Biodiversity Science ›› 2003, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (3): 231-239.doi: 10.17520/biods.2003030

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On traditional uses of plants by the Nu people community of the Gaoligong Mountains, Yunnan Province

DAO Zhi-Ling, LONG Chun-Lin, LIU Yi-Tao   

  1. Kunming Institute of Botany,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Kunming 650204
  • Received:2002-11-04 Revised:2003-04-19 Online:2003-05-20
  • LONG Chun-Lin

We studied the traditional uses of plants for different purposes by the Nu people in north Gaoligong Mountains region, northwestern Yunnan, through the approaches of ethnobiology, cultural anthropology and plant ecology. The results show that the Nu people traditionally use plants for food, herbal medicine, ornament, religious worship, and culture. Most of the plants are used for individual household consumption and some for exchanging with other nationalities or selling at local markets. Indigenous Nu people have been depending on plants for survival and development for a long time. Traditionally, wild plant resources play a very important role in the Nu people communities. Up to now, herbal plants are still the main medicine used by the Nu people. Fifty-four species of edible plants, 53 species of medicinal plants, 54 species of ornamental plants, and 51 species of cultural and religious plants frequently used by Nu people were listed in the present paper, as well as the impact of traditional culture upon utilization and management of local plant diversity. The relationship between traditional and modern management of plant diversity is discussed. The possibility, necessity and feasibility to utilize indigenous cultural diversity for ecological and environmental conservation in China are discussed and proposed. In addition, we suggest that the indigenous resource management knowledge and culture diversity should be conserved and extensively studied.

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