This paper describes the significance of the arborescent cycad “tiusinte” to Honduran culture. Dioon mejiae is a wild food that supplements maize-bean diets for an estimated 33,000 indigenous and mestizo Hondurans. Female cones are harvested for their seeds, which are processed and made into tamales, tortillas, and other products. Leaves are used for a variety of Catholic celebrations; minor uses of the leaves and female cone parts also persist. Tiusintes, a common-property resource, are being destroyed by the adverse effects of timber extraction, pastoralism, and swidden agriculture. However, traditional tiusinte protection schemes are still practiced, and these may provide the germ of a more comprehensive conservation policy for the species.
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