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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 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. Wilken-Robertson currently teaches in the anthropology department at California State University, San Marcos.