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Footprints of the Forest : Ka'apor Ethnobotany-the Historical Ecology of Plant Utilization by an Amazonian People - William L. Balee

Footprints of the Forest

Ka'apor Ethnobotany-the Historical Ecology of Plant Utilization by an Amazonian People

Paperback Published: 10th November 1999
ISBN: 9780231074858
Number Of Pages: 416
For Ages: 22+ years old

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"Footprints of the Forest" is the clearest and most comprehensive account to date of the relationship between an Amazonian people and their botanical environment.

Based on Balee's ten years of ethnological and botanical research among the Tupi-Guarani-speaking Indians, especially the Ka'apor, of eastern Amazonia, this book documents the ways in which the Ka'apor use, manage, name, and classify many hundreds of plant species found in their habitat. From a historical and ecological perspective, Balee shows that Ka'apor ethnobotany represents an interpenetration of Amazonian culture and nature and thus constitutes a domain of scientific inquiry in its own right.

The substantive chapters explore the history of the Ka'apor and their present modes of land use, the Ka'apor's influence on the composition of fragile forests in their habitat, and Ka'apor forest management practices. Balee also discusses the nomenclature and classification of indigenous plants as well as the cognitive aspects of magical, medicinal, and poisonous plants.

"Footprints of the Forest" concludes with an explanatory framework for understanding the similarities and differences among the ethnobotanical systems of diverse Amazonian peoples and ten cross-referenced appendices, which will aid those readers interested in specific Amazonian plants and their native names, habitats, and exact uses by the Ka'apor.

The complete ethnobotany has yet to be written, but Footprints of the Forest... moves one step closer to that Sisyphean goal... I know of no other work as comprehensive as this one. BioScience The most detailed and thorough analysis ever produced of indigenous plants and plant use in Amazonia... Balee's perspective skillfully integrates historical and ethnohistorical data with his contemporary research, yielding a finely nuanced view of Ka'apor ethnology and neatly meshed comparisons with a number of other Amazonian groups. American Anthropologist This book provides a unique insight into the relationships between an Amazonian people and the botanical environment of the Amazon Basin. Southeastern Naturalist

List of Illustrationsp. xi
List of Tablesp. xiii
Note on Orthography and Glosses for Indigenous Termsp. xv
Prefacep. xix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Introductionp. 1
Historical Ecology as a Framework for Researchp. 1
Summary of Chaptersp. 2
The Botanical and Ethnographic Settingp. 9
Geology and Climatep. 9
The Pre-Amazonian Forestp. 10
Vegetation of Rivers and Swampsp. 12
Terre Firme Forestsp. 15
The Ka'apor as an Ethnographically Distinct Peoplep. 16
Familial Bonds, Headmen, and Marriage Practicesp. 17
Birth, Naming, and Family Lifep. 22
Ka'apor Historyp. 25
Originsp. 25
The Coming of the Portuguesep. 27
Migration to the Acara and Capim Basinsp. 30
Residency in the Gurupi Basinp. 34
Attempts to "Pacify" the Ka'aporp. 39
Peace and Decline, Post-1928p. 42
Activity Contexts of Plants and Peoplep. 49
Swidden Gardeningp. 50
House Buildingp. 53
Huntingp. 55
Fishingp. 60
Gatheringp. 63
Food Preparationp. 69
Manufacture and Repair of Material Goodsp. 75
Work in Plant Fibersp. 76
Decorative Objects and Body Ornamentationp. 79
Child Carep. 82
Eatingp. 85
Hygienep. 85
Leisure and Other Activitiesp. 86
Medicine, Magic, and Poisonp. 88
Oral Traditions and the Limits of Knowledgep. 88
Distinguishing Magic and Medicinep. 90
A Mental Economy in Ka'apor Ethnobotanyp. 92
Plants Used in Magicp. 102
Plants Used in Medicinep. 108
Historical Ecology and Ethnomedical Knowledgep. 113
Indigenous Forest Managementp. 116
Neither Preservation nor Degradationp. 117
Effects on Rivers and Soilsp. 119
Effects on Wildlifep. 120
Effects on Plantsp. 121
Fallow Versus High Forest and Description of Study Plotsp. 123
Results of Forest Inventoriesp. 129
Traditional Indigenous Activity as an Enhancer of Regional Biodiversityp. 135
What Do They Know, and When Did They Know It?p. 138
Settlement History and Ecological Diversityp. 141
Management of Dooryard Gardensp. 148
Management of Young Swiddensp. 154
Management of Old Swiddens and the Formation of Fallowp. 158
States, Nonstates, and Bioecological Diversityp. 164
Plant Nomenclature and Classificationp. 166
Ethnolinguistic Methodsp. 166
General and Special Purpose Taxonomiesp. 173
The Semantic Domain of Plantsp. 175
The Dichotomy of Domesticates and Nondomesticatesp. 179
Classification of Folk Genera, Species, and Varietalsp. 181
Ka'apor Plant Lexemesp. 184
Literal Generic Namesp. 185
Metaphorical Generic Namesp. 186
Secondary Lexemes and Names for Domesticated Plantsp. 193
The Guaja Exceptionp. 200
Toward a Comparative Ethnobotany of Lowland South Americap. 204
Comparing Horticulturalists with Foragersp. 204
Comparisons with Trekkersp. 210
The Role of Semidomesticates in Agricultural Regressionp. 215
Implications of Agricultural Regressionp. 219
Ecological Importance Values of Fallow Speciesp. 225
Ecological Importance Values of Fallow Familiesp. 236
Ecological Importance Values of High Forest Speciesp. 238
Ecological Importance Values of High Forest Familiesp. 249
Alphabetical List of Plant Species Known to the Ka'aporp. 251
Codes for Activity Contextsp. 266
Indigenous Names and Activity Contexts of Plants Known to the Ka'aporp. 271
Specific Activities and Associated Plants in Ka'apor Culturep. 310
Concordance of Folk and Botanical Nomenclaturep. 333
Outline for a Classification of Ka'apor Generic Plant Namesp. 358
Bibliographyp. 363
Indexp. 383
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231074858
ISBN-10: 0231074859
Series: Biology and Resource Management Series
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 10th November 1999
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 2.34
Weight (kg): 0.71