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► Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Herders on the Flora and Vegetation of the Hortobagy - Hungary

Rural topic(s): Local ecological knowledge

Type: book

Date of publication: January 1, 2012

Organization(s): IEB Traditional Ecological Knowledge Research Group / ÖBI - Hagyományos ökológiai tudás kutatócsoport


To present this book “Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Herders on the Flora and Vegetation of the Hortobagy”, we will use the review from Gábor Máté:

“The book written by Zsolt Molnar is about the recent repeated encounter of the natural scientist and the Hortobagy shepherd. Roles are swapped, the position of the conversationalists is different and the transfer of knowledge goes the opposite direction: the scientist, instead of lecturing, collects local wisdom, systematises the information, providing enough room for the experiences and the personality of the shepherd. The purpose of the educational paper laid on proper scientific foundations is to disclose local information on the Pusta and its vegetation, to describe the role of pastoralism in maintaining the status quo of the landscape, to embrace and strengthen our ‘ecological knowledge of the country’.

Several attempts have been made in this country to collect vernacular terms for plants, but a lot less was endeavoured in the field of research into a shepherd’s vocabulary, the use of grasslands by the people and–due to its interdisciplinarity–the assessment of the traditional ecological knowledge or TEK.

As a research fellow on the Ecological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Zsolt Molnár approaches the scope of issues from the field of botany, with the knowledge of plants and traditional ecological knowledge in the focus of his scrutiny.

The book is meticulously built, based on data collected from 2008 up to 2012, showing 162 vernacular (plant) taxa on the basis of 5149 data, which can be corresponded to 43 scientifically determined plant species. Additionally, about 40 types of plant communities and habitats are drawn up from the collection work.

The book is written for a general audience, in colour print, hardback, designed as an album. Practically, it is bilingual, even though the English counterparts of the descriptions are condensed.”

section notes

Veronika Lajos, Gábor Máté, Lajos Balogh, László Gy. Szabó, Dániel Babai, Judit Farkas, and Dóra Czégényi. Reviews. Acta Ethnographica Hungarica 62(1), 249–262 (2017) DOI: 10.1556/022.2017.62.1.12



Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271833252_A_Hortobagy_pasztorszemmel_A_puszta_novenyvilaga_Traditional_ecological_knowledge_of_herders_on_the_flora_and_vegetation_of_the_Hortobagy

Scale of intervention : Regional

Keywords: biodiversity conservation, pastoralism, traditional knowledge, Farmers Ecological Knowledge, safeguard of knowledge

Places: Hungary

Actors: breeder, researcher/academic