Raramuris & Kincentric Ecology

Raramuris & Kincentric Ecology

It is understood that a person who harms the natural world also harms himself.

“Over the centuries, methods of land use were developed that adhered to a kincentric understanding. Horticultural and agricultural techniques included selective coppicing, pruning, and harvesting, gathering, cultivation, transplanting, vegetative propagation, sowing, discriminant burning, and weeding.┬áSome plant populations and individual plant species were intentionally selected “in accordance with ecological principles” in order to increase population abundance, diversity, growth, longevity, yield, and quality to meet cultural needs.

The concepts of kincentric ecology, or iwigara, are at the heart of Raramuri land management philosophy. It is iwfgara that guides agriculture, medicine, and for- aging. The use of plants for healing and for food offers a fundamental relationship from which the Raramuri view themselves as participants in their natural community. The Raramuri understand that they were placed here as caretakers of their land, but also to aid in the health of the Creator, who works hard each day to provide for the land and its inhabitants.

For the Raramuri, caretaking translates to practices such as transplanting edible greens to corn and bean fields. The greens become easily available for the people and, in return, become more abundant through the cultivation and irrigation that occurs alongside the corn and beans. Caretaking also means that only the longest pine needles collected for making pine-needle baskets are selected. The shorter ones are left to be collected next time; the collecting enhances new growth of the needles just as pruning does to fruit trees. Therefore, caregiving is a method of using the land while enhancing it.”

  • Sources : 1) https://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/pdf/tek-salmon-2000.pdf