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Plant recognition by Northern Khmer children in Ban Khanat Pring and Ban Ramboe Villages, Surin Province, Thailand

Simard, Candide and Ungsitipoonporna, Siripen and Sallabank, Julia (2022) Plant recognition by Northern Khmer children in Ban Khanat Pring and Ban Ramboe Villages, Surin Province, Thailand. South East Asia Research, 30 (2). pp. 180-201. ISSN ISSN 0967-828X

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his article arises from a project that explores the acquisition of ethnobotanical knowledge in Northern Khmer-speaking communities in northeast Thailand, in response to the wish expressed by villagers to preserve their knowledge of the surrounding Takah Forest. This phase of the project consisted of a quantitative pictorial recognition test, using photographs of 111 plants previously documented, with twenty-eight young participants from Ban Khanat Pring and Ban Ramboe villages. We found that useful plants (edible or medicinal) are the most frequently recognized. We tested the significance of social factors, gender and age group for predicting plant recognition among children. We found no significant difference in the scores according to gender, but counter to our expectations, the Bayesian statistics reveal it is extremely likely (91% probability) that younger children recognize more plant tokens than older children. These results suggest an erosion of local ethnobotanical knowledge as children enter their teenage years. Individual variability in recognition is further examined in the project’s next phases, using interviews with the children and the ethnographic knowledge of each child’s family. This study will serve in developing initiatives with the communities that can enhance knowledge transmission and maintenance among this group.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Candide Simard
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2024 01:16
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2024 01:16

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