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Open AccessArticle

Exotic Plants Used by the Hmong in Thailand

1
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University, DK-8000 Aarhus, Denmark
3
Center of Excellence in Bioresources for Agriculture, Industry and Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(11), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110500
Received: 24 September 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
Exotic species are an integral part of the plants used by many ethnic groups, but they usually receive little attention and have been considered alien to the ethnobotanical data. Here, we analyze the plants used by Thai Hmong refugees that are not native to their current habitats in Thailand. We attempt to understand the sources of this knowledge. Do people maintain the original traditional knowledge related to exotic species when they migrate to a new region, or does new knowledge originate from acculturation? We interviewed 16 specialist Hmong informants in Nan province, Thailand, about their traditional knowledge of 69 exotic species used. Acquisition of this knowledge has a long history; several species are the same as plants used by the Hmong in China and other countries, others are globally useful species which have become part of the pool of species that the Hmong have developed local knowledge about. However, migration also involves the integration of local knowledge from other cultures, and also adapts them to function in urban settings. This includes using closely related exotic taxa that replace some of the species they used in their original homelands. The migrants’ traditional knowledge in their new habitats is more complicated and also involves the development of local knowledge that is entirely new. View Full-Text
Keywords: acquisition; adaptation; immigration; ethnobotany; non-native plants; traditional knowledge; transmission acquisition; adaptation; immigration; ethnobotany; non-native plants; traditional knowledge; transmission
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nguanchoo, V.; Wangpakapattanawong, P.; Balslev, H.; Inta, A. Exotic Plants Used by the Hmong in Thailand. Plants 2019, 8, 500.

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