Economic Botany

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 269–275 | Cite as

Useful lianas of the Siona-Secoya Indians from Amazonian Ecuador

  • Guillermo Paz Y Miño C.
  • Henrik Balslev
  • Renato Valencia


An ethnobotanical inventory of lianas was carried out in a 1-ha plot of tropical moist forest in the Cuyabeno Reserve, Amazonian Ecuador. We obtained information about the uses that the Siona-Secoya Indians have for lianas. Of 98 species in the 1-ha plot, 47% were useful for the Siona-Secoya. Of the species used, 67% were for medicines, food, stimulants, and poisons; 17% had ritual applications, and 15% were used to make ropes or to weave baskets, toys, and ornaments. The species of lianas that were most useful were the ones with the highest values of ecological parameters such as density, dominance, and relative length. There is a close relationship between the ecological characteristics of the liana community and the uses made of it by the Indians.

Key Words

Amazonia Cuyabeno ethnobotanical inventory liana Siona-Secoya Indians 

Lianas Útiles para los Indígenas Siona-Secoya de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana


Una parcela de vegetación de 1-hafue estudiada con el propósito de identifkar las especies de lianas que son utilizadas por los indígenas Siona-Secoya de la Reserva Cuyabeno, Amazonia Ecuatoriana. De un total de 98 especies, el 47%fue registrado como útil para los indígenas. El 67% de las especies útiles tuvo aplicaciones como remedios, alimentos, estimulantes y venenos; 17% two un significado ritual y 15% se utilizó como cuerdas para amarrar, tejer y elaborar adornos corporales y juguetes. Un análisis ecológico-cuantitativo de los datos recolectados en la parcela reveló que las especies de lianas utilizadas por los indígenas Siona-Secoya fueron las que alcanzaron las cifras mas altas de densidad, dominancia y longitud relativas. Los resultados sugieren que existe una relación estrecha entre las características ecológicas de la comunidad de lianas con los usos encontrados por los indígenas.


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Paz Y Miño C.
    • 1
  • Henrik Balslev
    • 2
  • Renato Valencia
    • 3
  1. 1.Herbario QCA, Departamento de Ciencias BiológicasPontificia Universidad Católica del EcuadorQuitoEcuador
  2. 2.Department of Systematic BotanyAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Herbario QCA, Departamento de Ciencias BiológicasPontificia Universidad Católica del EcuadorQuitoEcuador

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