Abui Botanical Dataset: Healing Plants

Published: 7 May 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/mg2vrdvvth.1
Shiyue Wu,


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.



Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University


Lexicography, Word List


Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

RDF-23-01-014 - Place Names and Cultural Identity: Toponyms and Their Diachronic Evolution among the Kula People from Alor Island