Biodiversity and Native America

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Paul E. Minnis, Wayne J. Elisens
University of Oklahoma Press, 2000 - Social Science - 310 pages
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Exploring the relationship between Native Americans and the natural world, Biodiversity and Native America questions the widespread view that indigenous peoples had minimal ecological impact in North America. Introducing a variety of perspectives -- ethnopharmacological, ethnographic, archaeological, and biological -- the expert contributors show that Native Americans were active managers of natural ecological systems. The book covers groups from the sophisticated agriculturalists of the Mississippi River drainage region to the low-density hunter-gatherers of arid western North America.

The approach taken by the authors allows readers to develop accurate restoration, management, and conservation models through a thorough knowledge of native peoples' ecological history and dynamics. The writings illustrate how indigenous peoples affected environmental patterns and processes, improving crop diversity and agricultural patterns.

Contributors to this volume are Robert Bye, Richard I. Ford, Catherine S. Fowler, Gayle J. Fritz, Julia E. Hammett, Walter H. Lewis, Edelmira Linares, Gary Paul Nabhan, Sandra L. Peacock, Enrique Salmon, and Nancy J. Turner.


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List of Illustrations
Native American Management and Conservation
Relationships between Mexican Ethnobotanical
Ethnopharmacology and the Search
Native Knowledge of Biodiversity
Traditional Resource Management
A Rarámuri Cognitive Model of Biodiversity
A Case Study
Levels of Native Biodiversity in Eastern North America
Ethnohistory of Aboriginal Landscapes in
List of Contributors 301

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About the author (2000)

Paul E. Minnis , Professor of Anthroplogy at the University of Oklahoma, is the editor of Ethnobotany: A Reader and coeditor of Biodiversity and Native America.

Wayne J. Elisens , Professor of Botany and curator of the Bebb Herbarium at the University of Oklahoma, is coeditor of Biodiversity and Native America.

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