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Journal Article

Food taboos and folk medicine among fishermen from the Tocantins River (Brazil)

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Begossi, A., & de Souza Braga, F. M. (1992). Food taboos and folk medicine among fishermen from the Tocantins River (Brazil). Amazoniana: Limnologia et Oecologia Regionalis Systematis Fluminis Amazonas, 12(1), 101-118.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-876C-B
Fish utilization for food and folk medicine, and fish preference of families from the Tocantins river were studied. Questionnaires were used in the 234 interviews performed in cities, towns and scatteres houses located along 100 km of river stretch. Curimatí (Prochilodus nigricans) is the most consumed fish and pacu-manteiga (Mylossoma duriventre) the most preferred species. The fish species avoided are correlated with the species used in folk medicine (r_s = 0,54, p < 0.02). Food taboos, or fish species not consumed during illness, are also cited. The usefulness of fish species for folk medicine and the piscivorous habits of most fish quoted as not consumed partially explain the food choices of fishermen. These explanations conform to materialist theories in cultural ecology.