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Applying a critical heritage studies approach to plants, this article explores how plant knowledge and use, plant exchange, and plant symbolism and materiality feature in the social life of the dispersed Chagossian community in Mauritius, Seychelles, and the UK. First, plant use helps to sustain collective knowledge in new environmental conditions and social settings. Second, plant exchange nourishes kinship and other social relationships within the extended community. Third, plant symbolism and materiality cultivate nostalgic links to idealized homelands in the context of community dispersal. Nevertheless, the capacity of plants to contribute to these social processes is limited by challenges to intergenerational knowledge transmission across time and space, and by environmental, financial, and regulatory constraints on plant migration. The article argues that for the displaced Chagossian community, plants are living cultural heritage with social potential (albeit constrained) in the context of dislocation and loss, ongoing suffering, and geographical dispersal.
- medicinal plants
- plant exchange
- plant migration
‘We no longer have faith and trust in anyone’: Misadventures in community consultation on the future of the Chagos ArchipelagoRotter, R. & Jeffery, L., 1 Oct 2016, In: International Development and Planning Review. 38, 4, p. 383-403
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile