Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum Gaertn.) landraces cultivated by Yi people in Liangshan, China
The cultivation of Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum Gaertn.) has a long history in Liangshan, China. Tartary buckwheat serves as a staple food for Yi people. Various ethnic culture, traditional knowledge and local seed systems contribute to maintaining the diversity of Tartary buckwheat landraces. Thirty-five villages in two counties were investigated, and one of the villages was selected for this case study. The landraces and local names, field management, associated rituals on festivals associated, and seed systems were investigated. Market surveys were also conducted. Thirteen Tartary buckwheat landraces were recorded with vernacular names. Folk nomenclature and taxonomy were mainly based on the seed shape, size, color and maturation period. Depending on their indigenous knowledge and experiences, the Yi people select multiple landraces for cultivation to cope with climate changes and different altitudes. Planting different Tartary buckwheat landraces also staggers the harvest, and meets different taste preferences. The Yi use various seed sources and traditional seed systems. In addition, Tartary buckwheat plays an important role in many Yi rituals in the study area. All landraces of Tartary buckwheat were made into the same simple product for the marketplaces due to inadequate understanding of their characteristics. This homogenization of Tartary buckwheat is not beneficial for the conservation of Tartary buckwheat landraces. Overall, local Yi people conserve Tartary buckwheat landraces and cultivate multiple landraces to maintain their diversity. The traditional knowledge, folk seed system and sociocultural norms contributed great influence on the diversity and on-farm conservation of Tartary buckwheat landraces.
KeywordsTartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) Landrace diversity Tradition knowledge Cultural uses
Prof. Dr. Edward Kennelly from the Lehman College, City University of New York, USA, helped edit the English. Financial support for this study came from the National Nature Science Foundation of China (31761143001 & 31870316), Biodiversity Survey and Assessment Project of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China (2019HJ2096001006), Key Laboratory of Ethnomedicine (Minzu University of China) of Ministry of Education of China (KLEM-ZZ201906 & KLEM-ZZ201806), Minzu University of China (Collaborative Innovation Center for Ethnic Minority Development & yldxxk201819), Ministry of Education of China and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of China (B08044). We are very grateful to the Yi people who provided valuable information, traditional knowledge and culture about Tartary buckwheat, and provided seed of Tartary buckwheat for experimental purposes.
JCF and CLL conceived this study. YJS carried out the field investigations, analyzed and interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript. CLL, YMD and JW participated in the interviews and provided comments. LCL finalized the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Subjects in Fig. 4 have provided permission for publication.
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