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Processing Metroxylon sagu Rottboell (Arecaceae) as a Technological Complex: A Case Study from South Central Seram, Indonesia

Roy Ellen
Economic Botany
Vol. 58, No. 4 (Winter, 2004), pp. 601-625
Published by: Springer on behalf of New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4256874
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Processing Metroxylon sagu Rottboell (Arecaceae) as a Technological Complex: A Case Study from South Central Seram, Indonesia
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Abstract

Presented here is an examination of the technological process whereby the stem pith of Metroxylon sagu Rottboell is transformed into edible starch by the Nuaulu people of south central Seram, Maluku, Indonesia. The analysis seeks to describe the underlying local knowledge and practices involved, with a view to refuting the assertion that sago extraction is an intuitively and technically simple solution to food provision for those reluctant to adopt 'proper' agriculture. In the light of this demonstration, I reconsider how palm starch dependency works as an adaptive strategy.

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