Ure (Colocasia esculenta- Araceae): An Edible Aroid of the Warao

Alfredo Gomez-Beloz, Tirzo Rivero

Abstract


The Warao are the original inhabitants of the Orinoco Delta and the second largest indigenous group in Venezuela. The relatively recent transformation of the Winikina Warao sub-tribe from semi-nomadic swamp foragers to swidden- fallow agriculturists has led them to forsake traditional sustenance foods such as yuruma (palm starch from Mauritia flexuosa Mart.) for various introduced crops such as the tuber ure (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott). This paper describes the origins and taxonomy of ure including its secondary metabolites and uses, a description of swidden (daukaba) selection and preparation, and planting, harvesting, and consumption of ure by the Winikina Warao. It closes with a brief discussion of the impact of ure cultivation on the contemporary Winikina Warao.

Los Warao son los habitantes originales del delta del Río Orinoco y el segundo grupo indigena mas grande de Venezuela. La reciente transformación del subtribo Winikina Warao de una vida seminómada a una de agriculturador hizo que abandonen su comida tradicional de subsistencia como la yuruma (almidon de la palma Mauritia flexuosa Mart.) para cosecha introducida como el tubérculo ure (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott). Este artículo describe los origenes y taxonomía de ure incluyendo sus metabolitos secundarios y usos, selección de un terreno demontado (daukaba), y sembra, cosecha y consunción de ure por los Winikina Warao. Concluimos con una breve discusión del impacto de la cultivación del ure entre los Winikina Warao.


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Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University.
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