and much more
* NEXT COURSE STARTS WEDNESDAY 31 MAY, 8PM CEST
Are you a plant lover, an artist, gardener, herbalist, educator, changemaker or activist? Do you want to learn about the ingenuity of the plant world, and how different human cultures relate to plants? Then this course is for you!
The study of ethnobotany helps us understand how people in different cultures relate to plants for their survival, their health, wellbeing and meaning making. Understanding the diversity of human cultures and their relationship with the plant world, can help us repair our relationship with nature.
This course is based on the MSc ethnobotany at the University of Kent, the first of its kind in the world and the only graduate course in Europe. The lessons are accessible to anyone with curiosity for people and plants, there will be weekly creative and exploratory projects and space for your questions. Start learning today about people, plants and human cultures, the study and research methods of ethnobotany, indigenous wisdom and traditional knowledge!
Course investment £119
* 5% of your investment will be donated to nonprofit Allianza Arkana
** If you are keen to join the course but the price is stopping you, get in touch with me. I offer 1 seat with 50% discount on each cohort!
Edith Adjako, of Maroon descend, shows how her female ancestors hid rice grains in their hair.
Did you know that vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is a tropical orchid that climbs on trees?
The Shipibo Konibo, indigenous to the Peruvian Amazon, use many plants with special healing powers.
Every lesson includes optional reading, viewing or listening material, and a small creative or research project for you to engage with the topics.
In this lesson we will see how human cultures change the environment they live in. And vice versa, how the environment influences culture. The environment includes the climate, the ecosystem, and the local plants and animals. We will review historical, political, spiritual and social relationships with the environment, both in our personal lives, and in human cultures globally. Last, we will look at the importance of ‘biocultural diversity’, the direct connection between biodiversity, human cultures and languages.
In which ways do humans use plants to meet their needs? We will delve into the core of ethnobotany, the relationship between human cultures and plants. We will start to see the many ways plants play a role in our own lives and review the idea of ‘plant blindness’, the inability to see how important plants are for us. We will learn about the study of ethnobotany, the 4 phases of ethnobotany and the role of traditional knowledge and ethics throughout these phases. Where does ethnobotany stand today?
You are invited to learn more about the plants around you. Your weekly project will have already given you a sense of plant parts and botany basics. We will review the history of botany and where it stands today. We will learn how to organise and make sense of the vast plant world by introducing basics of plant taxonomy and classification. And we will explore the main plant parts: roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits.
It is your turn now, as each participant can present a so called ethnobotanical plant profile of their favourite plant. Detailed guidelines on how to go about this are provided! We will continue with a view on possible research topics, understanding the guidelines for ethical research when working with people, and an overview of some the main ethnobotanical research methods.
In this last lesson I share about my research of the Amazonian medicine plant ‘piripiri’ (Cyperus spp.) and its many magical uses among the indigenous Shipibo Konibo in the Peruvian Amazon. How do we view plants in indigenous and Western cultures? We will review the latest research in plant intelligence in Western science; communication, senses, memory, kin relations. How would our world change if we can perceive plants as intelligent, or as conscious beings?
The next course will take place on Wednesday evenings.
Time: 8pm CEST | 6pm UTC | 2pm EDT
I. Wed, 31 May, 8pm – 9:30pm
II. Wed, 7 June, 8pm – 9:30pm
III. Wed, 14 June, 8pm – 9:30pm
IV. Wed, 21 June, 8pm – 9:30pm
V. Wed, 28 June, 8pm – 9:30pm
My name is Inge Kuijper, ethnobotanist, educator and designer. For many years I have pursued the question ‘how can we live in harmony with nature’?
In my search, I have returned to academia and completed the fascinating Ethnobotany MSc program at the University of Kent, England which is partnered with Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, London. For my thesis I researched the significance of the plant medicine piripiri (Cyperus articulatus) for the Shipibo Konibo in Peru, which started to reveal to me what plants can teach us. During my studies I started teaching about People and Plants at the Volksuniversiteit Amsterdam and I have since continued to teach independently as well.
Start learning today in a self-paced online
course, or join me in a live class
COMING SOON – Register your interest for an early bird discount! Welcome to the self-paced introduction into ethnobotany, exploring the relationship between human cultures and plants.
COMING SOON – Register your interest for an early bird discount! Learn about the value of traditional knowledge in ecosystem restoration, and how to start including this in ecosystem restoration.
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