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Sustenance examines the various ways in which the community feeds itself, drawing on the land and sea. Nothing is more important than food, and food connects to many aspects of cultural life.  For most people over the course of human existence, providing the daily food we need has been our major task.  It is tied to the environment (what is provided there, what can be grown there); to the seasons (different foods available at different times of year); to the living beings that we eat (plant or animal); and to the social and cultural rituals of food preparation and eating.

The discussion here will engage both pre-Western and contemporary cultural practices, emphasizing the continuity of culture.

Food allows the community members to talk about what they traditionally eat. This includes how these different foods are prepared, what a normal meal might consist of, and what foods are particularly important to this place

Planting brings us to the most important land issue of all. Different island cultures have somewhat different crops, and different ways of growing these crops. Food items that are important in one place may be less important in another. But in every case, the traditions regarding agriculture will be of utmost importance.

Gathering also plays an important role. This page looks at both gathering from the forest, and hunting as a form of gathering: what plants and animals are harvested? What are the techniques involved, and the protocols? How do you prepare or consume the products of hunting and gathering? This page may also talk about gathering medicinal remedies.

The Reef takes us the first step offshore.Not every community will have reef; in those cases, we will still be looking at the shallow or near-shore area. What plants (seaweeds) and animals are gathered in this area? Fishing on the reef is reserved for the Fishing page.

Fishing, as the name suggests, focuses more exclusively on fishing practices and traditions. These may include reef, near-shore and deep ocean fishing. How is it done? Where is it done? What are the practices and technologies involve

Water turns our attention specifically to the sources of fresh water, and the traditions and practices involved in its use. While coral islands may not have any surface water bodies such as streams and ponds, larger islands are likely to have these. In either case, water is often the focus of intense cultural traditions. Gathering in water bodies—of eels and shrimp, for example—is also explored.

Inasmuch as Sustenance draws from the Living World, Health is largely contingent on both of these.



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