Books  Botany & Plant Science  Economic Botany & Ethnobotany 

Ethnobotany of Pohnpei: Plants, People, and Island Culture

Edited By: Michael J Balick

590 pages, 387 colour illustrations

University of Hawaii Press

Paperback | Mar 2009 | #178643 | ISBN-13: 9780824832933
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £25.50 $32/€30 approx

About this book

Ethnobotany of Pohnpei examines the relationship between plants, people, and traditional culture on Pohnpei, one of the four island members of the Federated States of Micronesia. Traditional culture is still very strong on Pohnpei and is biodiversity-dependent, relying on both its pristine habitats and managed landscapes; native and introduced plants and animals; and extraordinary marine life.

This book is the result of a decade of research by a team of local people and international specialists carried out under the direction of the Mwoalen Wahu Ileilehn Pohnpei (Pohnpei Council of Traditional Leaders). It discusses the uses of the native and introduced plant species that have sustained human life on the island and its outlying atolls for generations, including Piper methysticum (locally known as sakau and recognized throughout the Pacific as kava), which is essential in defining cultural identity for Pohnpeians. The work also focuses on ethnomedicine, the traditional medical system used to address health conditions, and its associated beliefs.

The ultimate goal of this volume is to give readers a sense of the traditional ethnobotanical knowledge that still exists in the area, to make them aware of its vulnerability to modernization, and to encourage local people to respect this ancient knowledge and keep such practices alive.


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Biography

Michael J. Balick is Vice President for Botanical Science, Philecology Curator, and Director, Institute of Economic Botany, at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

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