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.
About the Malki Museum:
Malki Museum, Inc., is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to saving and sharing the knowledge, cultures and languages of the Indian people of Southern California. The Museum, founded in 1964, was the first Indian-run public museum on a reservation in the United States. Malki has been instrumental in preserving Southern California Indian languages, Cupeno, Luiseno, and especially Cahuilla, with grammar and language books, a bilingual language tape, and videos. All of these are opportunities for Malki to share with Indians and non-Indians knowledge of traditional foods and customs. People of different cultures get to know each other better by working together in a mutual cause and learning to respect each other's differences.