Cultural ecology of Amazonian palms

TitleCultural ecology of Amazonian palms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1979
AuthorsBodley, JH, Benson, FC
JournalReports of Investigations
Date PublishedJune 1979

The land requirements for subsistence shifting cultivation have long been documented, but there has been little attention paid to the wild plants that are fully as important to the needs of local communities. Throughout the Amazon, palms are one of the most conspicuous of such wild plant resources. They supply materials for housing, weapons, household articles, and food, and are heavily used by all the inhabitatnts of the region, yet the information that planners require regarding the actual rates at which the palms are utilized, their availability in the forest, or the impact of cultural practices on the future supply of this critical resource, has seldom been recorded. The present study attempts to provide such information for a modern community of Shipibo Indians in eastern Peru with the hope that it will contribute to wise resource planning, and that it will stimulate further investigation of these problems. (author)

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