Indigenous Knowledge and Development

Indigenous Knowledge and Development : Livelihoods, Health Experiences, and Medicinal Plant Knowledge in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve

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Indigenous Knowledge and Development: Livelihoods, Health Experiences, and Medicinal Plant Knowledge in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve provides an ethnographic account of the Nahua, a group of indigenous people living in a protected area in west central Mexico. The study moves back and forth between the macro and micro to explore the relationships between three central axes-health, livelihood and cultural knowledge. This anthropological study presents analysis based on household level socioeconomic data and cultural knowledge measured through the use of both structured and semi-structured interviews. Themes that emerge tell the story of contemporary struggles related to governance, cultural heritage, indigenous identities, conservation, and community development. This research contributes to ethnographic knowledge about conservation and cultural heritage on protected areas in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 200 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 430.91g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 10 black & white illustrations, 11 tables
  • 0739176633
  • 9780739176634

Review quote

A systematic and meticulous study of community and environmental health, Olson's contribution may serve to strengthen biodiversity conservation initiatives lastingly and effectively. -- Justin Murphy Nolan, University of Arkansas As human population, growth, and globalization leave no society or economy unaffected, this volume focuses on an interesting and increasingly important topic: the erosion of indigenous knowledge about human health and natural resources. Dr. Olson focuses on medicinal plant knowledge, an important area of traditional ecological knowledge, in indigenous communities of the Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve. Applying a variety of ethnographic methods, Olson's case study is thorough, insightful, and provocative. As integrated conservation and sustainable development projects and environmental justice achieves the attention it deserves, works such as this will be instrumental to identify how the human development index can be achieved. -- Bruce Benz, Texas Wesleyan University In Indigenous Knowledge and Development: Livelihoods, Health Experiences, and Medicinal Plant Knowledge in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve, Elizabeth Olson develops the three axes of traditional medical knowledge, sustainable activities, and the maintenance of indigenous patterns and deftly explores each one and their various intersections. It is well worthwhile to see a case of the cultural maintenance and contributions to modern practices such as sustainability. This interesting and informative text bridges several areas of concern about indigenous populations and modernization. -- Atwood Gaines, Case Western Reserve Universityshow more

About Elizabeth Anne Olson

Elizabeth A. Olson is assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science/Studies at Allegheny College. She is a medical and environmental anthropologist whose research has looked at traditional healing systems and the relationships between humans and our environments in the United States, the Bolivian Amazon, Mexico, and Western more

Table of contents

List of Figures List of Tables List of Abbreviations Preface Acknowledgments 1. Introduction 2. Sierra of Manantlan Biosphere Reserve 3. Conservation and Subsistence Strategies 4. Market Interaction and Indigenous People 5. Governance: Community Decision-Making 6. Indigenous People and Development Programs 7. Ethnomedical Systems in Mexico 8. Medicinal Plant Knowledge in the Reserve 9. Final Thoughts Glossary Bibliography Index About the Authorshow more