Learning with elders; human ecology and ethnobotany explorations in northern and central Vietnam


This article explores data gathered through an applied human ecology and ethnobotany study of selected elders from the Vietnamese Dao, Hmong, Kinh, Ma-Lieng, Sach, Tai, Tay, and Xinh-Mun ethnic groups. The research catalogued traditional uses and conservation practices related to biodiversity and plant use in northern and central Vietnam. The study utilized a human ecology systems theory approach developed by the indigenous and ethnic minority peoples' networks of the Mekong region. Through ethnobotany field interviews, the study gathered traditional knowledge of plants, including twenty-eight climbers, four ferns, twenty-nine annual and two perennial herbs, twenty-four shrubs, and twenty-four trees. Plant importance was analyzed using quantitative ethnobotany indices. Model tests of plant use and conservation support a human ecology systems model approach and suggest that culture, customary law, spiritual practices, and ethnobotany are important contributors to plant conservation practices.

Human Organization, (75), 1, https://doi.org/10.17730/0018-7259-75.1.71