Feel it in the bones
In some of the university field courses we facilitate, we devote a day to allowing students to have fun exploring other ways of knowing, sensing and experiencing ecological phenomena. One of the activities may be termed as either ‘signature tracking’, ‘sensory tracking’ or ‘spirit tracking’ and essentially focuses the non-visual senses and intuitive perception to elicit information about an animal. The technique is based on Indigenous accounts (e.g. /Xam hunter-gatherers, Apache Indians) that describe ‘presentiments’: i.e. the ability of a tracker or hunter to foretell impending events or the type or location of the animal by interpreting sensations felt in different parts of their own body (Bleek & Lloyd 1911; Liebenberg 1990; McCallum 2005).
The following is one student’s account of his curious experience as recorded in his course field journal:
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