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Articles in Cultural Geography

Tatarstan: A “Hostage of Freezing Relations between Russia and Turkey”?

By Asya Pereltsvaig | February 4, 2016 | 2 Comments

[Many thanks to Ekaterina Lyutikova for most helpful discussions of some of the issues discussed in this post, as well as for the photos, some of which are used as illustrations below. I’m also grateful to Martin W. Lewis for helpful discussions and edits and for modifying the Wikipedia map of Percentage of Ethnic Tatars, used below.]

Tatarstan has not been …

Population History, Population Density, and Cultural Values in the Philippines

By Martin W. Lewis | February 3, 2016 |

Owing to this long history of internal migration, the population distribution of the Philippines has become somewhat more even. Mindanao is no longer a frontier zone, and is now moderately populated by Philippine standards

Chavacano: A Spanish-Based Creole Language of the Philippines

By Martin W. Lewis | January 29, 2016 | 5 Comments

Chavacano is interesting from both linguistic and historical-geographical perspectives. To begin with, it is widely considered to be one of the world’s oldest creole tongues, with a history dating back some 400 years.

Base-Maps of the Philippines & Linguistic/Regional Controversies in the Archipelago

By Martin W. Lewis | January 27, 2016 | 10 Comments

GeoCurrents is continuing its distribution of customizable base-maps, constructed in easy-to-use presentation software. (The files are found at the bottom of this post, in both PowerPoint and Keynote [preferred] formats.) Today’s contribution is a province-level map of the Philippines. This map is available in several versions (with province names and without them, in color and in grey, aggregated into regions, …

Maritime Linkages in the Linguistic Geography of the Philippines

By Martin W. Lewis | January 25, 2016 | 2 Comments

The best example of seas connecting opposing shores is probably the Philippines, a quintessentially archipelagic country composed of more than 7,000 islands.

The Regionalization of California, Part 1

By Martin W. Lewis | January 12, 2016 | One Comment

Like all US states—and indeed, virtually political units—California is divided into a number of informal and special-purpose regions. Regional designations in California are used ubiquitously in the media, in academic reports, and in everyday conversation. They are unavoidable and necessary. But as is generally the case with regionalization schemes, the numbers, names, and spatial outlines of California’s regions vary widely …

Is Japan a Religiously Divided Country? Fabian Drixler on Japan’s East/West Divide

By Martin W. Lewis | November 30, 2015 | One Comment

 
I was surprised by the depiction of Japan in Scolbert08’s map of world religion. The map depicts the main island of Honshu as essentially bifurcated into a more Buddhist west and a more Shinto east and northeast*; Shinto is also shown as more prevalent on the island of Shikoku and to a lesser extent in southern Kyushu, whereas Hokkaido in …

Additional Oddities of Kiribati’s Line Islands

By Martin W. Lewis | November 27, 2015 | One Comment

Before moving on from the current series of posts on Kiribati, it is worth exploring a few additional aspects of this intriguing country.
The first of these points may be somewhat trivial but is still worth mentioning: The recent Gilbertese colonization of the Line Islands undermines the stock idea that Polynesia can be delimited within a vast triangle, with apexes situated in …

The Recent Gilbertese Settlement of the Line Islands

By Martin W. Lewis | November 26, 2015 | 4 Comments

It is difficult to convey the immensity and emptiness of the Republic of Kiribati. The country extends across more than 3.5 million square kilometers (1,351,000 sq mi) of oceanic space, an area considerably larger than India. The distance between its western and eastern islands is comparable to the distance across the United States. Yet Kiribati contains only 800 square kilometers (310 sq mi) of land, …

Most Moravians Live In Tanzania: The Global Spread of the Moravian and Mennonite Faiths

By Martin W. Lewis | November 16, 2015 | 2 Comments

The Moravian Church has a good claim to being the oldest Protestant denomination, tracing its origin back to the Bohemian Reformation of the early 15th century, closely associated with Jan Huss. “Hussites” were persecuted at the time and eventually defeated in battle, and during the Counter-Reformation, Bohemia and Moravia were brought back into the Roman Catholic fold. In the Czech …

The Global Spread of Heterodox Christianity

By Martin W. Lewis | November 12, 2015 | 7 Comments

As noted in an earlier post, I regard Scolbert08’s map of world religions as a cartographic masterpiece. I do, however, have some qualms about the categories that it employs. I am particularly dissatisfied with the “other” grouping, which is composed, according to the key, of indigenous/animist faiths, non-Trinitarian Christianity, and Sikhism. These religions, or groups of religions, hardly belong together. …

The Lost World of the Sago Eaters

By Martin W. Lewis | November 4, 2015 | 6 Comments

The previous GeoCurrents post mentioned the Manusela people of the Indonesian island of Seram, who evidently incorporate elements of Hinduism, animism, and Christianity in their religious beliefs and practices. The Manusuela rely on the sago palm for their dietary staple, as do many other peoples of eastern Indonesia and the lowlands of Papua New Guinea. (I am referring here to …

Intriguing Patterns in Scolbert08’s Map of Religion in Insular Southeast Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | November 1, 2015 | 5 Comments

Scolbert08 does an excellent job of mapping the religious complexity of Insular Southeast Asia and Papua New Guinea. I have therefore posted a detail of his or her map of world religion that focuses on this region, both with and without my own annotations. Many interesting and important spatial patterns of religious affiliation are revealed on the map.
Scolbert08’s map does …

Religious Complexity in Northeastern South Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | October 29, 2015 | 3 Comments

Northeastern South Asia has one of the world’s most complex religious environments, and such complexity is captured nicely in Scolbert08’s amazing map of world religions. To illustrate this, I have posted a detail from this map of this region, both in annotated and non-annotated form, along with a smaller version of the same map juxtaposed with other maps of the …

Scolbert08’s Magnificent Map of World Religion, Part 1

By Martin W. Lewis | October 27, 2015 | 5 Comments

An astoundingly detailed map of world religion has recently been published by reddit user “scolbert08.” The map is much too large for me to post in its entirely on GeoCurrents, but one can find the full-resolution map both here and at the interesting website Brilliant Maps. The level of precision found on this map is truly remarkable; over much of the …

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