Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid, Vol 60, No 1 (2002)

Ethnobotany: traditional management of plants and cultural heritage

Manuel Pardo de Santayana
Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Spain

Eloy Gómez Pellón
Departamento de Ciencias Históricas, Universidad de Cantabria, Spain


The scope of Ethnobotany is to study the relationships between plants and people. The discipline has been growing rapidly in Spain over the last twenty years. Its main objective is to study traditional uses and knowledge of plants.
Radical change in life stile and and the relationships intemature have been brought about by modifications to rural societies over the last few decades. Not many years ago knowledge of plants and their uses was essential to settle basic needs of the population.
Migration from rural áreas and social and cultural changes have forged a gap between generations that has interrupted communication of this kind of knowledge and loss of a rich heritage. Gathering popular wisdom and traditions, that are an important part of the identity and cultural personality of people, is a priority.


ethnobotany; applied ethnobotany; ethnographic heritage; cultural heritage; conservation; local development

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Copyright (c) 2002 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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