Applying 21st Century Technology in the Transmission and Documentation of Ancient Hualapai Ethnobotanical Knowledge

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 12 April, 2012 - 21:50 to 22:10
Cannon, Carrie - Hualapai Department of Cultural Resources

Instead of viewing technology as an enemy of tradition and culture, the Hualapai Cultural Department has embraced technology as another tool that can help capture the attention of  Hualapai youth. An ongoing ethnobotanical project in the Hualapai community in northwestern Arizona is providing structured and consistent methods where elders can share their knowledge of plants and land in English and in their heritage language, to tribal youth. Through field trips and classroom-based teaching, participants are using 21st century technologies to contribute ethnobotanical data to a Cultural Atlas GIS geodatabase and ethnobotanical database which contains information on land sites including their Hualapai names and associated oral histories gathered from elders and archival sources. Project participants are involved in contributing to the Cultural Atlas and associated ethnobotanical database newly gathered ethnographic information about Hualapai ethnobotany, Hualapai place names, and a first ever audio linguistic component in the form of a “talking dictionary.”