Abui Botanical Dataset: Healing Plants


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Wu, Shiyue; Perono Cacciafoco, Francesco (2024), “Abui Botanical Dataset: Healing Plants”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/mg2vrdvvth.1

This dataset collects a systematic and comprehensive list of phytonyms from the Abui language. Abui is a Papuan endangered language spoken in the central territories of Alor Island (Alor-Pantar Archipelago, Southeast Indonesia, Timor area). In particular, our lexical list provides names of medicinal plants (or common plants used also for medical purposes) that have a profound cultural valency. The related plants are used not only for the treatment of wounds and diseases, but are also attested in local myths, legends, and oral traditions.

The lexical list includes:

1) the English phytonyms, with the related scientific names in binomial nomenclature. Scientific denominations were recorded when we were able to confirm and validate the identifications of the plants (English name, Abui name, specimen, botanical features, taxonomy);
2) the plant names in Abui, collected from the native speakers and validated with our consultants and a large body of volunteers from the Abui communities. In very few cases, we postulate a possible reconstructed proto-form in the Proto-Alor-Pantar proto-language;
3) a brief description of the medicinal properties of the plants according to the traditional Abui knowledge;
4) short notes on the relevance of the plants in the culture and society of the Abui people.

Data was collected over several Language Documentation fieldworks conducted between 2015 and 2022 in Alor Island, Abui territory, prevalently in the villages of Takpala and Takalelang.
Original languageEnglish
TypeData Set
Media of outputMendeley Data
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2024

Publication series

NameMendeley Data
PublisherElsevier Inc.


  • Language Documentation
  • Field Linguistics
  • Ethnobotany
  • Health Humanities
  • Medical Humanities


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