducted over video chat; in a recorded group interview, organizers from the Zuni Youth Enrichment Project’s Food Sovereignty team shared stories and insight about the topics at hand. The results are presented primarily in the words of the participants. Three main topics emerged: Hek’o:we and community-wide resilience; intergenerational education that en-gages the whole family; and land-based considerations including climate change, water scarcity, and the overall notion of living with the land. Conclusions posit that traditional agricultural practices are promoting resilience, engagement with ancestral knowledge, conservation of the land and water, and many other ob-servable benefits. Climate change and land degradation, caused by intentional actions by the settler state, may pose threats to food sovereignty and the health of Zuni people, but the community is able to find strength in the practices developed by their ancestors.