Honoring the Botanical Traditions of the African Diaspora
Hidden Garden is creating a circle of plants which are all of African origin or have been integral to the survival of African people in the Americas. For decades we have been researching the ethnobotanical experience of the African Diaspora and the science of Bush Medicine. We now have a growing collection of medicinal, food and spiritual plants that came here from Africa over the past 500 years. These plants, together with other key plants that have been adopted by African descendants in the Americas, are being organized into a ceremonial space, using the Sacred Grove model from Africa in which plant conservation areas serve as grounds for educational, ethno-medical, cultural and spiritual traditions to take place.
- Research by volunteers and staff, in African Diaspora Ethnobotany, results of which are incorporated into Hidden Garden’s online botanical database and research library.
- Seed Collection – including donations from community members, ethnobotanists and a visit to the Bri Bri Seed Exchange, which proved extremely fruitful. These seeds have been planted by volunteers and are currently under close supervision to ensure their survival.
- Site Preparation – including designating the area for the circle (approximately 8 meters diameter), collecting rocks for delineating the circle and adding soil.
- Networking – identifying and contacting academic experts, non-governmental and governmental organizations and community elders
- Wisdom Sharing – creating opportunities for sharing ancestral and academic information in a traditional setting which honors and includes local elders and community members
- Botanical Repatriation – offering Africana plants, ethnobotanical information and cultural practices, free of charge, to local Afro-Costa Rican residents