To illustrate and analyze how Bromeliaceae species are used, perceived and conceived by the Wichí people of the Semiarid Chaco, phytonomy, morphology, organoleptic characteristics and other features of the plants are described from a Wichí perspective, placing emphasis on an analysis of linguistic expressions. Fieldwork was carried out in five settlements located in the northeast region of the province of Salta, Argentina. The information was gathered through open-ended and semi-structured interviews as well as participant observation. Our results reveal a correlation between the importance of each species and the type of phytonym used to name it. The majority of names for plant parts are also used to refer to animal or human body parts; this polysemy is explained by functional, morphological and positional similarities, and mythical associations. Some organoleptic characteristics and the existence of a spirit “owner” of Bromeliaceae species suggest that they have features of animacy. For the Wichís, the Bromeliaceae are closely related and may comprise a distinct ethnocategory.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 30 • No. 2