Morphological perception of aquatic animals by the Acupe fishing community, Santo Amaro, Bahia: an ethnozoological approach

Francisco José Bezerra Souto, Rodrigo Stolze Pacheco


Ethnozoology has been used successfully in studies of the interaction between zoology and
culture. In that body of knowledge, it is common to use a personal terminology to name different animal body parts; this
is known as body topography. The aim of this work is to understand the terms used by the Acupe fishermen (Santo Amaro
– Bahia, Brazil) for some of the locally caught animals, analysing them from the perspective of folk knowledge compared
with the zoological literature. The body topography was studied by presenting picture-cards (N = 100), showing images
of swimming crabs, shrimps, crabs and fish taken from the scientific literature, to 68 fishermen. The folk terminology
recorded was divided into three categories: polynomia, suggested function, and anthropomorphic analogy. In at least one
case (crab-catching), this knowledge translates into a method with ethnoconservation implications. The results showed
that the local fishermen have an extensive terminology to name structures and body parts and their functions, and in some
cases this knowledge was comparable to that in the zoological literature.



  • There are currently no refbacks.