Accepted Paper:

Diversity of use and local knowledge of plant food resources of three Aeta Communities in Pampanga Province, Luzon Island, Philippines  


Elena Ragragio (University of the Philippines-Manila)

Paper short abstract:

The food plants by the Aetas has changed after Mt. Pinatubo eruption 1991.When they were placed in refugee camps areas, the government provided food mainly rice and canned goods. In 20 years after the eruption the food resources of them have changed together with their dietary condition.

Paper long abstract:

The plants used as food by the Aeta communities has changed after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. Twenty years after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, the plant food resources of the Aeta have changed together with the diet of the people. The ethnobotanical study of the plant food resources and traditional plant knowledge was conducted in three barangays (villages) of the Mag-indi and Mag-anchi enthnolinguistic groups of the Aeta. Sixty-nine informants/participants were interviewed from the 3 barangays.

A total of 106 plants were used as food and for commercial crops. Most of the plants were available in the local markets. Some were planted by the Aeta as source of income to buy rice and other necessities. Analysis of the results showed that the local knowledge is held mainly by the elders although some young people were also familiar with the plants. Likewise, the erosion of the plant knowledge may be due to habitat destruction, continuing commerce and interaction with the local people, and ease in procurement of rice and other food plants from the local markets. There is also a level of acculturation due to the incursion and influence of media in local TV.

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