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The term ethnotaxonomy refers either to that subdiscipline within ethnology which studies the taxonomic systems defined and used by individual ethnic groups, or to the operative individual taxonomy itself, which is the object of the ethnologist's immediate study. For example, in many West African languages, the perceptual world of color is classified into the principal categories "Red," "White," and "Black" (finer gradations being secondary). The range of wavelengths that an English-speaker calls blue would be a subcategory of "Black."[1] The set of categories of familial relationships evinced by the ethnic group's kinship system is another ethnotaxonomy. An example of this might be the Hawaiian kinship system, where all members of a generation of the same sex are referred to by a single term. Both the relationships termed mother and aunt in English fall into the same taxon "Mother-Aunt". This does not mean that the users of this taxonomy are confused about the concept "Birth-Mother," only that it is a subcategory. Conversely, an ethnotaxonomy such as the Sudanese kinship system or that used in ancient Rome, where no two relationships have the same denotation, may show much more granularity than the English system. Thus the relationship called aunt in English is not fundamental in Latin, but either amita "Father's Sister" or matertera "Mother's Sister" must be chosen. Latin and Sudanese are called a "descriptive systems," and Hawaiian is called a "classificatory" system, but it is obvious that this terminology is English-centered (see Lewis H. Morgan), the difference being one of degree, rather than kind. Categories of plants, "Useful" and "Harmful," etc., are yet another well-known example. Indeed, in recent years there has been a vogue usage of the term ethnotaxonomy limiting it to ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology, because of the "rediscovery" of the medicinal and commercial value of plants disclosed by examining the botanical ethnotaxonomies of lesser-known cultures.[2] See also[edit]

Folk taxonomy

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Ethnicity

Related concepts

Clan Ethnic group

Ethnolinguistic group Ethnoreligious group

Indigenous peoples Ingroups and outgroups Meta-ethnicity Metroethnicity Minority group Monoethnicity Nation Nationality Panethnicity Polyethnicity Population Race Symbolic ethnicity Tribe

Ethnology

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Ethnobotany Ethnozoology Ethnoecology

Ethnocinema Ethnogeology Ethnography

Autoethnography Clinical Critical Cyber- Netnography Online Person-centered Salvage Transidioethnography Video

Ethnohistory Ethnolinguistics Ethnology Ethnomathematics Ethnomethodology Ethnomuseology Ethnomusicology Ethnophilosophy Ethnopoetics Ethnoscience Ethnosemiotics Ethnotaxonomy

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Americas

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Identity and ethnogenesis

Cross-race effect Cultural assimilation Cultural identity Demonym Development Endonym Ethnic flag Ethnic option Ethnic origin Ethnic religion Ethnicity in census Ethnofiction Ethnonym Folk religion Historical Imagined community Kinship Legendary progenitor Lineage-bonded society Mythomoteur Mores Nation-building Nation state National language National myth Origin myth Pantribal sodality Tribal name Tribalism Urheimat

Multiethnic society

Consociationalism Diaspora politics Dominant minority Ethnic democracy Ethnic enclave Ethnic interest group Ethnic majority Ethnic media Ethnic pornography Ethnic theme park Ethnoburb Ethnocracy Indigenous rights Middleman minority Minority rights Model minority Multinational state

Ideology and ethnic conflict

Ethnic bioweapon Ethnic cleansing Ethnic hatred Ethnic joke Ethnic nationalism Ethnic nepotism Ethnic penalty Ethnic slur Ethnic stereotype Ethnic violence Ethnocentrism Ethnocide Ethnosymbolism Indigenism Separatist movements Xenophobia

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