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dc.contributor.authorCasagrande, David Gregory
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-04T22:00:52Z
dc.date.available2014-03-04T22:00:52Z
dc.date.issued2002-12
dc.identifier.othercasagrande_david_g_200212_phd
dc.identifier.urihttp://purl.galileo.usg.edu/uga_etd/casagrande_david_g_200212_phd
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10724/29379
dc.description.abstractThe goal of this dissertation is to explain patterns in the distribution of medicinal plant knowledge among the Tzeltal; in particular, why some plants are more likely to be known for their medicinal use than other plants. Methods included botanical collection, structured ethnobotanical surveys, landscape vegetation surveys, discourse analysis and participant observation. The explanatory approach was synthetic, drawing on notions from cultural anthropology, ethnopharmacology, ecology, cognitive science, linguistics, and studies of cultural transmission. Explanatory notions were tested by comparing Tzeltal Maya who have lived in the temperate Chiapas Highlands for many generations with other Tzeltal who have migrated from the Highlands to the lowland tropical rainforest within the last 30 years. Both study populations show patterns in which a few plants are known by every-one, but distribution of knowledge decreases as the diversity of plants increases, and most knowledge is idiosyncratic. The effects of typicality in categorization and discourse account for the few widely known plants. Humoral (hot/cold) classification is highly variable, does not facilitate recall of medicinal uses of plants, and has no significant effect on the distribution of knowledge. Cultural interpretations of plant taste and mor-phology are very important in individual cognitive models, but lose importance at the scale of shared discursive models where social and pragmatic themes also influence the dissemination of knowledge. While humoral classification and cultural interpretations of taste and morphology may be important for expert curers, they do not significantly affect the dissemination of knowledge among novices. Species that are more accessible tend to be used more often, and frequency of use is weakly correlated with knowledge distribu-tion. Emic perception of efficacy is the variable that most accounts for the distribution of knowledge. But social organization, individual cognition, and random processes in cul-tural transmission shape and bias the flow of information, and knowledge about many species that fit emic conceptions of efficacy is not distributed throughout the populations.
dc.languageEcology, cognition, and cultural transmission of Tzeltal Maya medicinal plant knowledge
dc.publisheruga
dc.rightspublic
dc.subjectChiapas
dc.subjectcognitive anthropology
dc.subjectcultural transmission
dc.subjectcultural models
dc.subjectgoal-derived categories
dc.subjectprototypicality
dc.subjectdistributed cognition
dc.subjectdiscourse
dc.subjectefficacy
dc.subjectecological anthropology
dc.subjectecology
dc.subjectethnoecology
dc.subjectethnopharmacology
dc.subjectethnopharmacognosy
dc.subjecthuman ecosystems
dc.subjecthumoral classification
dc.subjectindigenous knowledge
dc.subjectinformation
dc.subjectMaya
dc.subjectmedical anthropology
dc.subjectmedical ethnobotany
dc.subjectmedicinal plants
dc.subjectMexico
dc.subjectorganoleptics
dc.subjectphytosociology
dc.subjectsocial networks
dc.subjectTseltal
dc.subjectTzeltal
dc.subjectvariation
dc.subjectmigration
dc.titleEcology, cognition, and cultural transmission of Tzeltal Maya medicinal plant knowledge
dc.typeDissertation
dc.description.degreePhD
dc.description.departmentAnthropology
dc.description.majorAnthropology
dc.description.advisorBrent Berlin
dc.description.committeeBrent Berlin
dc.description.committeeElois Ann Berlin
dc.description.committeeDavid Giannasi
dc.description.committeeBen Blount
dc.description.committeeSteve Kowalewski


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