Center for World Indigenous Studies
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CWIS Anáhuac Knowledge System Study

Published: June 11, 2012, Author: AngelSupport

The purpose of this study is to decipher, and transcribe the Anáhuac Knowledge System of the Americas so that in certain cultural contexts we may be able to apply that knowledge to the explanation of food security adaptation strategies responsive to the contemporary adverse effects of climate change.  Since the Anáhuac Knowledge System clearly decided the lives of generations of America’s original peoples for more than three thousand years, that system both helped and failed in response to adverse climatic changes such as drought, floods, freezes, and insect infestations. Since the system of knowledge continues to be expressed in cultures throughout the Americas we shall see if that system can benefit us now when transcribed into contemporary terms of reference.

This is a major study focusing on the decipherment and transcription of the knowledge system in western México (1400 – 500 BCE the height of classical expression) with a particular emphasis on the Purépecha, Wásiriki, Nahuatl, Mixé, Zapotec, Maya and Cora cultures.  Our initial work confirms the civilization-wide knowledge system extending throughout the Americas with unique and culture specific applications of that knowledge. This knowledge system finds its expression in Tarahumara, Purépecha, Mixé, Zapotec, Maya, Nahuat as well as Lenca, Inuit, Lakota, Haudenosaune, Quechua cultures and many others.

The Anahuac Knowledge System, as we have dubbed it, is responsible for the emergence of complex societies throughout the Americas in advance of the European invasions.  Understanding the Anáhuac Knowledge System and learning to apply its principles and concepts will enhance local knowledge systems that are often referred to as “traditional knowledge.”  While this latter expression is technically appropriate, it tends to suggest that the local knowledge system is the same in every culture–it is not. Every cultural is an expression of the dynamic and evolving relationship between a people, the land and the cosmos; and since each culture tends to be in a different locality with different types of land, climate, animals, plants, topography, etc. the local expression (local knowledge) will be based in the Anáhuac Knowledge System, but typically have culture-specific applications.

This ongoing study began in 2010 and has benefited from a J. William Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar’s award (2011-2012) and support from the Center for World Indigenous Studies.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

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