Ethnobotany of Alaska: A Southwestern Alaska Perspective

  • Dennis Griffin
Living reference work entry

Alaska is the home of many diverse Native peoples who inhabit a wide variety of environments. To survive and flourish in these environments, it was essential for people to be aware of the wide range of plant and animal species in their area on which their survival depended. Published texts on Alaskan Natives, particularly the Eskimo (Lee & DeVoreore,1968), have stressed the dependence of Native people on hunting in order to survive. While this dependence is undoubtedly true, the awareness and intensity of use of vegetal resources has often been overlooked. While it is impossible to summarize, in a single entry, the use of indigenous plants among all Native peoples of Alaska, this entry focuses on one area of Alaska, that of the Southwest, in order to illustrate the range of knowledge and use of indigenous flora by the Yup’ik Eskimo. This use includes the harvest of plants for food, medicine, and utilitarian purposes. Limited ethnobotanical references for Native peoples in the...


Native People Indigenous Plant Alaska Peninsula Indigenous Flora Southern Coastal Area 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oregon State Historic Preservation OfficeSalemUSA