Bayou Topogeny

May 8, 2017

There is little doubt that most indigenous cultures perceived their connectivity to and place on the landscape very differently than modern society.

The relationship was knowledgeable to the point of intimacy with the geography of their lives. Such wisdom was and in many cases remains critical for survival. Knowing and labeling the places where fish concentrated, where the enemy lurked, where refuge could be found in the time of flood was essential.

Anthropologist have noted that some groups developed an ordered precession of place names similar to a succession of ancestral names or genealogy. Each list is termed a topogeny. Oral recitation of topogeny was a way to maintain and pass along critical information to successive generations.