Although there is now wide agreement that across diverse cultures, taxonomic systems of organization are not necessarily the only prevailing framework for the animal kingdom, evidence concerning alternative frameworks, including ecological frameworks, remains sparse. Here, we begin to fill this gap by examining children and adults from an indigenous Wichi community in the Chaco forest of Argentina. We ask which organizing principles the Wichi invoke when organizing animals native to their forest (tshotoy). The results reveal that Wichi adults and children represent tshotoy primarily on the basis of ecological relations that become increasingly specified from with development. Moreover, the results reveal a pervasive import of social relations. Responses unveil a social-ecological framework that is well aligned with Wichi native epistemology. This new evidence, which underscores the potency of social relations within an ecological framework, also begins to map out a developmental path along which cultural knowledge grows.
- Social relations
- Taxonomic relations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology