Brief review of traps and weapons made with plant materials and their use by the islanders of Santa Fe (Argentina)

Bárbara Arias Toledo, Luisina Battistón


Background: The present work describes the plants mentioned by hunters and fishermen from the north of Santa Fe, Argentina, named as useful in relation to the activity of animal extraction by the analyzed community. All of this framed from the Local Ecological Knowledge that this community has.

Methods: The information presented was obtained through the techniques of participant observation and semi-structured interviews with the inhabitants. The research was aimed at hunters and fishermen who use or know traditional hunting techniques, call themselves islanders and live near the Paraná River. We worked with key 12 informants, until reaching the point of saturation in a curve of rarefaction of information, using the snowball technique.

Results: The use of four plant species was recorded and described: Guadua paraguayana; Dolichandra cynanchoides; Salix humboldtiana and Sapium haematospermum, used in the elaboration of traps (Cimbra y “leche de Curupí”) and weapons (Fija) for traditional hunting.

Conclusions: We concluded that the island hunters interviewed possess a repertoire of known useful plants, as well as their properties and possible uses. Such knowledge would contribute to the success of their productive activities, specifically in the traditional breeding of animals. However, many of these natural elements are being partially or totally replaced by recycled industrialized elements, although they remain in the collective memory of hunters. This shows that environmental cognition - an important tool in the cultural background of any inhabitant - is dynamic and adaptable, at the same time that it configures hunters as holders of traditional knowledge but also subjects of modernity.

Key words: Hunters, Fishermen, Islanders, Plants, Traditional hunting techniques.


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