Economic Botany

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 426–437 | Cite as

Cultural Erosion of Balinese Indigenous Knowledge of Food and Nutraceutical Plants

  • Wawan Sujarwo
  • Ida Bagus Ketut Arinasa
  • Francois Salomone
  • Giulia Caneva
  • Simone Fattorini

Cultural Erosion of Balinese Indigenous Knowledge of Food and Nutraceutical Plants.

The island of Bali has several traditional Aga villages that survive under the pressures of an intense tourist industry and agricultural changes. In order to understand possible impacts on traditional ethnobotanical knowledge (TEK) in Bali, we interviewed local people living in 13 traditional villages regarding the number of known plants and their uses. We analyzed socioeconomic factors influencing change of such knowledge at both individual (informant) and community (village) level. We identified a total of 149 food and nutraceutical plants being used in the study area. Neither gender, occupation, income, nor level of formal education had a significant effect on TEK. However, informant’s age and village status were found to play an important role in the retention of TEK at an individual level. At the village level, the use of Internet/smart phones was an important predictor of cultural erosion.

Key Words

Cultural erosion ethnobotany food nutraceutical plants Bali Aga village 

Erosi Budaya Pengetahuan Adat Bali Tentang Tanaman Pangan dan Nutraceutical.

Pulau Bali memiliki beberapa desa Aga tradisional yang masih bertahan di tengah tekanan pariwisata dan perubahan sistem pertanian yang signifikan. Untuk memahami kemungkinan dampak pada pengetahuan etnobotani tradisional (TEK) di Bali, kami mewawancarai penduduk lokal yang tinggal di tiga belas desa tradisional tentang jumlah dan kegunaan tanaman yang mereka ketahui. Kami menganalisis faktor-faktor sosial ekonomi yang mempengaruhi perubahan pengetahuan etnobotani di tingkat individu (informan) dan masyarakat (desa). Kami mengidentifikasi total 149 tanaman pangan dan nutraceutical yang digunakan di lokasi penelitian. Baik jenis kelamin, pekerjaan, pendapatan, atau tingkat pendidikan formal memiliki dampak yang signifikan terhadap TEK. Namun, usia informan dan status desa memainkan peran penting dalam mempertahankan TEK pada tingkat individu. Dan di tingkat desa, penggunaan internet/ponsel pintar merupakan prediktor penting dari erosi budaya.



Funding for this project was provided by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), through University Roma Tre. We sincerely thank our local collaborators and the people of 13 Bali Aga villages for sharing their knowledge and their hospitality. We are also grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. Justin Bradshaw revised the English language.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 54 kb)

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wawan Sujarwo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ida Bagus Ketut Arinasa
    • 1
  • Francois Salomone
    • 2
  • Giulia Caneva
    • 2
  • Simone Fattorini
    • 3
  1. 1.Bali Botanic Garden, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)TabananIndonesia
  2. 2.Department of ScienceUniversity Roma TreRomeItaly
  3. 3.Azorean Biodiversity Group (CITA-A) and Platform for Enhancing Ecological Research & Sustainability (PEERS)University of the AzoresAngra do HeroísmoPortugal

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