Ethnobotany (SC/SS 115 ) studies interaction of indigenous people and their plants. Students learn about plants that heal, plants as food, plants as a part of material culture, and the role psychoactive plants play in traditional cultures.
Many of the traditional plant uses and ceremonies presented in the textbook are simply abstract descriptions, whether for our own students or for students elsewhere. Chapter five of the textbook presents a description of a unique ceremony for which the principal social use is to build community and avoid conflict. This ceremony is familiar only to some of the students in the class as the plant involved, Piper methysticum, is only found in rather remote locations.
The class at COM-FSM, however, has the unusual opportunity to observe this ceremony, and not just read about it in the textbook. Presenting this ceremony to the students will require covering the costs of producing the ceremony. I am hereby requesting a petty cash disbursement for the purpose of covering the cost of the ceremony.
Dana Lee Ling
Chair Division of Natural Science and Mathematics
College of Micronesia-FSM