Weaving the diverse 'seeds' of knowledge

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Inspiration in the journey through my academic career has come from diverse sources and been enriched through continual reflection. The disciplines of anthropology and human ecology have been only one source of ideas. The other source of enrichment is the domain of local knowledge-the product of the local people's struggles to stay alive in a changing environment. Through hard work they strive for improved prosperity and a more sustainable environment; from them I learned the meaning of life. M. Junus Melalatoa's ethnographic poem entitled Cipayung Petang (1987) in Winarto & Sulistiawati 2006, p. 35)1 appropriately represents my reflection: Mana lebih bahagia What makes us happier memandang petani to see the farmer dari balik kaca from behind the window glass atau berkaca pada petani or to reflect through the farmer tentang diri kita. on ourselves Farmers are always actively strategising through trial and error to respond to the problems and constraints they daily face. Their strategies are not always based on a comprehensive knowledge of their environment. Various puzzling, unintended, and unexpected phenomena fall beyond their empirical knowledge. Yet within those constraints, they still have to make decisions about growing crops. But farmers are creative and during the past two decades, various trial-and-error efforts through what they call 'Sains Petani' (Farmers' Science, see Suprapto 2007, Winarto 2007b) have revealed their capabilities in planning experimental works just as scientists do. They use information, ideas and knowledge from various sources, including scientific sources and their own rich empirical experience. Their values, beliefs, and self-confidence, but also their doubts, anxiety, and uncertainties in responding to the unexpected affect this 'weaving of knowledge'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-287
Number of pages14
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Collaborative Ethnography
  • Farmer Field School
  • Farmers and Anthropology
  • Farmers' Dignity and Creativity
  • State
  • The Dialectics Between Scientific and Local Knowledge

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