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Title: 'Los Caminos de la Medicina' : the life of medicinal plants from the Amazonian forest to the urban markets
Author: Echeverri Sanchez, Hernando Alberto
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 9834
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This dissertation is a multispecies exploration of the trade of medicinal plants in the Andean-Amazonian region of southern Colombia. It seeks to highlight the complex multilayered networks of relationships that make up folk medicine in the country by following the medicinal plants as main ethnographic subjects. It explores the roles each medicinal plant plays as it is grown, harvested, transformed, exchanged and used by different people. It also highlights a crucial axis in this region, the lowland highland dynamic, since their trade connects lowland indigenous communities to highland Andean healers and markets, facilitating not only a space for material transformation but also spaces of cultural exchange. This study has focused on six representative botanical species: Elaeagia pastoensis L.E. Mora, Maytenus laevis, Brugmansia Sp, Cyperus Sp., Banisteropsis caapi and Ethryxolyum sp. All these plants have essential roles in these trade networks being active agents in the way people perceive their health, the environment, their relationships with others, and their own identity. By using material culture methodology, this study explors the techniques in making, using and exchanging these medicines following the cultural rationales, thinking processes, and cosmological understandings that make them possible. This methodology also facilitates an analysis of the ways that the medicines are continually reimagined and reinterpreted by different people as they travel through the commodity chains, being incorporated into different ways of understanding health and the world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available