Wildlife totemization  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Wildlife totemization is a system of beliefs in which humans have mystical, emotional, reverential, or genealogical relationships with a totem that is a natural object, such as a plant or animal.

Purpose

Wildlife totemization goes some way towards explaining why some wildlife management programs are particularly controversial. The general hypothesis is similar to wildlife symbolism, in that both theories state that in certain circumstances, humans will imbue species of wildlife with characteristics that are not necessarily inherent in those species themselves.

Characteristics

Characteristics of totemization include:

  • Viewing the totem as a companion, a protector, or a progenitor
  • Assimilating oneself to the totem
  • Prohibiting the killing or eating of the totem
  • A high degree of antipathy towards those who destroy the totem





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Wildlife totemization" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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