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Rotuman Traditional Medicine

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Multimedia Resources for Ethnobotany Curriculum
Rotuman Health Care
Medicinal traditions involving usage of plants may not recognize the plants as having specific powers to heal. When pharmacological actions are recognized, they may still be secondary to spiritual, social, dietary, and other experiential actions carried out by healers, patients, and others involved. Polynesian herbalists represent the most culturally conservative elements of their societies. They are most likely to be bastions of traditional knowledge of many kinds including plant based remedies. A hallmark of Polynesian herbalists is their genuine concern for other people and their willingness to share and give of all that they have. This episode presents observations about Polynesian herbal healers from the Island of Rotuma where traditional practices persist as the dominant form of healthcare.

Production Credits

Presented by:

  • Will McClatchey

Themes and Content by:

  • Isabella Abbott

  • Al Keali'i Chock

  • Will McClatchey

  • Mylien T. Nguyen

  • Tamara Ticktin

  • David Webb

Special Presentations and Content by:

  • Tony A.B. Cunningham

  • Catherine Davenport

  • Orou Gaoue

  • Lisa X. Gollin

  • Y. Han Lau

  • Spencer Leinweber

  • Mark Merlin

  • Levon ‘ohai

  • Joseph Ostraff

  • Melinda Ostraff

  • Orlo Steele

  • Clay Trauernicht

  • Art Whistler

  • Namaka Whitehead

  • Kawika Winter

Post Production Critique by:

  • Al Keali'i Chock

  • Momi Kamahele

  • Kiope Raymond

  • Botany 105 Students (Fall 2005)

Camera Work by:

  • David Reedy

  • David Strauch

  • Michael B. Thomas

Video and Sound Editing by:

  • Markus Faigle

  • David Reedy

  • David Strauch

  • Michael B. Thomas

Audio Production by:

  • Will McClatchey

  • David Reedy

Consulting by:

  • Edo Biagoni

  • Kim Bridges

  • Pauline Chinn

  • Valerie McClatchey

  • Hae Okimoto

  • Nelda Quinsell

  • Ingelia White

Funding provided by:

  • University of Hawai'i, Department of Botany

  • University of Hawai'i, Information Technology Services

  • University of Hawai'i, College of Natural Sciences

  • University of Hawai'i, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs

  • National Center for Academic Transformation

  • University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Chancellor

Inspiration from:

  • Isabella Abbott

  • Michael Balick

  • Brad Bennett

  • Brent Berlin

  • Paul Cox

  • Memory Elvin-Lewis

  • Timothy Johns

  • Beatrice Krauss

  • Walter Lewis

  • Richard Evans Schultes

  • Gail Wagner

  • The Society for Economic Botany


Abbott, I.A. 1992. La'au Hawai'i: Traditional Hawaiian Uses Of Plants. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. Pages 97-103

Balick, M. & P.Cox. 1996. Plants, People, and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany. Scientific American, New York. Pages 63-98

Supplemental Readings

On-Line Resources
Dave Reedy,
May 29, 2012, 2:39 PM