A Study on the Ethnobotany of Seediq Atayal in Nantou
Thesis, Graduate Institute of
Horticulture, National Taiwan University.
In order to conserve and extend the wisdom of aborigines in using plants I investigated plants associated with the life and culture of Seediq Atayal tribe in Renai of Nantou county. Through 30 times of field inventories and interviews between July 2000 and February 2003, 4785 plant specimens, including 151 families and 1074 species, were collected and prepared. Among the collections 114 families and 443 species of plants were intimately related to the life and culture of this tribe. As to the category of use, plants were predominantly used for food and also used for hunting, architectural utensil, living utensil, medicine, agricultural material, weaving material, exchange, toy, fuel, ceremony, and musical instrument although in decreasing importance. Plants of Compositae, Gramineae and Rosaceae were more frequently utilized than those of other families. As to the diversity of use-category, 58.5% of the useful plants had only one kind and the others had more than one kind of use-category. Alnus formosana, Quercus variabilis, Eriobotrya deflexa, Pueraria montana and Styrax formosana had the highest diversity in use-category and each species had six types of uses. As to the diversity of use-item, 50.1% of the useful plants had only single kind and the others had more than one kind of use-item. Zelkova serrata had the highest diversity in use-item. There were 896 species of plants which could be called and recorded in languages of Seediq Atayal and 787 species in dialect of Towda, 616 in Truku, and 487 in Tgdaya. Seediq people identify or recognize plants by their traits, growing environment and utilized parts. Possible means of conservation and sustainable use of these plant resources are discussed.