Iwigara: The Kinship of Plants and People by Enrique Salmon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One of my reading goals this year was to pay more attention to various indigenous voices across all types of writing. (From his University's page:) "Dr. Salmón is a Rarámuri (Tarahumara). He feels indigenous cultural concepts of the natural world are only part of a complex and sophisticated understanding of landscapes and biocultural diversity, and he has dedicated his studies to Ethnobiology, Agroecoclogy, and Ancestral Ecological Knowledge in order to better understand his own and other cultural perceptions of culture, landscapes, and place."
This ethnobotany resource focuses on the continent of North America and includes information Dr. Salmón gathered largely directly from the sources of people still holding this information, along with archival research. The entries are alphabetical, often include color photography, and discuss historical uses for each plant along with slight disclaimers of the harm it can also cause. One plant came with a plea not to harvest any. He is careful to say when he is quoting other sources vs his own knowledge. It isn't intended to serve as a medicinal guide exactly, but I think it would be interesting to look for some of these plants in the wild and learn about their histories and uses by people who lived off the land. Where I grew up, we had wild strawberries in our forest, along with stinging nettle and Oregon grape and my Mom grew echinacea. I really enjoyed learning how the plants familiar to me alongside those I hadn't heard of.
I had a copy of this from the publisher through NetGalley; it came out September 15.
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