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The Land Of Milk And Barley: Medicinal Plants, Staple Foods, And Discourses Of Subjectivity In Rgyal Thang

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses findings on household knowledge of medicinal plants in Rgyal thang. Although the discourse of common householders centers on the loss of knowledge of how to use local plants medicinally, they do not completely lack knowledge of remedies altogether. The chapter analyses the discourse of lost medicinal plant knowledge in relation to discourses of commodification and ethnic identity in the Rgyal thang area. It presents an analysis of the symbolic importance of milk and barley as integrally connected to the discourses of subjectivity with which Rgyal thang Tibetans are engaged. The reported effectiveness of milk and barley, as remedies for general ailments and to maintain good health, combined with the symbolic power of these products, creates a dominant discourse in relation to other discourses of subjectivity.

Keywords: barley; commodification discourse; ethnic identity discourse; medicinal plant knowledge; milk; Rgyal thang Tibetans



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    Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003. Volume 10: Soundings in Tibetan Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
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