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Birders of AfricaHistory of a Network$
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Nancy J. Jacobs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300209617

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300209617.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2020

Early Birding Contact, 1500–1700

Early Birding Contact, 1500–1700

Chapter:
(p.62) Chapter 2 Early Birding Contact, 1500–1700
Source:
Birders of Africa
Author(s):

Nancy J. Jacobs

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300209617.003.0003

This chapter studies how birders from northwest Europe saw African birds on their earliest travels to the Cape of Good Hope. Mariners and gardeners drew on European vernacular knowledge, but what they reported about African birds was taken up in elite European scholarly production, which had been vitalized during the Renaissance. The evolution of elite European expertise about nature took place gradually over centuries: from achieving authority on classical texts, to the expansion of knowledge in encyclopedias, to assembling cabinet and museum collections, to the systematic presentation of plants and animals in the new genre of natural history. The chapter, however, does not intend to reinsert the divide between indigenous and scientific knowledge; rather, it explores bird traditions as specific historical phenomena and examines interactions among individuals wielding their forms of skill and mastery.

Keywords:   birders, northwest Europe, African birds, European vernacular knowledge, European scholarly production, natural history, bird traditions

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