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Fataluku medicinal ethnobotany and the East Timorese military resistance

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Title: Fataluku medicinal ethnobotany and the East Timorese military resistance
Authors: Collins, Sean WM
Martins, Xisto
Mitchell, Andrew
Teshome, Awegechew
Arnason, John T.
Keywords: Lautem District
East Timor
medicinal ethnobotany
LC Subject Headings: East Timor
Issue Date: Jan 2007
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Collins, Sean WM. 2007. Fataluku Medicinal Ethnobotany and the East Timorese Military Resistance. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 3(5).
Abstract: Background: An ethnobotanical study of medicinal and poisonous plants used by the East Timor resistance was undertaken in the Lautem District of East Timor to study medicinal plant use in the region. Interviews were conducted with a single key consultant from the resistance army who belonged to the Fataluku culture. This study is of importance as a historical document and because no previous medicinal ethnobotanical studies on this region exist. Methods: A rapid ethnobotanical survey of medicinal and poisonous plants was conducted through the proposed Conis Santana National Park in the Lautem district of East Timor. Medicinal and poisonous plants were identified by a Consultant and data was collected by the authors using classical descriptive ethnobotanical techniques (i.e. no quantitative measures) through an unstructured open ended interview. Results: During the survey 40 medicinal and poisonous plants were identified by the Consultant and collected by the authors. Defining characteristics of the Consultant's knowledge include a high frequency use of trees, heavily forested habitats, leaves, decoctions and drinks for a range of conditions relevant to a resistance army. Conclusion: Despite limitations of the study, important contributions of this study include preservation of a part of the cultural history of the resistance movement and traditional botanical knowledge of the Fataluku. Furthermore, initial findings may indicate that traditional botanical knowledge is unique amongst different East Timorese cultures in terms of plant selection.
Description: Refereed
Sponsor: USC Canada
ISSN: 1746-4269
Appears in Collections:Mana'o - Asia-Pacific Region Collection

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