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Abstract Detail


Society for Economic Botany/BSA Economic Botany Section

Rashford, John [1].

The Meaning of the name "god tree" in the Caribbean.

The name "god tree", which appears in dictionaries and other reference works, is generally defined as a Caribbean name for the massive buttressed tropical giant called the silk cotton tree or kapok (Ceiba pentandra). While this is true, the aim of this paper is to show that in the Caribbean, "god tree" was originally applied to species of the genus Ficus, and that this tradition, which is widely represented in the folklore of the region, is similar to ideas associated with figs trees in the African Brazilian religious tradition called Candomble. The reason for the later association of "god tree" with the silk cotton tree will also be explored.

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Keywords:
god tree
ethnobotany
Candomble
Jamaica.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 49
Location: Maryland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 2:30 PM
Number: 49005
Abstract ID:761


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