Ethnobiology in Mexico / Etnobiología de México (Part I)

Citlally Topete
Session Date and Time: 
Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 10:45 to 12:00

This two-part session highlights a range of contemporary ethnobiological research in Mexico. The studies presented include: descriptions of plant and landscape usage, the significance of cultural knowledge for conservation, and the economic dimensions of natural resource exploitation. The session will feature some papers in Spanish and some in English. 

Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
del Castillo Batista
, Ana Patricia - Professional

In Mexico has more than 25 thousand Considered species of wild plants and it is close to 15% Estimated are for medicinal use. In the community of Cerro Grande, in the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve, it to corresponds to mountain uplift of 47 thousand hectares Between Jalisco and Colima, the People who have been part of the Reserve for more than 30 years, have participated in the conservation of its biodiversity. Therefore, In this work we document through open interviews which are the wild plants, for medicinal use. Those Particularly, by the community's perception habitants, their contrasting before and after the decree in the protected area. About the 3,000 species reported by Vazquez, et al (1995) for the Flora of Manantlán. That the current estimate of the species use species is 900 and of these, medicinal plants stand out With 300 species.

Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
, Citlally - University of Guadalajara

Annona purpurea, known as “cabeza de negro”, is a tree up to 18 m high, with globose fruits up to 20 cm in diameter. It is found wild or cultivated in home gardens, at elevations below 900 m asl. Its collection and marketing takes place between the months of October and November, and its sale represents a source of income for rural families. The sale of the fruit is carried out in established stalls and in markets. Its cost is variable and depends on the size of the fruit and the place where the sale is made. The amount of fruits collected per person ranges from 200 to 1800. Its roots and bark are reported with medicinal use and the leaves are used to wrap cheeses and panelas. Annona purpurea has its greatest structural attributes in places with higher rainfall and temperature, with less stony ground. Its greatest association is with Guazuma ulmifolia.

Presentation format: 
Oral (pre-recorded)
, Araceli - Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Universidad Veracruzana
, Esther - Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement, IRD-FRANCE
, Marco Antonio - Instituto Tecnológico del Valle de Oaxaca
, Gladys Isabel - CIIDIR-Instituto Politécnico Nacional-Unidad Oaxaca

The importance of chiles to Mexicans has been discussed by researchers of different disciplines, who consider that domesticated chiles are essential ingredients providing diversity to everyday and festive food. However, little is known about the range of uses of the different domesticated landraces, of commercial domesticated chiles, as well as wild chiles. Through fieldwork and literature review, we developed a matrix of botanical and cultural data related to the uses of chiles to identify species and domestication status of the genus Capsicum in the multi-ethnic Mexican territory. We found a wide range of uses in different cultures of the 11 linguistic families, ranging from edible and medicinal to protective and healing of the soul. The objective of this presentation is to highlight the interconnectivity between chiles and local cultural values, beliefs, practices and language and show how this link may have been the main incentive for the conservation of landraces up to the present.

Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
, Florencia - University of Minnesota

Tourism activities at Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Yucatán, México have opened up opportunities for wooden handicraft production and commerce. Scholars have widely explored the impacts of tourism and handicraft production in Pisté, the central tourist town close to Chichén Itzá, but little has been done to explore handicraft production from the perception of Maya artisans from the surrounding communities. The purpose of this study is to explore artisans’ perceptions of handicraft production as a base of knowledge for understanding how handicraft production relates to livelihoods and natural resources management in a Maya community. The consideration of motivations and challenges among artisans might help to implement development policies that fulfill artisans’ needs, improve their livelihoods, and promote the use of sustainable wood carving species.

Presentation format: 
Oral (live)
, Asia - University of New Mexico

Around the world during the transition to agriculture, coastal populations often persist as hunter-gatherers for longer periods of time than inland populations in the same region. Archaeological research indicates the Soconusco coast in Chiapas, Mexico is no exception; in this region, the Chantuto society, known by multiple shellmounds, subsisted as fisher-hunter-horticulturalists even as inland populations began to adopt maize-based agriculture. This presentation reexamines previously published fauna data from five shellmounds (7,500-3800 BP) surrounding the Acapetahua Estuary using measures of abundance and diversity to address how coastal resource stability contributed to the persistence of a hunter-gatherer life style. These data provide the basis for my dissertation project that focuses on the stability of coastal foraging practices of the Chantuto society in the Acapetahua Estuary with implications for the present day ecological stability of the Estuary.