Department (Manual Entry)
Department of Anthropology
In this work on folk biological taxonomy, Terence Hays the author, calls upon various works of previous field studies conducted over a long-term period including those by Bulmer, Everyman, Hunn, Brown, and Hymes. Hays looks back to works by Ralph Bulmer and his co-workers where taxonomies of five or six levels deep were not surprising. Hays points out that this is a stark contrast to Everyman, Alexander Portnoy's study regarding the simplicity of Westerners folk systems and then posits why "the folk" classify their environment in great detail. Hays brings to light that it has much to do with the society, specifically the Ndumba. Hays discusses that in the Ndumba society they must be able to distinguish among the different flora in order for them to "exploit them properly and in order to communicate about them." This is an important requirement for them to function as members of this society.
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Hays, Terence E., "Interest, Use, and Interest in Uses in Folk Biology" (1991). Faculty Publications. 316.