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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany: Ethnobotany

Elisens, Wayne [1].

Ethnobotany of the southern plains: Plant usage among the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache in southwestern Oklahoma.

The Kiowa, Comanche, and Plains Apache (KCA) were nomadic [Bison] hunting and gathering tribes that have been associated historically and geographically in the southern and western Great Plains since the 17th century. Events since EuroAmerican contact included forced settlement, dramatic shifts in subsistence/survival strategies, and political confederation in 1867. The KCA shared a reservation from 1867 to 1901 in an 8-county area in southwestern Oklahoma where most tribal members reside today. Because each tribe has been the focus of ethnobotanical investigations, the KCA provide the best window for generating a regional ethnobotany of tribes from the southern plains. Collectively, the KCA utilized 157 vascular plant species native to North America representing 122 genera in 60 families. Lists of vascular plants obtained from field studies in the 1930s and 1960s number 89 for the Kiowa, 68 for the Comanche, and 105 for the Plains Apache. Plants used by the KCA as a group are listed in four use categories and include edible plants (82 species), ritual and medicinal plants (76 species), plants used for material culture (68 species), and species used for personal care and adornment (14). Many plants used by the KCA have a long history of usage based on the presence of at least 44 species that appear in the Great Plains archaeobotanical record. The KCA have a rich ethnobotanical heritage, although traditional knowledge is disappearing rapidly.

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1 - University of Oklahoma, Botany & Microbiology and Oklahoma Biological Survey, 770 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, Oklahoma, 73019, USA

Great Plains.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: CP12
Location: Lake Huron/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: CP12003
Abstract ID:591

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