Dynamics of the botanical knowledge of the Laklãnõ-Xokleng indigenous people in Southern Brazil
ABSTRACT We analyzed the botanical knowledge of the Laklãnõ-Xokleng people in the Ibirama Laklãnõ Indigenous Territory. They are the last remnant of this ethnicity living in a unitary socio-political organization. The objective was to investigate the dynamics, distribution and transmission of botanical information. We interviewed 112 people in two villages about known and used plants. Data were collected through structured socioeconomic questionnaires, free lists and walk-in-the-woods tours. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and metrics of social network analysis. Of the 314 plants mentioned in the interviews, 77 % were currently used, 15 % were used in the past, and 8 % were known but never used. Men cited more plants than women. We found no correlation between the distribution of knowledge and age, but there was a relationship between families that valued Laklãnõ-Xokleng culture and individual knowledge. Transmission of knowledge about plants used medicinally and for handicrafts occurs mainly between generations and during childhood. Transmission networks emphasize the central position of elders as knowledge transmitters for their families. Different network topologies reflect particular dynamics in the medicinal and handicraft use of plants. External and internal pressures have caused changes in the transmission of the botanical knowledge of the Laklãnõ-Xokleng.