Environment, culture, and medicinal plant knowledge in an indigenous Amazonian community

Christine Labriola, Florida International University


Diminishing cultural and biological diversity is a current global crisis. Tropical forests and indigenous peoples are adversely affected by social and environmental changes caused by global political and economic systems. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate environmental and livelihood challenges as well as medicinal plant knowledge in a Yagua village in the Peruvian Amazon. Indigenous peoples’ relationships with the environment is an important topic in environmental anthropology, and traditional botanical knowledge is an integral component of ethnobotany. Political ecology provides a useful theoretical perspective for understanding the economic and political dimensions of environmental and social conditions. This research utilized a variety of ethnographic, ethnobotanical, and community-involved methods. Findings include data and analyses about the community’s culture, subsistence and natural resource needs, organizations and institutions, and medicinal plant use. The conclusion discusses the case study in terms of the disciplinary framework and offers suggestions for research and application.

Subject Area

Cultural anthropology|Environmental Studies|Alternative Medicine

Recommended Citation

Labriola, Christine, "Environment, culture, and medicinal plant knowledge in an indigenous Amazonian community" (2009). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1478721.