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Abstract Detail



Economic Botany Section

Elisens, Wayne [1].

Floristic and ethnobotanical resource use among hunting/gathering tribes in the southern plains of North America.

The Kiowa, Comanche, and Plains Apache (KCA) were nomadic hunting and gathering peoples that were linked culturally, politically, and geographically in the southern Great Plains of North America. They were closely associated since EuroAmerican contact, were confederated in 1867, and shared a reservation in Oklahoma where most tribal members reside today. Because each tribe remained in its ancestral region, was dependent on bison hunting and plant gathering, and was investigated by ethnobotanists, a catalog of KCA economic plants was assembled. We compared partitioned and compiled KCA data to reconstructed floristic and ethnobotanical inventories to test hypotheses of loss of traditional knowledge, completeness of ethnobotanical surveys, and extent of plant resource use. The KCA utilized at least 164 species of vascular plants native to their 8-county former reservation. Reconstructed native floristic inventories indicated that 12.7% of the KCA reservation flora (1289 species) was utilized economically compared to only 5.8% of the southern Plains flora (2839 species) representing their historic range. Of the 508 native reservation plants (39% of the flora) with economic uses reported in the Native American Ethnobotany database, the KCA utilized 32% of the total ethnobotanical resource pool. When partitioned by tribe, the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache utilized much smaller percentages of the reservation flora (5% −8%) and the total ethnobotanical resource pool (12%−20%). Our results support hypotheses of loss of traditional knowledge of economic plants following confinement to a subset of their former range and forced adoption of an agrarian/ranching economy. Despite extensive intertribal interactions and a shared natural resource base, the disparities among economic plants reported for each tribe and the limited number of plants appearing in more than one ethnobotanical survey indicate that many plants of cultural significance to the KCA were unreported by ethnobotanists.


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1 - University of Oklahoma, Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology, Oklahoma Biological Survey, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK, 73019, USA

Keywords:
ethnobotany
Great Plains
Kiowa
Comanche
Apache.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 4
Location: Salon 2/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 4003
Abstract ID:1172
Candidate for Awards:None


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