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Indigenous Cartographies

  • By: Margaret Wickens Pearce
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Indigenous cartographies are the mapping practices, past and present, produced or conceptualized by indigenous peoples and informed by the aesthetics and sign systems of the societies from which they derive. They are as diverse as the peoples who practice them. In Mesoamerica, Mixtec lienzos depicted the genealogical histories of cities through place name symbols and pathways. In Siberia, Chukchi and Mansi navigational cartography is inscribed on bark or painted directly on trees along a route. Bozo cartography in West Africa includes depictions of watersheds drawn on the ground as part of an annual ceremony. And in North America, Dine Navajo cartography includes the placement of rocks and cairns in lines in the landscape to mark the stages of stories.

Characteristics of Indigenous Cartographies

From this diversity, ...

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