“Mushrooms (and a cow) are A Means of Survival for Us”: Dissimilar Ethnomycological Perspectives among Hutsuls and Romanians Living Across The Ukrainian-Romanian Border

Stryamets, N and Mattalia, G and Pieroni, Andrea and Sõukand, R (2022) “Mushrooms (and a cow) are A Means of Survival for Us”: Dissimilar Ethnomycological Perspectives among Hutsuls and Romanians Living Across The Ukrainian-Romanian Border. Environmental Management, 72. pp. 363-381.

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Sustainable forest management highlights the multipurpose use of all forest resources, including the use of wild mushrooms, by a variety of forest users and especially for rural livelihoods. To achieve sustainable forest management, among others, decision-makers and forest managers need to identify the important elements for the livelihoods of local communities dependent on forests. Therefore, our aim is to analyse the importance of contemporary use of wild mushrooms for daily livelihoods in rural areas of the Carpathian Mountains by comparing two ethnic groups, Hutsuls and Romanians, living in a similar ecological environment and formerly belonging to the historical region of Bukovina, but currently split by the border between Ukraine and Romania which have different governments and economic situations. One hundred and twenty-one face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted in the summers of 2018 and 2019. We compared the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of Romanians and Hutsuls living, respectively, in lowlands and mountain areas on both sides of the border. Our results demonstrated the homogenous use of mushroom species for cultural purposes (e.g. ritual foods). Yet, we detected a remarkable difference in the role mushrooms play in providing income: Hutsuls in Ukraine use forest products as a main (rarely additional) source of income, while Romanian Hutsuls use them solely as additional income. Romanians on both sides considered mushrooms mainly as food and did not sell them (probably due in part to less abundance in the area). We also documented the fear of local residents that forest management and protected areas could suppress the right to collect wild mushrooms. The use of mushrooms is an important aspect of local TEK and needs to be considered as a part of sustainable forest management and as a means of poverty reduction in the region.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bukovina Carpathian Mountains fungi ethnomycology Hutsuls rural areas
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QK Botany
Depositing User: ePrints deposit
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2023 12:32
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 12:32
URI: http://eprints.tiu.edu.iq/id/eprint/1309

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