Malki-Ballena Press Books
Her autobiography, an account of her last years, and her ethnobotanic contributions
by Florence Connolly Shipek
Paperback and Hardcover : 98 pages
Publisher: Ballena Press (1991)
"My name is Delfina Cuero. I was born in xamaca’ [Jamacha] about sixty-five years ago [about 1900]. My father’s name was Vincente Cuero, it means Charlie."
"With simple elegance the story of a Kumeyaay woman from the San Diego region engulfs the reader, until we feel as though we are sitting at the feet of some great-aunt or grandmother as she tries to pass onto us something of worth from her life. As though her existence among us was not enough. Elders benefit us all. If we stop to listen we may be enriched beyond our wildest dreams. In this powerful and moving book, Florence Shipek makes available the memories and thoughts of a woman who remembered old ways and described the changing scene in terms which speak volumes in simple sentences. Though the autobiography is short, the information contained within can literally change one’s entire perspective as to who belongs on which side of which border. How so much could have gone on with so few Americans being interested or aware becomes an ever-growing question as the narrative comes to a close."
Paul Apodaca in News from Native California, Fall, 1989
This book contains not only the autobiography that Apodaca reviewed, but also Shipek’s account of the rest of Delfina’s life, and her ethnographic notes. Shipek has organized data gathered in two ethnobotanical field trips into the format of an ethnobotany. This book has become a classic, a favorite of teachers and their students, as well as of the general public.