PurposeThe study aims to understand the nature of traditional knowledge by examining how it is used and reinvented in the context of Xochimilco in Mexico City.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on field site visits and focus group interviews.FindingsTraditional knowledge was being reinvented in two contrasting ways. One was based on heritage tourism drawing on syncretism between Aztec and Spanish culture in the formation of Xochimilco. The other was agro-ecological focussed on traditional farming practices on the chinampas, their productivity, their ability to sustain biodiversity and their link to social justice. There were some common elements, such as a passionate concern with retaining a valued past in the face of growing threat.Research limitations/implicationsTraditional knowledge is often seen as a static heritage, under threat. But it also has the potential to be a fertile source of strong identities and sustainable practices.Originality/valueThe paper helps to conceptualise the dynamic character of traditional knowledge.
Journal of Documentation – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 23, 2020
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