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Ritual, Landscapes of Exchange, and the Domestication of Canarium: A Seram Case Study

Ritual, Landscapes of Exchange, and the Domestication of Canarium: A Seram Case Study <p>abstract:</p><p>It is widely accepted that a major historic pathway to agriculture in the tropics has been via the management of forest and reliance on tree resources. Using ethnographic and ethnobotanical data from Seram in the Moluccas, this article illustrates how this might have happened in one part of Island Southeast Asia. Several species of the genus <i>Canarium</i> produce proteinaceous nuts that have been ethnographically, historically, and prehistorically shown to be an important part of local diets. To understand how food-procurement systems evolve, we need to examine the biocultural dynamic established over the long term between different species, types of arboriculture, and cultivation strategies. One factor was likely subsistence pressure, but exchange has also been an important driver in relation to procurement of <i>Canarium</i> in particular and to the modification of forest landscapes more generally, hence the term "landscapes of exchange." While theorists tend to assume dietary need is the main cause of agricultural change, the social and ritual significance of particular species often drives ecological and genetic change in anthropic contexts.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Perspectives University of Hawai'I Press

Ritual, Landscapes of Exchange, and the Domestication of Canarium: A Seram Case Study

Asian Perspectives , Volume 58 (2) – Oct 22, 2019

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1535-8283

Abstract

<p>abstract:</p><p>It is widely accepted that a major historic pathway to agriculture in the tropics has been via the management of forest and reliance on tree resources. Using ethnographic and ethnobotanical data from Seram in the Moluccas, this article illustrates how this might have happened in one part of Island Southeast Asia. Several species of the genus <i>Canarium</i> produce proteinaceous nuts that have been ethnographically, historically, and prehistorically shown to be an important part of local diets. To understand how food-procurement systems evolve, we need to examine the biocultural dynamic established over the long term between different species, types of arboriculture, and cultivation strategies. One factor was likely subsistence pressure, but exchange has also been an important driver in relation to procurement of <i>Canarium</i> in particular and to the modification of forest landscapes more generally, hence the term "landscapes of exchange." While theorists tend to assume dietary need is the main cause of agricultural change, the social and ritual significance of particular species often drives ecological and genetic change in anthropic contexts.</p>

Journal

Asian PerspectivesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 22, 2019

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