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Global WEIRDing: transitions in wild plant knowledge and treatment preferences in Congo hunter-gatherers.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Repository DOI


Type

Article

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Authors

Dyble, Mark 
Chaudhary, Nikhil 
Sikka, Gaurav 
Derkx, Inez 

Abstract

Cultures around the world are converging as populations become more connected. On the one hand this increased connectedness can promote the recombination of existing cultural practices to generate new ones, but on the other it may lead to the replacement of traditional practices and global WEIRDing. Here we examine the process and causes of changes in cultural traits concerning wild plant knowledge in Mbendjele BaYaka hunter-gatherers from Congo. Our results show that the BaYaka who were born in town reported knowing and using fewer plants than the BaYaka who were born in forest camps. Plant uses lost in the town-born BaYaka related to medicine. Unlike the forest-born participants, the town-born BaYaka preferred Western medicine over traditional practices, suggesting that the observed decline of plant knowledge and use is the result of replacement of cultural practices with the new products of cumulative culture.

Description

Keywords

African BaYaka Pygmies, Cultural change, Cultural evolution, Indigenous health, Traditional knowledge

Journal Title

Evol Hum Sci

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2513-843X
2513-843X

Volume Title

2

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)