chapter  3
16 Pages

Some Lessons from History: Change and Adaptation in the Common Forests of Navarre, 1900-1935

This chapter begins with an ethnographic study of the establishment and the development of a transhumance festival in the west of the department that endeavoured to privilege the shepherd in order to promote local pastoralism and tourism. It shows how one discourse about heritage may 'hide' another one. Based on fieldwork undertaken principally in the French department of the Arige in the central Pyrenees, the chapter wishes to address this question by means of a number of different approaches. Pastoralism, an activity long considered to be archaic, today appears to embody a number of virtues. This shift is largely a result of the development of agro-environmental interests, of models promoting sustainable development protecting biodiversity, and perhaps most significant, contemporary valorisations of 'getting back to nature'. The issue of social uses of heritage constitutes a relevant starting point from which to analyze certain aspects of contemporary redefinitions of pastoralism, particularly the perspective of ecological and environmental politics.