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Book Details

Kumeyaay Ethnobotany

Shared Heritage of the Californias

Spanish Edition Available Here.

For thousands of years, the Kumeyaay people of northern Baja California and southern California made their homes in the diverse landscapes of the region, interacting with native plants and continuously refining their botanical knowledge. Today, many Kumeyaay Indians in the far-flung ranches of Baja California carry on the traditional knowledge and skills for transforming native plants into food, medicine, arts, tools, regalia, construction materials, and ceremonial items.

Kumeyaay Ethnobotany explores the remarkable interdependence between native peoples and native plants of the Californias through in-depth descriptions of 47 native plants and their uses, lively narratives, and hundreds of vivid photographs. It connects the archaeological and historical record with living cultures and native plant specialists who share their ever-relevant wisdom for future generations.

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Gold Medalist-Regional Category

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Silver Medalist-Multicultural Category

About the Author

Michael Wilken-Robertson

Anthropologist Michael Wilken-Robertson’s research and advocacy work with Native Baja Californians has explored traditional arts, ethnobotany, history, languages, and cultural landscapes of these indigenous peoples. He has developed lifelong collaborative relationships with native artists and traditional authorities to foster cultural revitalization and sustainable community development. His research is disseminated through publications, collaborative indigenous community projects, museum exhibits, ethnobotanical gardens, and the organization of binational activities that promote the unique anthropological heritage of Baja California. Wilken-Robertson currently works as an independent anthropological researcher and consultant from his home in Baja California.