Document Type


Department (Manual Entry)

Dept. of Anthropology


For Papua New Guineans,l as well as for those who wish to understand them better, traiditional knowledge of the local natural environment is a priceless resource. In the face of increasing commitments to a cash economy, however, many communities are rapidly losing their awareness and appreciation of the rich animal and plant worlds which are immediately available to them. As Powell has recently observed (1976), the recorded information regarding traditional plant knowledge and uses has tended to be widely-scattered in the literature and relatively difficult to access, especially for those who stand to benefit the most from it. A recent series of ethnobotanical papers in the pages of Science in New Guinea (e.g., Holdsworth and Giheno 1975, Powell 1976) represents an important change in this past situation, and the present paper is intended as a similar contribution.