Books  Botany  Economic Botany & Ethnobotany 

The Forest of the Lacandon Maya: An Ethnobotanical Guide

By: Suzanne Cook(Author)

379 pages, 381 colour & 36 b/w photos and illustrations, 10 tables


Hardback | Apr 2016 | #208410 | ISBN-13: 9781461491101
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £159.99 $210/€182 approx

About this book

The Forest of the Lacandon Maya: An Ethnobotanical Guide serves as a comprehensive guide to the botanical heritage of the northern Lacandones. Numbering fewer than 300 men, women, and children, this community is the most culturally conservative of the Mayan groups. Protected by their hostile environment, over many centuries they maintained autonomy from the outside forces of church and state, while they continued to draw on the forest for spiritual inspiration and sustenance.

In The Forest of the Lacandon Maya: An Ethnobotanical Guide, linguist Suzanne Cook presents a bilingual Lacandon-English ethnobotanical guide to more than 450 plants in a tripartite organization: a botanical inventory in which main entries are headed by Lacandon names followed by common English and botanical names, and which includes plant descriptions and uses; an ethnographic inventory, which expands the descriptions given in the botanical inventory, providing the socio-historical, dietary, mythological, and spiritual significance of most plants; and chapters that discuss the relevant cultural applications of the plants in more detail provide a description of the area's geography, and give an ethnographic overview of the Lacandones.

Extra material online contains a digital version of The Forest of the Lacandon Maya: An Ethnobotanical Guide, with active links throughout the main sections to original audio-video recordings that demonstrate the use and preparation of the most significant plants.


1.1 The Lacandones
1.2 Situation of Research
1.3 Collection Methods
1.4 Lacandon Consultants
1.5 How to Read this Book
1.6 Electronic Version
1.7 Abbreviations

2. Language
2.1 The Language System
2.2 Previous Research
2.3 Transcription Conventions Used in this Work

3. The Lacandon Rainforest
3.1 Geography
3.2 Climate
3.3 Vegetation

4. The Role Of Plants In Traditional Lacandon Culture
4.1 Food
4.2 Agriculture
4.3 Housing
4.4. Artefacts
4.5 Crafts
4.6 Clothing
4.7 Medicine and curing
4.8 Lacandon Plant Classification

5. Botanical Inventory

6. Ethnographic Inventory
6.1 Agriculture
6.2 Artefacts
6.3 Clothing
6.4 Deities
6.5 Food
6.6 Geography
6.7 Housing
6.8 Medical Conditions


Appendix 1.    Lacandon Plants Unidentified Botanically
Appendix 2.    General Botanical Terms in Lacandon
Appendix 3.    Seasons
Appendix 4.    Weather
Appendix 5.    Botanical-Lacandon Index
Appendix 6.    English-Lacandon Index
Appendix 7.    Lacandon Texts

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this book. Be the first to review this book!


Suzanne Cook University of Victoria, Department of Linguistics, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Bestsellers in this subject

World Guide to Tropical Drift Seeds and Fruits

NHBS Price: £29.50 $39/€33 approx

Weeds: The Story of Outlaw Plants

NHBS Price: £9.99 $13/€11 approx

Plants: Healers and Killers

NHBS Price: £14.99 $20/€17 approx

VAT: GB 407 4846 44
NHBS Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 1875194