World Cultures eJournal
No Easy Talk about the Weather: Eliciting “Cultural Models of Nature” among Hai//om
- Author(s): Widlok, Thomas
- et al.
The Nambian Hai//om case study helps to develop a wider notion of culture as “cultivation”: Cultivation in this sense clearly not only applies to the land (things, materials) or to challenges provided by external natural changes such as climate change. Rather, cultivation – in the sense of creating, maintaining and altering cultural categories and the cultural ways of dealing with causalities – seamlessly involves social relationships and man-made conditions. The Hai//om notion of “environment” prototypically includes elements of the man-made environment and seamlessly merges with elements that in elsewhere are considered to be part of the natural environment. For Hai//om there is no reason for separating two categorical domains from the start in that they are intervowen. Cultural models not only differ in their internal categorizations but also in the way in which any cultural model can be expected to be able to structure and shape the world.