PUMPKIN ETHNOBOTANY IN NAYARIT, MEXICO

Pablo Germán Ruelas Hernández, Roberto Valdivia Bernal, Beatríz Guillermina Arrieta Ramos

Abstract


Background. From the early days, human beings have used plants to satisfy their biological or cultural needs; this man-plant relationship is studied by ethnobotany. Pumpkins were one of the first plants domesticated by Homo sapiens and currently they are important species in human diet. Objective. To explore the knowledge about the relationship that exists between farmers and pumpkin species cultivated in Nayarit, Mexico. Methodology. Consisted of fieldwork in the years 2013 and 2014, where 15 municipalities were visited, and 35 farmers were interviewed; techniques used for the compilation of information were through semi-structured interviews and the participant observation method. Species studied were Cucurbita argyrosperma Huber, Cucurbita ficifolia Bouché, Cucurbita pepo L. and Cucurbita moschata Duch. Ex Lam. Information collected included the traditional classification, uses, selection criteria for seed, a source of knowledge acquisition of the crop and beliefs and rites related to the species. Results. Main use of pumpkin among farmers were as food, forage and medicine. Seeds and fruits were the main elements of interest; producers’ criteria for selection of plants are based on the characteristics of fruits using established patterns, with which they create their selections for fruit or seed production. Conclusion. It was found that Cucurbita spp. have a ritualistic relationship with the Huichol ethnic group, as it is part of their ceremonies related to their beliefs.

Keywords


Cucurbita spp.; pumpkin; traditional knowledge; uses, seed selection; medicinal properties.

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URN: http://www.revista.ccba.uady.mx/urn:ISSN:1870-0462-tsaes.v23i1.2810



Copyright (c) 2020 Pablo Germán Ruelas Hernández, Roberto Valdivia Bernal, Beatríz Guillermina Arrieta Ramos

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