Registered users receive a variety of benefits including the ability to customize email alerts, create favorite journals list, and save searches.
Please note that a BioOne web account does not automatically grant access to full-text content. An institutional or society member subscription is required to view non-Open Access content.
Contact email@example.com with any questions.
I recognize four phases of ethnobiology: I, II, III, and IV. Ethnobiology I begins well before the formal naming of ethnobiology as a scholarly endeavor at the end of the 19th century. This initial phase has been widely characterized, albeit over simply, as essentially utilitarian. Ethnobiology II was elaborated in the cognitive/linguistic anthropology of the 1960s. Ethnobiology III integrates knowledge with practice, stressing the ecological consequences of knowledge applied to make a living. Ethnobiology IV emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to control their traditional knowledge. I elaborate this framework here and consider how these diverse perspectives might be integrated more effectively in the future.
The Tzeltal Maya of Highland Chiapas, Mexico, regularly gather wild mushrooms as a supplement to the staple diet of corn and beans, especially during the rainy season months from June to December. Fieldwork over 18 months was conducted in the Tzeltal Maya communities of Oxchuc and Tenejapa with the goal of exploring ethnomycological knowledge in the Highland region. Thirty pile sort interviews supplement more than 200 semi-structured interviews concerning the names, uses and folk classification of mushrooms. This paper describes the ways in which the structure of the Tzeltal system of ethnomycological classification conform to the general principles of classification proposed by Berlin (1992).
This paper presents the results of recent archaeological survey and zooarchaeological studies of five sites located on the Forrester Islands of southeast Alaska, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Even though many Alaska Natives have a long history of hunting migratory birds—including seabirds—use of these resources is not well-documented, at least partly because harvest during the spring and summer was illegal for much of the 20th century. Ethnographic and biological data are employed to help interpret the zooarchaeological results. This study documents use of 11 seabird taxa, with Tufted Puffins, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Cassin's Auklets as the most heavily used species. The bird assemblages from the Forrester Islands demonstrate that the Haida, Tlingit, and their ancestors have been using seabirds from the Forrester Islands for over a thousand years.
This paper presents a comparative study of plant knowledge and use in rural and urban areas in the municipality of Barcelos in the Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil, based on a total of 81 interviews. Using diversity indices (Shannon-Wiener), plant knowledge is compared among communities (urban-rural population), and between sex (male-female) and age (older or younger than 40 years) categories within each community. Among our informants, we found quantitative differences concerning the knowledge of medicinal plants between sex and age categories. Some individuals play a key role relating to medicinal plant knowledge, and steps should be taken in order to include them in management and conservation plans.
We report on the recovery of sunflower head (disk) remains and associated achenes (Helianthus annuus L.) from Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, U.S.A. These remains were directly dated to 2560 ± 40 BP (810-540 cal BC) and indicate the use of weed sunflower before obvious signs of domestication. Although sunflower achenes are more commonly found at archaeological sites, sunflower head remains have been reported previously at only four other rock shelter sites in North America (Dick 1965; Heiser 1978; Smith 1950; Yarnell 1978; Young 1910). The various uses of sunflower in rock shelter and cave contexts are discussed.
Dendroarchaeology became established with A.E. Douglass' (1929) classic paper in National Geographic Magazine, dating approximately 45 ruins throughout the southwestern United States. Since then, dendrochronology has established the occupation sequences of numerous archaeological sites and has been used to describe past climatic conditions experienced by native and historical populations. The technique of dendrochronology has continued to expand and new methods are being developed that can provide ecological records that may help answer questions concerning anthropogenic ecology and resource availability in an archaeological context. The applications discussed in this paper include fire histories, stand-age structure, climate reconstructions, insect outbreak reconstructions, and mast (synchronous fruiting of trees) reconstructions. Native Americans' effect on natural fire regimes is a debated issue that we can now explore through numerous fire histories extending back to the 1600s in the southwestern United States. Historical fire regimes can be examined in the eastern United States back to the 1800s. Climate reconstructions in the southwestern United States extend back more than 2,000 years in multiple locations. Native Americans have used Pandora Moth larvae as a food source, and outbreak reconstructions now extend to the 1300s in south-central Oregon. Furthermore, new techniques in dendrochronology have been developed to reconstruct masting in oak trees in the southeastern United States over the last century. These dendroecological records can provide useful information for resource availability if specific studies can be conducted that combine archaeological findings with these long-term reconstructions.
A study on ethnomedicinal use, preference for species, and ecological viability of plants used for treating malaria was carried out among the communities living around the Sango Bay Forest Reserve in southern Uganda. Semi-structured interviews and informal discussions were used to collect ethnobotanical information. Abundance and demographic patterns of the key forest tree species used to treat malaria were determined, using 45 plots of 0.1 ha. Sixteen species representing 11 families and 14 genera were reportedly used to treat malaria, including four new reports. Hallea rubrostipulata (K. Schum.) J.-F.Leroy, Warburgia ugandensis Sprague, and Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC. were the most important forest tree species used to treat malaria and were chosen for further study. The three species were found to be highly valued in the treatment of malaria and similarly used by the local people as determined by the clustering procedure. The species generally had an inverse J-shaped curve in their population structures, indicating viable regenerating populations. The recognition of the use of traditional medicine by the local communities as an integral and essential part of their health care system is vital in the conservation and sustainable utilization of these plants.