Intellectualist premise of folk names support their restoration in formal taxonomy

Authors

  • F. Merlin Franco Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam

Keywords:

Ethnotaxonomy, Folk names, Folk Taxonomy, Species discovery, Taxonomy

Abstract

In a recent article, Gillman and Wright (2020) have called for a debate on the need for ‘assigning and reinstating’ folk names in taxonomic protocols. This is a commendable proposal, as it would undo the historic injustice meted out to local communities whose knowledge often forms the basis for discovery of new species. Also, assigning exotic names to plants already known to local communities alienates them from the respective taxa and landscapes with which they have historically interacted with. Folk names of flora and fauna are not just names meant to identify taxa, but also condensed forms of local knowledge. Recognizing this intellectualist nature of folk names is the first step towards reinstating them in formal nomenclatures. However, implementing this is an uphill task.

Author Biography

F. Merlin Franco, Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam

Dr. F. Merlin Franco is an ethnobiologist interested in the interrelationship between human culture, language and biodiversity. He has been collaborating with various indigenous communities in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam on projects that aim to document and revitalise traditional calendars, biocultural landscapes and folk classification systems.

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Published

2021-04-26

How to Cite

Franco, F. M. (2021). Intellectualist premise of folk names support their restoration in formal taxonomy. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 21, 1–3. Retrieved from https://ethnobotanyjournal.org/index.php/era/article/view/2747

Issue

Section

Editorial

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