Indigenous good living philosophies and regenerative food systems in Aotearoa New Zealand and Peru

Authored by: Mariaelena Huambachano

Routledge Handbook of Sustainable and Regenerative Food Systems

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138608047
eBook ISBN: 9780429466823
Adobe ISBN:


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Indigenous good living philosophies are the culturally and spiritually knowledge base in which Indigenous peoples relate to Nature (Mother Earth) and between humans, and the ecosystem. I believe this wisdom represents a clear manifestation of how Indigenous societies have lived in harmony with Nature, living off the land and its resources while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem itself. Drawing from my ethnographic work with Māori and Quechua communities about sustainable food systems, in this chapter, I explore the ‘good living philosophies’ of Indigenous peoples of Peru (Allin Kawsay) and Aotearoa New Zealand (Mauri Ora), along with the challenges and opportunities faced by Quechua and Māori people in pursuing and realising sustainable food systems. This study shows that Allin Kawsay and Mauri Ora have a political platform to reclaim self-determination, sovereignty, and cultural rights over their ancestral food landscapes. This study concludes that food is sacred for Quechua and Māori people because it underscores ‘collective rights and responsibilities’ based on Indigenous knowledge and principles to preserve agrobiodiversity and overall human wellbeing, which is often overlooked in academic literature and policymaking.

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