The Ethnobotany Project documents the contemporary uses of native plants of profound importance to the intellectual, spiritual and cultural vitality of California Indian people, from the Chumash territories to the Paipai and Kiliwa territories in Baja California. Many of our collaborators are repositories of cultural knowledge, eloquent defenders of the land, its sacredness for Native people, and its importance for all species that inhabit the land. Every page contains a storehouse of knowledge in the voices of our collaborators: Barbara Drake harvesting elderberry, Lorene Sisquoc teaching Sherman Indian High School students how to dehydrate wild cherries, and Teresa Castro processing agave leaves into fibers for making sandals. The Ethnobotany Project offers us the opportunity to learn from people whose ancestors were here for thousands of years, living in sustainable and ecologically viable communities.
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