Plant Domestication and Folk‐Biological Change: The Upper Piman/Devil's Claw Example

Gary P Nabhan, Amadeo Rea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Ethnologists have the opportunity to document the dynamics of domestication, particularly the cognitive aspects of that process, which archeologists are unable to reconstruct. In this article we show how the recent intensification of cultivation, accompanied by genetic alteration, of a basketry fiber plant, Proboscidea parviflora subspecies parviflora, among the O'odham (Pima) has been accompanied by shifts in the structure of O'odham folk taxonomy. The emic focus on specific plant characteristics, codified in this changing lexicon, may guide cultural selection and encourage isolation of incipient domesticates from their wild progenitors. 1987 American Anthropological Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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