Ethnobotany research on Mambila

A Kent Anthropology MSc in Ethnobotany, has recently (2009) been completed on the ethnobotany of Somie village. This page makes the thesis available.
The research this reports was supported by the Kay Williamson Educational Foundation

Sharing Knowledge Intra-cultural variation of ethnobotanical knowledge and the factors that pattern it in a Mambila community in the Cameroon-Nigeria borderland

Réka Komáromi
MSc Ethnobotany, 2009 University of Kent at Canterbury Department of Anthropology [email protected]

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Ethnobotany with the University of Kent at Canterbury, the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

September 2009
16,000 words


This dissertation is an outcome of a collaborative work with the Mambila Dictionary Project, to which it contributes Mambila names for 173 vascular plants (65 identified with scientific names), and voucher specimens of 60 plant species deposited at the herbaria at Yaounde, Cameroon, and Kew, UK.
Situated within the wider debate concerning the preservation and loss of biocultural diversity, I focus on the plant knowledge of 39 Mambila women and men of varying ages. As this study is the first ethnobotanical project conducted in the area of Somié, in the Cameroon- Nigeria borderland, I aim to establish the basic categories in the local classification of plants. I also aim to identify the factors influencing the general pattern of ethnobotanical knowledge and the degree of knowledge sharing and knowledge loss, particularly in relation to age, gender and level of education measured in years spent at school. I primarily focus on theoretical and practical knowledge, that is, the ability to name plants, and the practical skill to identify plants and their uses as well as to put this knowledge into practice.

Individual chapters as PDF files may be downloaded from the contents below. You may also download the full-text as a PDF file Warning for those with slow connections: this is 2.1Mb.

Table of contents