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Historical influences on the Development of Indigenous Jamaican Maroon Ethnomedicine: comparisons with West African and Arawak Ethnopharmacopoeia.

The ultimate objective of this dissertation is to better understand the distribution of ethnobotanical knowledge across space and time and to honor the people whose fate was influenced, but not completely determined by the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Jamaican Maroon oral histories recognize an ancestry of African and indigenous origins, and this is supported by empirical evidence in the form of material culture, specifically the uses of plants as medicine. Through identification of non-universal patterns of plant selection and use among distinct cultures, combined with the recognition of local and global perceptions of cultural development in Diaspora societies, intercultural variability is measured using a variety of both quantitative and qualitative techniques.

Results suggest that Jamaican Maroon societal development was influenced by the massive movement of people, plants across oceans and continents during the trans-Atlantic slave trade era. This led to an evolution of Jamaican Maroon ethnomedicine that has maintained aspects of West African Akan culture - such as plant species selection and their traditional use of this flora, including medicine preparation technologies. This cultural dispersal was coupled with the additional adoption of unique practices, as well as some associated with Amerindian groups.

Summer Austin Ragosta, Ph.D., University of Hawai'I at M.noa, 2011, 365 pages; AAT 3475746.

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Title Annotation:Dissertation Abstracts: JPAS 2011 Selections
Author:Austin-Ragosta, Summer
Publication:Journal of Pan African Studies
Article Type:Author abstract
Geographic Code:5JAMA
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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