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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 (or area] has a distinctive hue ... a storehouse of the transmitted legacies of experiences and imaginative constructions of those particular parts.

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.