Introductory Ethnobotany Home


is  the  study  of  Plants,  People,  and  Culture,  and 
their  relationships  and  interactions.

The Introductory Ethnobotany course (
Botany 105), 
covers plants and their influence on global culture and history including: 
    plant domestication and agriculture; 
    plant biogeography and human migration; 
    plant use in religious, medical and shamanic traditions; and
    cultural aspects of plant conservation. 

Botany 105 had its  FGC  status renewed, effective the Spring Semester 2014 for a five-year period.  It may be used to meet part of the UH Manoa core (General Education) requirements.  FG  (Global and Multi-cultural Perspectives)  courses provide thematic treatments of global processes and cross-cultural interactions from a variety of perspectives. This course is in category  C ;  it means that the time line is from prehistory to modern times.

Plants are all around us.  

Plants provide us with food, beverage, medicine, clothing, housing, religion and
many aspects of our daily living.  Plants are integral parts of many different cultural activities, and they play important roles in how we define culture and ourselves.

Agriculture is a relatively recent development in human
history arising independently in several parts of the world during the last 10,000 years. The development of major food crops is best exemplified by the grass family (Poaceae) domestication origins, with wheat, rye, and barley in the Mediterranean and Europe, sorghum and millet in Africa, corn in the Americas, and rice in Asia.  On the other hand, in the Pacific, the arum or taro family (Araceae) was the major food component.

All people on earth must interact with plants in order to survive. Ethnobotany has been identified as "the science of survival" for the future of life on earth.

Explore the global and local (Hawai'i) past, present. and future of plants in our lives through the study of ethnobotany.

(Photos by G. D. Carr, R. Lani Stemmermann, and Kim W. Bridges)

FJan. 5, 2017, Al Keali'i Chock)