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RE 190: Indigenous Religious Traditions, Coriell   Tags: block 2  

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Finding a Topic

Deciding which indigenous group and which land reclamation you wish to study may be the most difficult part of the assignment. We’ll discuss some approaches.


The Assignment

Sacred Lands Project essay

Identify a situation in which indigenous people seek to reclaim traditional lands. The place can be anywhere in the world. The attempt can be contemporary or historic.

Start by describing the tribal setting, the site (or sites) under consideration and other significant factors. Questions to address:

  • Why this land?  What factors led to this effort?
  • How do the native people understand, interpret and appeal to the sacredness of the land?
  • How do non-natives understand and respond to claims based on the land as sacred?
  • What have been the outcomes, intended or unintended?

Please remember that this assignment is more than a description of a conflict, it is a critical analysis of indigenous and dominant cultural understandings of the notion of the sacred in relation to land.


Finding Contested Ground

A very useful site that Bruce recommends to students looking for a site to research is Sacred Lands Film Project. They have case studies covering sites around the globe, and each case study has a bibliography that can get you started in looking for sources.

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