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By Paul E. Minnis

This reader in ethnobotany comprises fourteen chapters equipped in 4 elements. Paul Minnis presents a basic advent; the authors of the part introductions are Catherine S. Foeler (ethnoecology), Cecil H. Brown (folk classification), Timothy Jones (foods and medicines), and Richard I. Ford (agriculture).Ethnobotany: A Reader is meant to be used as a textbook in higher department undergraduate and graduate classes in monetary botany, ethnobotany, and human ecology. The ebook brings jointly for the 1st time formerly released magazine articles that supply assorted views on a large choice of issues in ethnobotany. members comprise: Janis B. Alcorn, M. Kat Anderson, Stephen B. Brush, Robert A. Bye, George F. Estabrook, David H. French, Eugene S. Hunn, Charles F. Hutchinson, Eric Mellink, Paul E. Minnis, Brian Morris, Gary P. Nabhan, Amadeo M. Rea, Karen L. Reichhardt, Jan Timbrook, Nancy J. Turner, and Robert A. Voeks.

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The value of indigenous ethnobotanical knowledge needs to be factored into ecosystem value estimations, that is, attempts to calculate the monetary and nonmonetary value of natural environments (Daily 1997). Historical Roots of Ethnobotany The current state of ethnobotany is shaped in part by its historical roots. There is no obvious point in time at which we can say ethnobotany began, because all peoples have noted with some interest how members of their own culture, as well as other peoples, relate to the natural world.

Only a more thorough and complex set of research techniques and methods involving careful analyses will give good results. Full integration of indigenous knowledge systems, such as traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) [but also others (see Cotton 1996:6162)], with other ways of knowing and observing should be the goal, although indigenous knowledge systems also stand on their own merits. The three articles that follow, two from the early 1980s and one from 1991, reflect to a significant degree both pioneering thinking within ethnoecology as well as present-day trends.

Only in that way, Frake continues, can one hope to determine "the extent to which ecological considerations, in contrast, say, to sociological ones, enter into a person's decision of what to do" (Frake 1962: 55). Although with earlier roots in the cultural ecology of the 1940s as promoted by Julian Steward, and with certain alternative expressions in the 1960s and since [see, for example, Rappaport's (1963) "cognized environment"], ethnoecology has continued to guide and influence ethnobotanical methodology since its inception.

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