Penelope Dransart

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Wales Trinity Saint David, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9362

Approve Date

October 5, 2016

Project Title

Dransart, Dr. Penelope Zoe, U. of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, UK - To aid research on 'Weather, Water, and Ways of Knowing: Responses to Climate Change in Isluga, Northern Chile'

PENELOPE ZOE DRANSART, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in October 2016 to aid research on “Weather, Water, and Ways of Knowing: Responses to Climate Change in Isluga, Northern Chile.” This program of study investigated how camelid herders in the Andes of northern Chile are being challenged by unprecedented changes in water availability. Focusing on meteorological phenomena, especially rain, mist, and wind, the study explored how herders of llamas, alpacas, and sheep in Isluga react to inconstant weather conditions. The methodology included participant observation, open-ended interviews, and site visits in the company of research participants. Two main strategies were employed. 1) The researchers analyzed the terms Isluga people use for meteorological conditions and discussed with them how they talk about seasonal events, to demonstrate how people verbalize their lived experience of the weather. This aspect was complemented by 2), which took people’s practical know-how into account in exploring their tacit knowledge in their reactions to anticipated seasonal changes and unanticipated weather circumstances. Migration from the highlands to coastal cities has accompanied climate change and many young people no longer have year-round experience of living in Isluga. Research participants expressed great concern over difficulties in the inter-generational transmission of knowledge. Analysis of the study’s findings demonstrates that Isluga residents maintain profoundly felt relationships to weather phenomena not always commensurate with Western worldviews, cross-cutting their affiliation to different faiths, Catholic and Protestant.


Dransart, Penelope, and Marietta Ortega Perrier. 2021. When the Winds Run with the Earth: Cannibal Winds and Climate Disruption in Isluga, Northern Chile. Current Anthropology 62(1):101-109.