Human Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 177–185 | Cite as

Yams and megapode mounds in the lowland rain forest of Papua New Guinea

  • Peter D. Dwyer
  • Monica Minnegal
Article

Abstract

Kubo people of Papua New Guinea sometimes grew Dioscorea yams in mounds of forest litter that were made as egg-incubation sites by birds (Megapodiidae).' The small yam plots were included within larger banana gardens and, in the latter, it was yams, not bananas, that took precedence in the gardening decisions of people. The technique would be viable in the absence of a larger garden. It is interpreted as an expression of an ancient pattern of small-scale plant domestication.

Key words

tropical rain forest plant domestication yams megapodes Kubo Papua New Guinea 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter D. Dwyer
    • 1
  • Monica Minnegal
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of QueenslandAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Anthropology and SociologyUniversity of QueenslandAustralia

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