The Nature and Culture of Rattan

The Nature and Culture of Rattan examines the ecology, use, management and cultural importance of one of the world’s most important forest products through the knowledge, practices and lives of rattan cane collectors and artisans in three Southeast Asian forest villages where the author lived and worked over a 25 year period.  Author Siebert brings to life crucial issues in tropical forest conservation and management, including government policies, household livelihood strategies, conflicts between local resource use and western protected area management approaches, and the value of integrating scientific inquiry with traditional ecological knowledge and practice. 

This website accompanies The Nature and Culture of Rattan: Reflections on Vanishing Life in the Forests of Southeast Asia. It is designed to illustrate some of the diverse uses made of rattan palms; rattan collection, trade and processing; agricultural practices that rattan collectors also pursue to secure a livelihood; conservation and development debates discussed in the text; and to portray village life in the three communities upon which the work is based. Each topic is available as a powerpoint .pdf file and includes photographs, possible discussion questions and suggested readings for further study. The files may be revised periodically as new information becomes available or if interest in particular topics arises.