Monday, May 28, 2012
Dona Zenilda’s grandmother taught her how to use plants and herbs for medicinal purposes, but before that the people were taught by nature itself. Not only do the Xukuru have an understanding of what the plants do for the human body and for other animals, but how animals are an integral part of the life of plants. Whether it be that the animals have caused deforestation, like with the cattle overgrazing that occurred when the Fazendero’s lived on the land, or the relationship between the birds and the plants- in which the birds eat the fruit and, in turn, spread the seeds by natural processes. Our group was honored to have Zenilda and another Xukuru leader give us a tour of their garden. On this tour they pointed out all of the plants that were used for medicinal purposes, the one that were used for food, and the ones used solely for animal feed. Many of the foods grown in these gardens are used to feed the students at the schools that we visited on Day 3 and 4. By using these fresh, locally grown foods, the children are receiving great amounts of nutrients from their school food. The foods grown here look, smell, and taste amazing! The tea made from these herb are also wonderful!
Posted by Marcia Mikulak - Associate Professor, University of North Dakota Dept. of Anthropology at 10:56 PM