Chapter

Diversity's Sum: Geography, Ecology-Economy, and Culture

Karl S. Zimmerer

in Changing Fortunes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780520203037
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520917033 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520203037.003.0006
Diversity's Sum: Geography, Ecology-Economy, and Culture

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The Quechua in Paucartambo have factored a gamut of place-based criteria in determining the actual sums of diversity in their crop plants during the years between 1969 and 1990. In defining the composition of diverse fields, the farmers pick their seed on the basis of factors dealing with ecology and economics, culture and cuisine, and a sense of moral aesthetics. This chapter discusses how they invoke their concerns about diversity under the far-reaching and historically forged ethic of a fit livelihood. Diversity prescribed in their resource ethic has not been a fait accompli, however. The Paucanambo farmers' vital vocabulary of signs and symbols used to select the diversity of crops draws on the richness of Quechua terminology and local metaphors as well as religious practices.

Keywords: Quecha; Paucartambo; fit livelihood; diversity; moral aesthetics

Chapter.  14565 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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