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Indigenous versus Official Knowledge, Concepts and Institutions: Raika Pastoralists and the Outside World

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It has been argued that there exists no fundamental difference per se between indigenous and scientific knowledge (Agrawal 1995). Others have expounded on the potential for integration of the two types of knowledge and hailed 'technoblending' as the proper path for achieving sustainable and people-oriented development (McCorkle et al. 1999). This article draws attention to the very real divide that often exists between the protagonists of these two types of knowledge. With the help of three main examples we will show how different conceptual frameworks result in a communicatory impasse and how this failure to establish a dialogue across the boundaries of knowledge systems renders the interventions of the Rajasthan government in the livestock production sector largely ineffective. The urgent need for construction of an interface that negotiates and mediates between traditional and academic animal scientists will be demonstrated.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2004

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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