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Encyclopedia > Ethnobotany

Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between plants and people: From"ethno" - study of people and "botany" - study of plants. Ethnobotany is considered a branch of ethnobiology. Ethnobotany studies the complex relationships between (uses of) plants and cultures. The focus of ethnobotany is on how plants have been or are used, managed and perceived in human societies and includes plants used for food, medicine, divination, cosmetics, dyeing, textiles, for building, tools, currency, clothing, rituals, social life, and music. u fuck in ua ... Ethnology (from the Greek ethnos, meaning people) is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyses the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the racial or national divisions of humanity. ... Pinguicula grandiflora Example of a Cross Section of a Stem [1] Botany is the scientific study of plant life. ... Ethnobiology is the study of the past and present interrelationships between human cultures and the plants, animals, and other organisms in their environment, including relationships with ecosystems as a whole. ...

Contents

History of Ethnobotany

Though the term "ethnobotany" was not coined until 1895 by the US botanist John William Harshberger, the history of the field begins long before that. In AD 77, the Greek surgeon Dioscorides published "De vvMateria Medica", which was a catalog of about 600 plants in the Mediterranean. It also included information on how the Greeks used the plants, especially for medicinal purposes. This illustrated herbal contained information on how and when each plant was gathered, whether or not it was poisonous, its actual use, and whether or not it was edible (it even provided recipes). Dioscorides stressed the economic potential of plants. For generations, scholars learned from this herbal, but did not actually venture into the field until after the Middle Ages. Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. ...


In 1542 Leonhart Fuchs, a Renaissance artist, led the way back into the field. His "De Historia Stirpium" cataloged 400 plants native to Germany and Austria. Leonhart Fuchs (17 January 1501 – 10 May 1566) was a medic and a botanist. ... The Renaissance (French for rebirth, or Rinascimento in Italian), was a cultural movement in Italy (and in Europe in general) that began in the late Middle Ages, and spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century. ...


John Ray (1686-1704) provided the first definition of "species" in his "Historia Plantarum": a species is a set of individuals who give rise through reproduction to new individuals similar to themselves. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ...


In 1753 Carl Linnaeus wrote "Species Plantarum", which included information on about 5,900 plants. Linnaeus is famous for inventing the binomial method of nomenclature, in which all species get a two part name (genus, species). Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 23, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ...


The 19th century saw the peak of botanical exploration. Alexander von Humboldt collected data from the new world, and the famous Captain Cook brought back information on plants from the South Pacific. At this time major botanical gardens were started, for instance the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Botany is the scientific study of plant life. ... An 1859 portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by the artist Julius Schrader, showing Mount Chimborazo in the background. ... British explorer James Cook is most noted for having discovered Australia and Hawaii. ... “Kew Gardens” redirects here. ...


Edward Palmer collected artifacts and botanical specimens from peoples in the North American West (Great Basin) and Mexico from the 1860s to the 1890s.


Once enough data existed, the field of "aboriginal botany" was founded. Aboriginal botany is the study of all forms of the vegetable world which aboriginal peoples use for food, medicine, textiles, ornaments, etc. The term indigenous people has no universal, standard or fixed definition, but can be used about any ethnic group who inhabit the geographic region with which they have the earliest historical connection. ...


The first individual to study the emic perspective of the plant world was a German physician working in Sarajevo at the end of 19th Century: Leopold Glueck. His published work on traditional medical uses of plants done by rural people in Bosnia (1896) has to be considered the first modern ethnobotanical work.


The term "ethnobotany" was first used by a botanist named John W. Harshberger in 1895 while he was teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. Although the term was not used until 1895, practical interests in ethnobotany go back to the beginning of civilization when people relied more on plants as a way of survival.


Other scholars analysed uses of plants under an indigenous/local perspective in the 20th century: e.g. Matilda Coxe Stevenson, Zuni plants (1915); Frank Cushing, Zuni foods (1920); Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Anishinaabe fungii (1998), and the team approach of Wilfred Robbins, JP Harrington, and Barbara Freire-Marreco, Tewa pueblo plants (1916). Matilda Cox Stevenson (neé Evans) (1855-1915) was an American ethnologist, born at San Augustine, Tex. ... Frank Hamilton Cushing July 22, 1857- April 10, 1900 was born in Northeastern Pennsylvania, later moving with his family to western New York. ... Keewaydinoquay Pakawakuk Peschel was an Anishinaabeg Elder of the Crane Clan who became known as a scholar, ethnobotanist, herbalist, medicine woman, teacher and author. ...


In the beginning, ethonobotanical specimens and studies were not very reliable and sometimes not helpful. This is because the botanists and the anthropologists did not come together on their work. The botanists focused on identifying species and how the plants were used instead of including how plants fit into people's lives. On the other hand, anthropologists were interested in the cultural role of plants and not the scientific aspect. Therefore, early ethnobotanical data does not really include both sides. In the early twentieth century, botanists and anthropologists finally collaborated and the collection of reliable, detailed data began.


Modern Ethnobotany

Beginning in the 20th century, the field of ethnobotany experienced a shift from the raw compilation of data to a greater methodological and conceptual reorientation. This is also the beginning of academic ethnobotany. The founding father of this discpline is Richard Evans Schultes. Richard Evans Schultes (January 12, 1915 – April 10, 2001) may be considered the father of modern ethnobotany, not only in his devotion to the study of native uses of entheogenic or hallucinogenic plants, especially in the Amazon, in his lifelong collaborations with chemists, but also in his charismatic influence as...


Today the field of ethnobotany requires a variety of skills: botanical training for the identification and preservation of plant specimens; anthropological training to understand the cultural concepts around the perception of plants; linguistic training, at least enough to transcribe local terms and understand native morphology, syntax, and semantics.


Native healers are often reluctant to accurately share their knowledge to outsiders. Schultes actually apprenticed himself to an Amazonian shaman, which involves a long term commitment and genuine relationship. In Wind in the Blood: Mayan Healing & Chinese Medicine by Garcia et. al. the visiting acupuncturists were able to access levels of Mayan medicine that anthropologists could not because they had something to share in exchange. Cherokee medicine priest David Winston describes how his uncle would invent nonsense to satisfy visiting anthropologists. [1] David Winston is an herbalist and ethnobotanist who, for the last 26 years has practiced herbal medicine in United States. ...


See also

Pinguicula grandiflora Example of a Cross Section of a Stem [1] Botany is the scientific study of plant life. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ... Ethnomedicine is a sub-field of medical anthropology and deals with the study of traditional medicines: not only those that have relevant written sources (e. ... Ethnomycology is the study of the historical uses and sociological impact of fungi, most specifically psychoactive mushrooms such as Amanita muscaria and those containing psilocybin, and can be considered a branch of both mycology and anthropology. ... Dioscorides’ Materia Medica, c. ...

References

  1. ^ Wind in the Blood: Mayan Healing & Chinese Medicine by Hernan Garcia, Antonio Sierra, Hilberto Balam, and Jeff Connant

Literature

  • Alexiades, M.: Selected guidelines for ethnobotanical research: A field manual
  • Cotton, C.: Ethnobotany
  • Martin, G.: Ethnobotany

External links

  • Society for Economic Botany
  • International Society of Ethnobiology
  • Society of Ethnobiology
  • General Information on Ethnobotany and Ethnomedicine
  • Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
  • Journal of Ethnobotany Research and Applications
  • "Before Warm Springs Dam: History of Lake Sonoma Area" This California study has information about one of the first ethnobotanical mitigation projects undertaken in the USA.



  Results from FactBites:
 
Ethnobotany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (640 words)
Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between plants and people: From"ethno" - study of people and "botany" - study of plants.
Beginning in the 20th century, the field of ethnobotany experienced a shift from the raw compilation of data to a greater methodological reorientation.
Today the field of ethnobotany requires a variety of skills: botanical training for the identification and preservation of plant specimens; anthropological training to learn how to ask questions in different cultures and to gain interpersonal skills; linguistic training, at least enough to transcribe native terms and understand native morphology, syntax, and semantics.
Ethnobotany - definition of Ethnobotany in Encyclopedia (568 words)
Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between plants and people: "ethno" is the study of people and "botany" is the study of plants.
Much of ethnobotany deals with intellectual goals similar to those of cultural anthropology: to understand how other peoples view the world and their relation to it.
Though the term "ethnobotany" was not coined until 1895, the history of the field begins long before that.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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