[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] Thank you and Summary of Plant-Human Interactions

Kristine Hildebrandt khildeb at siue.edu
Wed Mar 31 17:18:31 UTC 2021

Thank you to all of those who corresponded with me on my query about
references on plant-human interactions in TB/related families/Himalayas.
Many people asked for me to share what I learned, as there are many others
who are interested in this topic or else related topics. I received a great
list of references and leads, which are listed here in no particular order.
There are many names of people who could be contacted individually to share
handouts or other things as well.

1. Hoshi, Izumi 星 泉, Shiho Ebihara 海老原 志穂, Namtargyal & Yusuke Bessho 別所 裕介
(eds.). 2020. チベット語牧畜文化辞典 [Dictionary Of Tibetan Pastoralism]. Fuchū-shi,
Tōkyō: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa,
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

2. Doornenbaal, Marius A. 2009. A Grammar of Bantawa. University of Leiden

Can be accessed at:

Author’s note to me: “In Bantawa (Kiranti) "seluwa" (Artemisia Indica) is
used for catching fish. The procedure works by collecting fish in a dead
spot in a river, then numbing the fish by throwing in plant mush. At the
time I heard about it I thought it was an interesting method.”

3. Hyslop, Gwendolyn. 2016. Worlds of knowledge in Central Bhutan:
Documentation of ‘Olekha. Language Documentation & Conservation 10: 77-106.

4. Hyslop, Gwendolyn. and Jade d’Alpoim‐Guedes. 2020. Linguistic evidence
supports a long antiquity of cultivation of barley and buckwheat over that
of millet and rice in Eastern Bhutan. Vegetation History and Archeobotany.

5. Turin, Mark. 2003. Ethnobotanical notes on Thangmi plant names and their
medicinal and ritual uses. CNS 30.1: 19-52, paper can be accessed at

6. Sellers, H.A. 2015. A linguistic approach to ethnobotanical plant name
classification in southern Lisu. LaTrobe University Dissertation.

Thesis can be accessed at

7. Kurabe, Keita. 2021. A preliminary report on Burmese Phytonyms. Middle
Mekong Meeting (Zoom), 1/9/2021. Contact author for copy of presentation.

Author’s note to me: “Plant names in Burmese. One of the characteristics of
Burmese plant names is that many of them are based on animals/body parts.
Metaphorical plant names based on body parts include:  "cat tongue," "rat
tail," "egret leg," "fowl bone," "kite claw," "monkey palm," "elephant
nose," "goat shit," and "horse hoof" for plant names. This suggests that
plants are easy to recognize through animals. Attached please find a
handout of my presentation on Burmese plant names. I hope it will be of
some use.”

Related to this:

8. Vittrant, Alice. 2002. Classifier systems and noun categorization
devices in Burmese. BLS 28S: 129-148.

9. Chirkova, Katia, Franz. K. Huber, Caroline S. Weckerle, Henriette
Daudey, and Gerong Pincuo. 2016. Plant names as traces of the past in
Shuiluo Valley, China. Journal of Ethnobiology. 36.1: 192-214.

10. Tamsang, Aathing KP. 2010. Trees, Shrubs, and Large Climbers Found in
the Darjeeling District, West Bengal, and Sikkim. Indigenous Lepcha Tribal

(reference shared by Juha Y (juha.yliniemi at safarimail.net), who says that
there are many entries in Latin, Nepali, and Lepcha, and many photos).

10. Also, I was directed to the scholar profile of Laur Kiik, who has
conservation beliefs and ethnonationalism among the Kachin.



11. Also, I received correspondence from Nathan Badenoch, who mentioned
this: “Jim Chamberlain--I think he mentioned some of the work we have been
doing with human-animal interactions from the linguistic perspective in
Laos. I am very interested in the human-flora question as well, although I
have not yet done too much with it. My interest was really stimulated when
I heard some stories in Bit (Austroasiatic language that I work on the most
intensively) where people had relations with humans, trees 'became' human,
etc. There are ritual taboo groups that have flora origins, as well. I have
recently been getting together the flora terms I have for Sida and Pana (TB
- the article is in one of the volumes that Jim shared with you) but
haven't done anything yet with them. They are closely related languages,
and my starting point would be something like what I did with Sida fauna
terms, looking at them from the perspective of ethnopoetics.”

12. I also received correspondence from Kevin Kopp (ktmtkopp at gmail.com),
who mentioned this: “World Wildlife Fund did some publications on wild
plants names and uses in support of the Amchi association in Nepal. Their
work included collaborating with Amchi’s in Dolpo and Mustang.  You might
see what is available through the WWF - this was part of their people and
environment awareness program.”

13. I also received correspondence from Alice Vittrant, who suggested: “Mrs
Bernot’s dictionary, a 15 volumes Burmese-French dictionary.

Trained somehow by Mr Haudricourt, she included many many names (and
drawings) of plants.”

'Thanks' in Manange <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manang_language>

Kristine Hildebrandt
Professor, English Language & Literature
Co-Director, The IRIS Digital Humanities Center <https://iris.siue.edu/>
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
President, Endangered Language Fund <http://www.endangeredlanguagefund.org/>
Editor, *Himalayan Linguistics
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/tibeto-burman-linguistics/attachments/20210331/978ca7d5/attachment.htm>

More information about the Tibeto-burman-linguistics mailing list