This page includes information that may not reflect the current views and values of the Penn Museum.


Ethnomedicine refers to the study of traditional medical practice. It can encompass methods of diagnosis and treatment. In some cases it is associated with professional medicine men and women, in others with lay persons who have acquired knowledge from parents or relatives.

Penn Museum's project is an extension of the original ethnozooarchaeological research in Maasailand, leading naturally from a study of traditional treatment of animal disease to encompass treatment of human medical conditions. The focus is primarily on the use of botanicals readily available on the range: how they are identified, collected, and processed and what conditions they are used to treat.

An outgrowth of the above study was the initiation of a field school in ethnobotany and ecology for girls at the local boarding school.

e-mail: Kathleen Ryan

Edible Wild Plants as Digestive Aids: Ethnoarchaeology in Maasailand

Penn Museum | 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 |