Not just fuel: Food and technology from trees and shrubs in Falia, Saloum Delta (Senegal)

Raquel Piqué, Mathieu Gueye, Karen Hardy, Abdoulaye Camara, Edmond Dioh

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. Ethnoarchaeological and ethnobotanical studies help to generate hypotheses that can be used to assist in interpreting archaeological records. Woody plants remain an important primary raw material resource for the fisher-gatherer people of the Saloum Delta in Senegal. The aim of this study is to document the uses of these resources within the traditional economy as well as to gain an understanding of the skills associated with obtaining, processing, and using these plants here. We have registered uses for 25 species. The anatomical parts that are used are the leaves, phloem, wood, roots, palm leaf stalks, and bark. The Saloum Delta communities obtain a wide variety of resources from the trees and bushes of the mangrove and forest savannah, and their uses extend significantly beyond obtaining firewood. The major uses we recorded are fuel, tool manufacturing, building and construction, and food and fodder. We have highlighted examples of extraction and processing methods, transportation, drying, storage, cooking, and the range of anatomical parts used, which in some cases requires the use of tools and complex processes for extraction. The gender-based division of labor is related to production methods and the types of plants used. The uses of woody plants recorded in the town of Falia can help understand archaeobotanical formation processes and, consequently, the visibility, or lack of it, concerning the collection, processing and consumption of these plants in archaeological contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Intangible Elements of Culture in Ethnoarchaeological Research
Editors Biagetti, Stefano, Lugli, Francesca (Eds.)
Place of Publication(CH)
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Construction
  • Firewood
  • Food
  • Household tools
  • Woody plants


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