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Why the Porcupine is Not a Bird

Explorations in the Folk Zoology of an Eastern Indonesian People

Why the Porcupine Is Not a Bird is a comprehensive analysis of knowledge of animals among the Nage people of central Flores in Indonesia.

Author Information

ForthGregory :

Gregory Forth is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


Nathan Porath:

‘A thought provoking monograph based on authors’ thirty years of field research. It is a good book to think with.’

E.N, Anderson:

‘This book is valuable for specialists in Indonesia and in folk classification systems.’

Scott Simon, Professor, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa:

Why the Porcupine Is Not a Bird is a breakthrough. Gregory Forth’s innovative account of Nage animal categories and taxonomies demonstrates that the Nage people possess not only symbolic knowledge of animals but also empirical knowledge and skeptical minds compatible with international scientific practice.”

Roy Ellen, Professor Emeritus, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent:

Why the Porcupine Is Not a Bird is an important contribution to our knowledge of the folk-zoology of island Southeast Asia by an experienced and industrious ethnographer of the Nage.”

Audience: College/higher education;Professional and scholarly;