The gendered dimensions of wild food harvesting are often examined at the resource appropriation stage; to build on this literature, we examined gender and wild food harvesting across multiple wild harvesting stages from pre-harvest to food sharing. Using qualitative methods (participation, interviews, and group discussions) informed by Bribri Indigenous teachings, we found that: 1) no single harvesting stage was exclusive to members of one gender, 2) mixed gender harvesting groups were common, 3) women participate in all wild harvesting stages, and 4) men are central to wild plant food harvesting. These findings provide a nuanced picture of gendered harvesting and challenge prevalent biases about women and men's roles in plant harvesting and hunting. Our research further highlights the importance of examining variables such health, opportunities or motivation to harvest, and expertise, to understand intra-gender harvesting. Our research provides a framework to examine gender across multiple stages in a forest food system; this framework can be useful for forest managers interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the diverse contributions women and men make within these systems.
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Vol. 18 • No. 2