Astronomy in the Indo‐Malay Archipelago

  • Gene Ammarell
Reference work entry

All societies have their own systems of knowledge through which they seek to understand the natural environment and their relationship to it. Thus we may be better able to understand a society by going beyond the categories of Western science and begin to consider the interrelationship of a society with its environment from the viewpoint of the members of that society. It is this attempt to understand how members of a society, themselves, conceive of their environment that has come to be known as ethnoecology (Casiño 1967). Ethnoastronomy, the subject of this article, may be seen as a branch of ethnoecology wherein the interrelationship of human populations with their celestial environment is the focus of interest.

The modern nation states of Indonesia and Malaysia have a combined population of approximately 260 million and encompass the homelands of well over 500 distinct ethno‐linguistic groups whose cultures and languages form part of a common Austronesian heritage, a heritage they...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Gene Ammarell

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