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Indian Journal of Plant Genetic Resources
Year : 2002, Volume : 15, Issue : 2
First page : ( 146) Last page : ( 149)
Print ISSN : 0971-8184.

Ethnic Knowledge System on Wild Dioscoreas (yams) by the Kanikkars of Southern Western Ghats, Kerala

Asha KI1, Nair Maya C2

1National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Regional Station, Thrissur (Kerala).

2Department of Botany, Government Victoria College, Palakkad (Kerala).


Indigenous people with historical background of traditional resource utilization and management possess a vast assemblage of various knowledge systems on the complex behavioral pattern in relation to the ecological systems existing in their own localities. Kanikkar, a group of South Indian tribes found in the extreme southern end of Western Ghats has a traditional knowledge base transmitted from generation to generation. They acquired a sound knowledge on the various aspects including uses of cultivated crops and their wild allies. They use a wide array of wild yams forfood. In this paper, an overview of the classification of these wild yams and their traditional uses by these indigenous people are summarized. A good relationship exist between the folklore etymology and taxonomic epithets of all the wild yams of the locality.


Key Words

Dioscorea, Ethnobotany, Indigenous Technical Knowledge, Kallikkar.


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