A study focusing on traditional uses of wild plants for gastronomic and medicinal purposes was carried out among three linguistic communities in Calabria, southern Italy. Ninety interviews with local elderly informants were conducted among Occitans and Arbëreshë, two linguistic minorities, and the dominant culture of autochthonous Calabrians. We recorded 85 taxa belonging to 39 botanical families and 66 different detailed use-reports including 35 culinary and 31 medicinal uses. Our overall data show the permanence of traditional ecological knowledge related to wild and semi-domesticated food and medicinal plants; however, high similarity indices among the three communities demonstrate that traditional ecological knowledge is following the pathway of homogenization and standardization toward the dominant culture, facilitated by a context of linguistic erosion, limited intergenerational transmission, and a centuries-old diffusion with Calabrian culture. Moreover, our study calls for further field surveys in isolated areas of Calabria to analyze how traditional ecological practices can be key tools in the development of local small-scale economies through the promotion of artisanal food entrepreneurship of wild food plant transformation.

Blended divergences: local food and medicinal plant uses among Arbëreshë, Occitans, and autochthonous Calabrians living in Calabria, Southern Italy

Mattalia G.
;
Soukand R.;
2020

Abstract

A study focusing on traditional uses of wild plants for gastronomic and medicinal purposes was carried out among three linguistic communities in Calabria, southern Italy. Ninety interviews with local elderly informants were conducted among Occitans and Arbëreshë, two linguistic minorities, and the dominant culture of autochthonous Calabrians. We recorded 85 taxa belonging to 39 botanical families and 66 different detailed use-reports including 35 culinary and 31 medicinal uses. Our overall data show the permanence of traditional ecological knowledge related to wild and semi-domesticated food and medicinal plants; however, high similarity indices among the three communities demonstrate that traditional ecological knowledge is following the pathway of homogenization and standardization toward the dominant culture, facilitated by a context of linguistic erosion, limited intergenerational transmission, and a centuries-old diffusion with Calabrian culture. Moreover, our study calls for further field surveys in isolated areas of Calabria to analyze how traditional ecological practices can be key tools in the development of local small-scale economies through the promotion of artisanal food entrepreneurship of wild food plant transformation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3729757
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