Study of plants in village toponyms Chiang Mai province


  • Warong Wonglangka Faculty of Architecture, Chiang Mai University


plants, villages, toponym, Chiang Mai


Toponyms are native terms used to identify an area. Each location has a unique history, which is influenced by the local environment. Locals created Toponyms to be exact and have a clear understanding for communicating locations. This research article aims to study and uncover the plants that appear in villages’ toponyms of Chiang Mai Province. Based on 2,066, village toponyms have been examined using documents and field data, with the study of folklore framework, classification according to ethnobotany and geographic analysis. The findings demonstrated that 171 plant species are connected with vegetation in 743 villages in the province of Chiang Mai. The most prevalent plant species in the village toponyms in this study is the mango (Mangifera indica)1. Studying dialects found that plants in villages toponyms of Chiang Mai province were found that most numbers of plants name have closely corresponded to Thai language, followed by plants named in the unique northern-Thai dialect that does not correspond to Thai language. Moreover, found plants in villages toponyms related to the Karen language and Shan languages. Classification of plants family in villages toponyms found a total of 68 families. The most common families were the legumes family (Fabaceae)2, which found 18 species in 84 village landscapes, and the grass family (Poaceae)2, which found 15 species in 93 villages. A study of plant life forms showed that most of the plants in the village’s toponyms are trees, followed by shrubs, climber plants, aquatic plants, ground cover and epiphytic plants consecutively. Function of plants in villages toponyms most are medicinal plants, followed by edible plants. The plants in the village’s toponym are related to elevation above mean sea level. When there is a change in the elevation of the ground, there will be a change in different species in the forest ecosystem. The presence of vegetation in villages is a toponym associated with elevation above mean sea level. Changes in geographical elevation will alter the forest ecosystem’s plant species. With the development of agricultural ecosystems, the plain basin in Chiang Mai Province was determined to be the settlement of the villages containing the most significant number of plant species found in their toponyms, such as Mango and Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa)1. The study of plants in village toponyms is valuable for illustrating the connections between nature and culture, people and place, in the appreciation of the significance of the local plants and ecosystems, which is tied to the identity of the community’s inhabitants. This research will lead to the development of practical resource and environmental management.


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