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Xalapa de Enríquez, Mexico

Gonzalez-Marin R.M.,Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia | Moreno-Casasola P.,Red Of Ecologia Funcional Institute Ecologia | Orellana R.,Research Center Cientifica Of Yucatan Ac | Castillo A.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge | Year: 2012

Palms are present in all wetland forests and provide many useful products, such as building materials and food. In order to recover the knowledge about the traditional use of wetlands palms, we studied and documented the construction of houses and the preparation of traditional recipes, by conducting interviews and participant observation in rural communities associated with wetlands in Mexico. The main findings of this study were: Attalea liebmannii, Sabal mexicana and Roystonea dunlapiana are used for building houses. The fruits of Cocos nucifera and A. liebmannii are used for the preparation of traditional recipes. An analysis of the cost of houses built of palms revealed that they are cheaper than those built with artificial materials. Although the respondents mentioned that the resistance of the houses built of natural materials is lower, they also mentioned other benefits associated with this type of construction (e.g. houses are cooler). Unfortunately, the traditional use of the palms is gradually disappearing due to changes in the customs of the people related to migration, as well as the depletion of these resources. It is necessary to rescue and promote the traditional use of palms, especially for native species. This may contribute to their conservation and, where relevant, palm cultivation and reforestation projects should be encouraged and implemented.

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