“The traditional anthropological interest in folk knowledge and the more recent interest in ethnoscience have both concentrated on phenomena that are visible to the people of the culture concerned. Heavenly bodies can be observed carefully by large numbers of people over long periods of time: the weather is sensible to everyone; and the habits of terrestrial animals can be observed with no special equipment…. Thus in astronomy, botany, meteorology, terrestrial zoology, and human pathology, data can be easily collected by everyone in the society, and the knowledge so collected can easily be codified (however informally) and used to generate testable hypotheses. Folk knowledge of marine organisms offers a different situation. Except for a life near very shallow and clear waters, virtually nothing can be known about the inhabitants of the sea except what they look like (and if) they are caught. The data available are limited in number and kind and the inferences possible from them appear to be of a different order than those possible about other parts of the environment. ”
Warren T. Morrill, Ethnoicthyology of the Cha Cha, Ethnology Vol. 6, No 4. (Oct, 1967) p.p. 407
Strayed across Telliamed, or, The World explain’d last week its one of the most interesting texts I have come across in a while in terms of my interests and inclinations. Last night I typed the psychology of creativity into Google and started the slow processes of reading through the history of the subject.
King Alexander lowered into the sea, at the bottom on the left two legged creatures on the right quadrupeds among the shrubbery
Of the origin of men and animals, and of the propagation of the various fpecies by means of their respective seeds.
Terreftrial plants that grow in the sea.
The origin of animals.
Their refemblance to certain fifhes
Eafinefs of the paffage from water to the air.
Phocafes or fea-calves
Sea-dogs, or wolves.
The origin of man.
Savage, or wild men.
Men with tails.
Men without beards.
men with one leg, and one hand.
The paffage of men from the water into the air.
Anfwer to fome objections on the subject……….
Telliamed, or, The World explain’d: containing discourses between an Indian philosopher and a missionary, on the diminution of the sea, the formation of the earth, the origin of men and animals; and other singular subjects, relating to natural history & philosophy; a very curious work (1797)
“It is…. difficult to determine how far the natural capacities of the brutes may go with proper culture; but man, we know, may, by education and culture continued for many years, be transformed almost into an animal of another species. Thus with respect to his body, though he is undoubtedly by nature a terrestrial animal, yet he may be so accustomed to the water, as to become as perfectly ampihibious as a seal or an otter.-And, with respect to mind, it is impossible to say how far science and philosophy may carry it. The Stoics pretended, in that way, to make a god of man.”
Lord Monboddo, Of the Origin and Progress of Language, 1774