NAKHARA (Journal of Environmental Design and Planning)


Julia Watson

Publication Date



The global shadow conservation network is informally composed of all the sacred lands of the world. This essay explores the lands of the Kayapo of the Amazon Basin; the Maasaiof Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania; the Turkana of Northern Kenya; the Subak of Bali; the Khasis of Northern India and the Tofi nu of Benin and the ancient infrastructures found there. From the material and construction modules, to the ecosystem as a whole, the sacredness imbued in the landscape works to maintain its ecological sustainability. By combining eco-technology with sacred mythology, we find new and unique ways humans live symbiotically with nature. Three critical questions guided the beginning of this research: What ecologically sustainable knowledge do indigenous people know that we once knew? Is this knowledge lost or just forgotten? How can ecological designers use this knowledge today? The innovative landscapes these communities have evolved show us the potential environments mankind is capable of creating. Rather than primitive, as Corbusier would say, these relationships are primal, within us all.

First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.