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The ethnobotany of the egyptian eastern desert: a comparison of common plant usage between two culturally distinct bedouin groups

Authors
Journal
Journal of Ethnopharmacology
0378-8741
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0378-8741(88)90116-x
Disciplines
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract A comparison is made between 21 species of plants used in common by two culturally distinct Bedouin groups living in different areas of the Eastern Desert of Egypt, the Bischarin and the Khushmaan Ma'aza. We document how plants are utilized by each culture for nutritional, medicinal, and functional (utilitarian) purposes and aim to investigate if these uses arose independently through a parallel experimentation process or were learned by one tribe from the other. The data suggest that between these two Bedouin groups the utilization of at least 19 of the 21 plant species was independently derived. On the basis of linguistic grounds the use of two plants may have been introduced to the Bischarin by Arabic-speaking people.

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