Plants of the Canoe People: An Ethnobotanical Voyage through Polynesia


Isle Botanica Publishers

W. Arthur Whistler

Softcover, 241 pp.

This book is about useful plants for Pacific islanders, with special emphasis on plants used by the Polynesians. The word ethnobotany is composed of two root words of Greek origin, ethnos, meaning a race or people, and botanikos, referring of course to plants. Thus ethnobotany is a scientific study of how people in different cultures interact with and utilize the plants in their natural environment. Ethnobotany is not exclusive province of botanists (even though the name includes botany), but is a field of study shared equally by anthropologists who, however, look at the topic in a somewhat different way than do botanists. Botanists concentrate on the plants themselves-the identification of that plants and their specific uses.