Thanabotany is an emerging field focused on the intersection of plants and people with death, dying, grief and bereavement.
Birth of Thanabotany
The field of thanabotany was born in 2018 at the Lloyd Library & Museum with the fellowship of Cole Imperi, who pioneered the study of how the relationships between plants and people (ethnobotany) intersect with the study of death and dying (thanatology). Thanabotanists not only seek to understand plant usage as it relates to the process of dying, they study the significance of plants by the bereaved. Thanabotanists research grave goods (the objects buried with the deceased), old medical texts and the symbolism depicted in ancient art for clues to understand how plants have accompanied us on our journey to the inevitable. Treating the dying and their loved ones with teas, tinctures, salves and even plants grown near the home has been part of shamanism, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and Appalachian culture.
What thanabotanists study:
Plants used in dealing with the bodies of the dead, how they were used and why
Plants used in funerary and death-related rituals, how they were used and why
Why some plants were used differently depending on the health or prognosis of the patient
Folk medicine traditions involving the deceased
How this knowledge can contribute to modern life
From Lloydiana, Volume 21, Issue 1, P. 10
UPCOMING THANABOTANY-RELATED EVENTS
COLE IMPERI FELLOWSHIP LECTURE
Join me as I celebrate the outcome of my research through my time as a Curtis Gates Lloyd Fellow!
This lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 6:30–8:00pm at the Lloyd Library and Museum in downtown Cincinnati.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
More information will be posted after the fellowship lectures are completed.
Until then, make sure you are on my email list (signup is in the footer of the website, or on the contact page).
We’ll be seeking writers who are interested in publishing content related to Thanabotany, and individuals interested in installing or working on Grief Gardens (any location!).