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This article is about the word cynefin. For the sense-making framework, see Cynefin framework.

Cynefin (/ˈkʌnvɪn/kun-EV-in) is a Welsh word that translates as habitat, as well as haunt, acquainted, accustomed, familiar.[1] The word is similar in meaning to Heimat in German and has been compared to the Maori word turangawaewae, a place to stand.[2][3][incomplete short citation]

Cultural meaning[edit]

Cynefin is a cultural notion. In Welsh words can reflect the lived experiences of the landscape.[clarification needed] [4] The way the landscape is perceived - in social and cultural terms - is coloured (co-constructed) by its history, by the people who lived there:[5]

Cynefin is more than landscape and scenery. It is a piece of earth where a community has lived - a community with whom we identify. In this bond, language has its essential place, and here again the local factor is to the fore. The language of each bro [area] has a distinctive hue... a storehouse of the transmitted legacies of experiences and imaginative constructions of those particular parts.

[this quote needs a citation]

The Welsh national archive's Cynefin project seeks to digitise and repair 1,200 historical tithe maps and their 30,000 index documents by March 2017.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cynefin". Welsh-English / English-Welsh On-line Dictionary. University of Wales. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Lane, Eifiona Thomas, et al. (2015). "Re-creating and celebrating place(s) in designated space(s): the case of Wales", in Joost Dessein, et al. (eds.) Cultural Sustainability and Regional Development. London: Routledge, 190.
  3. ^ Berger and Johnston (2015), 236–237, n. 5.
  4. ^ Page and Place Ongoing Compositions of Plot. Jon Anderson. Brill | Rodopi, 2014. Page 34.
  5. ^ Theatre/archaeology. Michael Shanks and Mike Pearson. Routledge, 2001. Page 139
  6. ^ The Cynefin Project. National Library of Wales.