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Kumeyaay Ethnobotany – Shared Heritage of the Californias with Michael Wilken-Robertson

October 21, 2020 @ 6:45 PM - 8:30 PM

Native peoples have lived in the Californias for thousands of years in harmony with nature and the native plants found in our region’s diverse habitats. Locally, the San Luis Rey River formed a boundary of sorts, with Luiseño to the north and Kumeyaay to the south. Each tribe had a distinct language but they interacted frequently and shared many aspects of their lifestyles and cultures.

Since 1980, Professor Wilken-Robertson has studied the Kumeyaay and their traditions, working closely with three generations of tribal elders. Their historic territory reached from Northern San Diego County to Santo Tomás in Baja California. Much of Michael’s research, however, is concentrated south of the international border where today, many Kumeyaay Indians live on the far-flung ranches of Northern Baja California. They are still regularly practice the skills necessary to transform native plants into food, medicine, arts, tools, regalia, construction materials, and ceremonial items. The result of his research and relationship is a body of work lauded by the academic community and tribal leaders alike.

In Kumeyaay creation myths, species of plants and animals evolved from humans. Each form of life, therefore, is an individual—worthy of respect and worth getting to know. To live in nature is to live with these “personalities.” Join Michael Wilken-Robertson for this digital lecture as he introduces us to our indigenous neighbors and the native plants that are so integral to their lives.

Please check your emails for more information. Recordings will also be available on the BVAS site following the presentation.


October 21, 2020
6:45 PM - 8:30 PM
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