uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Hierarchy, utility and metaphor in Mapuche botany
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
1999 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This book is about the knowledge and management of plants among the Mapuche of southern Chile. Field studies of this extensive cultural patrimony have been carried out over a period of two years, with participation in various activities and rituals in which plants play an important role. Herbalists, shamans and other specialists have explained the practical use and significance of different species, from trees to herbs. The discussion integrates three perspectives: first, the formal plant classification and its resultant taxonomy; second, the practical side of the utilization of plants as food, in medicine and various other aspects of daily life; third, the symbolic relations established between plants and some basic cultural values. The study shows how community rituals, social gatherings and the practice of traditional medicine by shamans and herbalists contribute to the persistence of traditional plant lore, in spite of drastic changes in the local vegetation and in living conditions. A detailed plant taxonomy is part of the understanding of this cultural patrimony. This taxonomy shows that the Mapuche classify plants in accordance to established ethnobotanical principles of general validity. At the same time, such a taxonomy is not emphasised by rural specialists. They are interested in a practical understanding of plants that has a natural, social and moral background. Thus, a proper understanding of this folk-botanic knowledge must move beyond the principle of classification as an epistemological standard and also consider the specific cultural elements found in this southern Andean society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1999. , 210 p.
Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, ISSN 0348-5099 ; 27
Keyword [en]
Ethnology, anthropology, Mapuche, ethnobotany
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-378ISBN: 91-554-4560-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-378DiVA: diva2:163674
Public defence
1999-12-03, Room 1022, Trädgårdsgatan 18, Dep., of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 1999-11-12 Created: 1999-11-12 Last updated: 2010-08-25Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text
Buy this publication >>

By organisation
Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 330 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link