Mayo Ethnobotany

Land, History, and Traditional Knowledge in Northwest Mexico

David Yetman,

Mayo Ethnobotany: Land, History, and Traditional Knowledge in Northwest Mexico
 
 
The Mayos, an indigenous people of northwestern Mexico, live in small towns spread over southern Sonora and northern Sinaloa, lands of remarkable biological diversity. Traditional Mayo knowledge is quickly being lost as this culture becomes absorbed into modern Mexico. Moreover, as big agriculture spreads into the region, the natural biodiversity of these lands is also rapidly disappearing. This engaging and accessible ethnobotany, based on hundreds of interviews with the Mayos and illustrated with the authors' strikingly beautiful photographs, helps preserve our knowledge of both an indigenous culture and an endangered environment.

This book contains a comprehensive description of northwest Mexico's tropical deciduous forests and thornscrub on the traditional Mayo lands reaching from the Sea of Cortés to the foothills of the Sierra Madre. The first half of the book is a highly readable account of the climate, geology, and vegetation of the region. The authors also provide a valuable history of the people, their language, culture, festival traditions, and plant use. The second half of the book is an annotated list of plants presenting the authors' detailed findings on plant use in Mayo culture.


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