Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 479521
Title Local plant names reveal that enslaved Africans recognized substantial parts of the New World flora
Author(s) Andel, T.R. van; Klooster, E.A. van 't; Quiroz Villarreal, D.K.; Towns, A.M.; Ruysschaert, S.; Berg, M. van den
Source Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (2014)50. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. E5346 - E5353.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1418836111
Department(s) PE&RC
Biosystematics
AFSG Quality in Chains
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2014
Keyword(s) surinamese creoles - west-africa - medicine - market - benin
Abstract How did the forced migration of nearly 11 million enslaved Africans to the Americas influence their knowledge of plants? Vernacular plant names give insight into the process of species recognition, acquisition of new knowledge, and replacement of African species with American ones. This study traces the origin of 2,350 Afro-Surinamese (Sranantongo and Maroon) plant names to those plant names used by local Amerindians, Europeans, and related groups in West and Central Africa. We compared vernacular names from herbarium collections, literature, and recent ethnobotanical fieldwork in Suriname, Ghana, Benin, and Gabon. A strong correspondence in sound, structure, and meaning among Afro-Surinamese vernaculars and their equivalents in other languages for botanically related taxa was considered as evidence for a shared origin. Although 65% of the Afro-Surinamese plant names contained European lexical items, enslaved Africans have recognized a substantial part of the neotropical flora. Twenty percent of the Sranantongo and 43% of the Maroon plant names strongly resemble names currently used in diverse African languages for related taxa, represent translations of African ones, or directly refer to an Old World origin. The acquisition of new ethnobotanical knowledge is captured in vernaculars derived from Amerindian languages and the invention of new names for neotropical plants from African lexical terms. Plant names that combine African, Amerindian, and European words reflect a creolization process that merged ethnobotanical skills from diverse geographical and cultural sources into new Afro-American knowledge systems. Our study confirms the role of Africans as significant agents of environmental knowledge in the New World.
Comments
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
 
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.