The use of tropical forest (agroecosystems and wild plant harvesting) as a source of food in the bribri and cabecar cultures in the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:C. R. Garcia-Serrano, Del Monte J. P.
Journal:Economic BotanyEconomic Botany
Date Published:Spr
ISBN Number:0013-0001
Accession Number:WOS:000221824400007
Keywords:agroecosysterns, bribri, cabecar, costa rica, Ethnobotany, food plants, indigenous cultures

For the Bribri and the Cabecar Indians of Costa Rica the environment is divided in two: the "near", indigenous space; and the "far", natural space, which they think does not belong to them. In the former, the following agroecosystems can be distinguished according to biodiversity and intensity of human activity: tropical home garden, rotating slash-and-burn agriculture, plantain polyculture, and plantain monoculture. In the "far" space, these two culturally close groups harvest wild plants observing ancestral rules, which have helped ensure a sustainable use of forest resources. Their diet is based on 84 species, of which 24 are harvested in the "far" environment (hombron, semko, platanillo, tacaco, etc.) and 60 are obtained in the "near" environment (maize, bean, cacao, manioc, etc.). Owing to acculturation, exotic species (mainly rice, sugarcane, plantain, cacao and citrus fruit) have become part of their diet and crops.

Alternate Journal:Econ Bot
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