Document Type


First Advisor's Name

Dennis Wiedman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Laura Ogden

Third Advisor's Name

William Vickers


environment, Amazon, indigenous, Yagua, medicinal plants, ethnobotany, community, knowledge, culture, anthropology

Date of Defense



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.





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