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versión On-line ISSN 1870-7459


RETANA-GUIASCON, Oscar Gustavo et al. Morpho-anatomical knowledge of birds by Yucatecan Maya. Huitzil [online]. 2023, vol.24, n.1, e651.  Epub 20-Oct-2023. ISSN 1870-7459.

In the environmental perspective of the new millennium, indigenous systems of knowledge and use of biodiversity provide valuable input for the construction of natural heritage conservation strategies. Our study aimed to document the morpho-anatomical knowledge of birds by the indigenous Yucatan Maya. From 2010 to 2015, we carried out 240 structured interviews, recording anatomical and morphological terminology recognized for birds in six Maya communities in Campeche: Santa Cruz, Nunkiní, San Antonio Sahcabchen, Villa de Guadalupe, Pich and Chencoh. We found that birds in general were given the name Ch’ijch’, with the presence of Koj (beak), Koj (beak), K ́u ́uk ́umel (feathers), and Xiik ́ (wings) being essential characters used to define and classify this animal group. The Mayan system recognizes and names 54 anatomical organs and 16 morphological structures, making it one of the most complete indigenous nomenclatures of the class Aves nationally. This record of a broad morpho-anatomical nomenclature is of high importance in the perceptual structure as a differentiator and identifier of an animal domain. Furthermore, it offers a diagnostic of the cognitive level regarding this domain and indicates an ongoing high interaction between Mayan indigenous people and their avifauna, and faunal diversity in general, which has enabled them to generate detailed biological and habitat-related knowledge.

Palabras llave : Campeche; Ethnoscience; Ethnoornithology; Wildlife; Yucatan Peninsula.

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