2007 - Volume 5 : Ethnobotany Research and Applications

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
  • Item
    Blending Traditional and Western Medicine: Medicinal Plant Use Among Patients at Clinica Anticona in El Porvenir, Peru
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) Bussmann, R.W. ; Sharon, D. ; Lopez, A.
    Medicinal plants have been used in Peru for millennia for a variety of uses, but, over the last century, modern technology has deterred the increased growth of this valuable knowledge. The present study attempts to look at a clinic in El Porvenir, on the north coast of Peru to discover what kind of medicines are preferred and the factors determining choices made. Previous studies have shown that medicinal plants still play an important role in treatment. However, the results of our study demonstrate that pharmaceutical medicine plays a larger role when compared to the use of medicinal plants. Thus, while many patients feel pharmaceutical medicine is faster and more effective, there are still a large number of plants that are commonly used by patients. As a result, there is evidence that more research in this area should be done in order to learn what factors determine medical choices and what factors might lead to an increase the use of medicinal plants.
  • Item
    Could Captain John Smith’s Mattoume Have Been Wild Rice?
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) LaRoche, Germain
    An early English explorer of North America, Captain John Smith reported use of a wild food called mattoume by native inhabitants of Virginia. Botanical identification of mattoume has been a mystery. In an attempt to solve the mystery of which plant species Captain Smith observed, I compare the botanical descriptions of wild rice and several other possible species that were mentioned either in scholarly journals or in ethnobotanical literature as likely identifications of mattoume. It seems most likely that mattoume is maygrass, Phalaris caroliniana Walter, as the facts do not support an identification as wild rice.
  • Item
    Artificae Plantae: The Taxonomy, Ecology, and Ethnobotany of the Simulacraceae
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) Bletter, Nat ; Reynertson, Kurt A. ; Runk, Julie Velasquez
    The Simulacraceae has long been ignored by traditional botanists despite the fact that this family of artificial plants represents one of the most economically important and geographically diverse groups. In this study, conducted over approximately six years, we elucidate the first full description and review of this fascinating taxon. The economics, distribution, ecology, taxonomy, paleoethnobotany, and phakochemistry of this widespread family are herein presented. We have recently made great strides in circumscribing this group, and collections indicate this cosmopolitan family has a varied ecology. This report delineates approximately 80 species in seventeen genera (Calciumcarbonatia, Celadonica, Conglomeratium, Dentumadhesivium, Ductusadhesivia, Granitus, Simulacra, Lignus, Metallicus, Papyroidia, Paraffinius, Photophyta, Plasticus, Polystyrin, Prophylactica, Silicus, and Textileria) and two tribes (Xenoideae and Simuleae). Continued work is expanding these numbers rapidly. Despite being genomically challenged plants, an initial phylogeny is proposed. In an early attempt to determine the ecological relations of this family, a twenty-meter transect has been inventoried from a Plasticus rain forest in Nyack, New York, yielding 49 new species and the first species-area curve for this family.
  • Item
    Purposive Sampling as a Tool for Informant Selection
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) Tongco, Maria Dolores C.
    Informant selection is highly relevant for ethnobotanical research, as people are constantly looked upon for knowledge and information. The purposive sampling technique is a type of non-probability sampling that is most effective when one needs to study a certain cultural domain with knowledgeable experts within. Purposive sampling may also be used with both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. The inherent bias of the method contributes to its efficiency, and the method stays robust even when tested against random probability sampling. Choosing the purposive sample is fundamental to the quality of data gathered; thus, reliability and competence of the informant must be ensured.
  • Item
    Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatica, Convolvulaceae): A Food Gone Wild
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) Austin, Daniel F.
    Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) has been considered native to Africa, Asia, and the southwestern Pacific Islands. The herbs have been a medicinal vegetable in southern Asia since at least A.D. 300, and perhaps since 200 B.C. People still gather plants from the wild and cultivate them. With European arrival in these regions in the late 1400s, they became aware of this medicinal food and began carrying water spinach around the world. As with other transported plants, Europeans took along some common names and cultural uses. With the later migration of people from Asian countries to other parts of the world, the food was imported into new areas. Doubt persists as to where the species was domesticated. Data from uses as food, regions of cultivation, medicinal use, phylogenetic studies, common names, and pathogens suggest that water spinach was first cultivated in southeastern Asia. The plants may have been domesticated in China and India, but the data are equivocal. The vegetable sometimes escapes from cultivation to become an ecologically invasive weed.
  • Item
    Hard Wood Utilization in Buildings of Rural Households of the Manqakulane Community, Maputaland, South Africa
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) Gaugris, J.Y. ; van Rooyen, M.W. ; Bothma, J. du P. ; Van der Linde, M.J.
    An analysis of the structure and composition of household buildings in the rural community of Manqakulane, Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is presented. This bio-diversity-rich area forms part of the Maputaland Centre of Plant Endemism, currently under threat from land transformation and human utilisation outside conservation areas. The demand for natural resources as building material by people of the community is evaluated through a survey of the structure of 42 randomly selected households. A sample of 226 buildings used for habitation or other purposes was conducted. The results revealed a change in structure types from round reed hut observed in the 1980s towards durable structures made with brick or wooden walls and corrugated iron roofs. Round structures are replaced by square ones, and thatched roofs are no longer the majority. Materials used for construction are identified and quantified, and an attempt is made to plan utilisation for the next eight years.
  • Item
    Two Ethnobotanists
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) McClatchey, Will
  • Item
    The Political Ecology of a “Forest Transition”: Eucalyptus Forestry in the Southern Peruvian Andes
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) Luzar, Jeffrey
    In numerous peasant communities of the Peruvian Andes, the eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus globulus Labill.), an introduced species from Australia, represents a fundamental component of the rural livelihood system. This study examines the ways in which a forest transition--the partial reforestation of this region through eucalyptus plantation forestry--has, in addition to providing a valuable resource, transformed peasant economic and land tenure systems and shaped the position that peasant communities have assumed in Peruvian political and economic systems in recent decades. During the agrarian reforms of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the state promoted large-scale eucalyptus forestry, partially as a means of strengthening its political presence in the countryside. More recently, in the wake of structural adjustment, non-governmental actors--namely NGOs and private business--by engaging in rural forestry, entered the political and economic vacuum created by a receding state apparatus. Applying a political ecological perspective to a case study from southern Peru, this study looks specifically at the role that this widespread introduced species has played in shaping land tenure institutions, market integration, and peasant interactions with the state, outside NGOs and businesses.
  • Item
    Potential for Agroforestry Adoption in Southern Africa: A Comparative Study of Improved Fallow and Green Manure Adoption in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) Thangata, P.H. ; Mudhara, M. ; Grier, C. ; Hildebrand, P.E.
    This paper summarizes the findings of three ex-ante studies, from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia, that examined the potential for adoption of agroforestry technologies should they be extended to farmers. Ethnographic linear programme modelling of households in all three locations shows that the potential adoption of these technologies depends on household composition, farm size, and availability of draft power. Results show that both male and female headed households can adopt the technology. A seed selling incentive enhanced adoption through augmenting household income and benefited farmers by increasing funds available for discretionary use. In Zimbabwe there was a greater increase in discretionary cash for draft animal owners than non-owners. It is concluded that in Southern Africa, improved fallows are a viable alternative to chemical fertilizer use for small farmers.
  • Item
    Applying Asset Mapping to Protected Area Planning and Management in the Cordillera Azul National Park, Peru
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007) del Campo, Hilary ; Wali, Alaka
    Participatory conservation efforts are now common throughout regions of high biodiversity in the developing world. Standard approaches to participatory conservation begin with need-based assessments that identify human-induced ecological threats and livelihood deficiencies, but this focus on “threats” and “needs” tends to reinforce perceptions of rural people as predatory, poor and dependent. We examine the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological application of an alternative, “assets-based” approach to participatory conservation and the co-management of natural resources in areas of high cultural and biological diversity. As a case study, we report on the implementation of an asset-mapping activity applied in the buffer zone of the Cordillera Azul National Park in north-central Peru. Data were collected by community facilitators in 53 communities within the park’s buffer zone. These data encompass local knowledge systems, community visions for the future, and innovative livelihood strategies compatible with conservation goals. By focusing on these social assets, this approach demonstrates the ways in which positive, pre-existing cultural characteristics may be used to plan and guide the management of a protected area. We describe how this approach has helped to empower local communities and to improve dialogue and transparency between disparate stakeholders. We also include a discussion of the challenges and limitations of this asset-mapping activity.