Ethnobotany and Geography by bmo99796


									Ethnobotany and Geography
    Ethnobotany and Geography
• Ethnobotanical studies often focus on limited
  geographic areas: regions, countries, provinces,
  states, and even smaller areas.
• This may seem to be a limited arrangement
  because it prevents making large scale
  comparisons between areas or plant uses, but it
  makes sense because the relationships of plants
  and people in a particular area are often incredibly
 Why study plants of Polynesia?
• In all traditional cultures the relationships of
  plants and people are reciprocal and dynamic
• In traditional societies, most plant products are
  collected, produced and consumed locally
• Michael Balick and Paul Cox feel that nowhere
  has the effect of the use of plants on human
  culture been more dramatic than in their use to
  manufacture sea craft that transport people and
  their crops across vast stretches of the ocean
Long Ocean Voyages by Humans
• Erik the Red journeyed 800 miles from Iceland to
  discover Greenland; his son Leif Eriksson went
  farther sailing nearly 2000 miles from Greenland
  to an area he called Vinland, which we know as a
  part of Newfoundland in Canada
• Polynesians would commonly travel the 422 miles
  from Fiji to Tonga or 769 miles from Fiji to
  Samoa; Samoa to Tahiti (1059 miles) was not
  unheard of; the longest trips were from Tahiti to
  Hawaii (2700 miles) such trips did not occur
  often, but occurred often enough to populate
  almost all habitable islands in the Pacific and to
  allow trade and exchange of culture across the
Polynesian Islands
 Tahiti with sailing canoes and other
 ships – painted in 1773 by William
Hodges with Capt. Cook’s expedition
      Boats on Island of Kabara
• The Camakau (thah-mah-cow) which is a single-
  hulled canoe of up to 15 meters in length and used
  in inter-island transport and warfare
• The Drua (ndrro-ah) which has two hulls and
  requires up to 50 men to sail it
• The Tabetebete (tahm-bay-tay-bay-tay) which is
  the largest of all Fijian sea craft with an intricate
  hull of fitted planks that could be up to 36 m long
  and 7.3 m wide - these vessels could transport up
  to 200 men, sail at 20 knots
A Drua built about 1900 on Fiji
Design of
a camakau,
Fijian ocean-
going craft
 Josafata Cama, traditional
shipwright of Kabara Island
Vesi tree – Intsia bijuga
Selecting Vesi trees for ship building
          – Kabara Island
Hollowing out a Vesi tree trunk for a
     canoe hull – Kabara Island
 Vika Usu weaving a sail from
Pandanus leaves – Kabara Island
Pandanus odoratissimus
Young Pandanus
Canarium harveyi sap used for caulk
   Kabara Islanders and Sandra
Bannock on first voyage of camakau
 Where did Polynesians come from?

• Based on many characteristics such as
  blood types, linguistics, indigenous
  agriculture, and archaeological evidence it
  is generally thought the Polynesians came
  from the Lapita, an agricultural people who
  left Indo-Malaysia and journeyed west
Polynesian Islands
Sweet potato tubers
Plans for a balsa
wood raft – used
along coast of
South America
-drawn by F.E.
Paris in 1841
Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft –
    1947 in action and model
Possible Inca route to Pacific Islands
         and Kon-Tiki route
Natural vegetation
    of Africa
  Features of Ethnobotany of Africa
• It is a large continent with many different ethnic
  groups who have very different cultures and uses
  of plants
• The continent is geographically very diverse,
  ranging from bare deserts to lush tropical rain
  forests. Ethnobotanical use of plants reflects the
  diversity of habitat, and there is correspondingly
  low use of plants in the desert regions and great
  use of plants in the rain forests
• Humans originated in Africa. Therefore we
  should see the oldest relationships between plants
  and people in Africa
• Ethnosystematics (folk knowledge of botanical
  classification – John Kokwaro) is highly
  developed in Africa because many plants are used
  in African ethnomedicine and because Africa is
  rich in dialects and languages due to the large
  number of ethnic groups.
• Each group has names for the plants it uses and for
  describing the relationships of those plants.
   African Concepts of Disease
1. Naturally caused diseases – these are due
  to tangible material that affects the body’s
  organs. Such natural diseases are regarded
  as minor or normal because they can be
  described by the patient and treated by the
  healer in strictly physical terms.
    African Concepts of Disease
2. Acute or severe diseases – the common belief
  (fear) is that as soon as a disease becomes acute or
  severe, it is due to unnatural causes or intangible
  forces. This implies that a hostile person is using
  supernatural powers against the patient or the
  victim may have transgressed the moral code and
  incurred the wrath of ancestors. These diseases
  are characterized as being complicated and
  serious. They usually have persistent illness.
  Bewitched or cursed persons require special types
  of treatment, medicine, and traditional doctors.
Traditional African Medical Practitioners

1. Herbalists usually use plants to treat
2. Diviners are also herbalists but use
  divinatory procedures for treatment.
3. Spiritualists hardly use plants at all for
4. Great therapists utter prayers, incantations,
  and invocations
Painting of an Herbalist
Traditional Herbalist Seybatou
  Hamdy of Dakar, Senegal
Sangoma – South African
 Diviner/Great Threapist
Traditional African Medical Practitioners
5. Traditional midwives may be obstetricians, herbalists,
   gynecologists, or pediatricians. They provide health care
   before, during, and after birth, and also care for newborn
   infants and young children.
6. Traditional surgeons use special knives, sharpened and
   tempered according to esoteric procedures, for
   circumcisions and excisions. Cassava leaves, liquid from
   snails, and various other ingredients are used as agents to
   prevent excessive bleeding.
7. Traditional psychiatrists deal with a patients socioreligious
   antecedents, using a series of rites, that include chants,
   incantations, and ritual dances, and in which music is
   played using particular musical instruments.

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