Enset (Ensete ventricosum, Musaceae) ethnobotany: research status, gaps and key messages
Enset (Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman, Musaceae) is an ethnobotanical icon considering its economic, sociocultural, environmental and symbolic roles. This paper reviews how far the enset research undertaken so far has taken up its ethnobotany. The objective is identification of the specific gaps and casting hints on ethnobotanical research that needs to be undertaken in future efforts for an understanding of the place of enset and its system in the life of the people who care for it. Considering the scope of studies and the recent methodological advances in ethnobotany, it is imperative to see how far previous enset research has benefited from it in data collection and analyses and what enset has missed. The current trend in enset ethnobotanical research along with the gaps and key messages vis-à-vis perspectives of sustainable development take the main thrust in this review. The review showed that cross-disciplinary and crosscultural data are inadequate and applications of recent ethnobotanical methodologies are at low level. Aspects of cognitive ethnobotany, quantitative ethnobotany and coverage of the full range of enset culture with same research protocol are areas not covered. Furthermore, ethnobotanical modeling of the enset system has not been researched. The paper targets the major gaps and key messages for embarking upon full scale enset ethnobotany research. It is hoped that the ideas will serve as basis for initiating future ethnobotanical research on enset that engages both qualitative and quantitative approaches in an integrated and balanced manner.
Keywords/phrases: Agroecology, Common research protocol, Ethnobotanical modeling, Meta-analysis, Quantitative enset ethnobotany