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The Importance of Place in Shaping Worldviews

Example of a project that shows an Indigenous community's view of their homeland

The Surui Cultural Map shows the Amazon's tribe vision of their forest, including their territory and traditional history. To create this map, Surui youth interviewed their elders to document and map their ancestral sites. Such sites include their first contact with western civilization in 1969, places where the tribes battled with colonists in the 1970s, as well as places of interest, like sightings of jaguars, capybaras and toucans.

Here are some examples and tools you can use for your own map

What factors go into shaping an individual worldview? Use these prompts to help build your map

First is family and local culture

  1. Where do your ancestors come from, i.e. what country or part of the world?
  2. Where were your grandparents born (all four of them)?
  3. Where were your parents born (if this is different from where grandparents were born, examine why)
  4. Where were you and your siblings born?
  5. What place in the world do you identify with in terms of identity?

What are the nonhuman influences in your life?

  1. What is your favorite place in the world?
  2. Where is your favorite tree, body of water, place to relax, etc.?
  3. Where was your favorite place to play (or hide) when you were 5 years old? 10 years old? 15? Today?
  4. Who were the most important animals in your life?
  5. Where did you see the most interesting, unusual, or otherwise, animal you have ever seen?

Spiritual Elements and beliefs help shape your thinking

  1. Where are the spots that are sacred to your beliefs located?
  2. Where are your personal sacred places?

You can use the questions above to help you map how you conceive of your worldview in terms of space. We provide directions for how you might do this using Google Tour Builder below.

Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Feb 6, 2019, 11:46 AM