ethnobotany

ethnobotanic /eth'noh beuh tan"ik/, ethnobotanical, adj.ethnobotanist, n.
/eth'noh bot"n ee/, n.
1. the plant lore and agricultural customs of a people.
2. Anthropol. the systematic study of such lore and customs.
[1885-90, Amer.; ETHNO- + BOTANY]

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      systematic study of the botanical knowledge of a social group and its use of locally available plants in foods, medicines, clothing, or religious rituals. Rudimentary drugs derived from plants used in folk medicines have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of many illnesses, both physical and mental. The ethnobotany of prehistoric cultures is discovered through examination of ancient writings, pictures, pottery, and plant remains in jars or midden heaps (garbage dumps) excavated at archaeological sites. From this information, the agricultural practices and cultural development of a people can be determined. Ethnobotanists often live for periods of time in the society they are studying, to observe all phases of their lives, including mythology, religious practices, and language, in order to determine the specific plants used and the methods involved in their preparation. Travelers' journals, the field notes of early botanists, and other writings serve as sources of information about agricultural methods and folk remedies of the past.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ethnobotany — ( from ethnology study of culture [The Random House Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged Edition, Jess Stein ed. in chief, Random House, New York 1966 p. 489] and botany study of plants ) is the scientific study of the relationships that …   Wikipedia

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  • ethnobotany — noun Date: 1890 the plant lore of indigenous cultures; also the systematic study of such lore • ethnobotanical adjective • ethnobotanist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ethnobotany — noun The scientific study of the relationships between people and plants …   Wiktionary

  • ethnobotany — eth·no·bot·a·ny (eth″no botґə ne) the systematic study of the interactions between a culture and the plants in its environment, particularly the group s knowledge about and use of such plants …   Medical dictionary

  • ethnobotany —   Study of the use of plants by the races of man …   Expanded glossary of Cycad terms

  • ethnobotany — eth·no·botany …   English syllables

  • ethnobotany — eth•no•bot•a•ny [[t]ˌɛθ noʊˈbɒt n i[/t]] n. 1) ecl ant the plant lore and agricultural customs of a people 2) ecl ant the systematic study of such lore and customs • Etymology: 1885–90, amer. eth no•bo•tan′ic bəˈtæn ɪk eth no•bo•tan′i•cal, adj.… …   From formal English to slang

  • ethnobotany — /ɛθnoʊˈbɒtəni/ (say ethnoh botuhnee) noun the study of the plant lore and agricultural customs of a people. –ethnobotanist …   Australian English dictionary

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