USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Lauren A. Munim

First Advisor

Jay Sokolovsky, Ph.D., Anthropology Department Chair, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



This research examines the belief systems, knowledge base and practice of Southeast Asian-Americans residing on the West Coast of Florida. The importance of traditional ecological knowledge in the cultivation of home gardens as relocated venues for cultural preservation of migrant horticulturalists is illustrated. Data collection methods include: participant observations, semi-structured interviews, geospatial mapping, and identification of key food and medicinal plant species. Home gardens serve as reconstructed landscapes for immigrant populations by stimulating cultural preservation of plants used in traditional healing, thus space providing a venue for the intergenerational transfer of traditional knowledge. Transported landscapes require traditional ecological knowledge regarding floral identification, uses, and cultivation practices. Home gardens provide sustenance, and a source of pride. This study seeks to demonstrate the preservation of cultural heritage and integrity as it documents the cultivation of flora significant to this population.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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