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29 December 2022 Plants in the Sakha Culture: Names, Knowledge, and Habitat
Ninel Malysheva, Lenore A. Grenoble, Igor Danilov, Marina Osorova, Aitalina Rakhleeva
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Knowledge and use of plants among the Sakha (orYakut) people are reflected in their naming practices for the plants according to habitat. The Sakha are a Turkic people with a total population of approximately 500,000, living primarily in the vast territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the Russian Federation, a region comprising Arctic and Subarctic zones. The Sakha plant lexicon encodes knowledge and cultural information about how the Sakha engage with their environment, as plants occupy an important place in their life. The present article represents an ethnolinguistic analysis of 43 plant names; these plants were chosen as their names indicate their habitats. We used a mixed-methods approach of linguistic analysis, ethnolinguistic fieldwork, questionnaires, and verification with published resources to understand the linguistic structure of the plant names, what they mean for users, and how the plants are used in traditional Sakha medicine, more broadly. We found that the names provide key information as to how to locate plants that have practical uses (as medicine and as food). Information from several unstudied dialects is also provided.

Ninel Malysheva, Lenore A. Grenoble, Igor Danilov, Marina Osorova, and Aitalina Rakhleeva "Plants in the Sakha Culture: Names, Knowledge, and Habitat," Journal of Ethnobiology 42(4), 461-476, (29 December 2022).
Published: 29 December 2022
local knowledge
plant usage
Sakha plant names
traditional medicine
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