Collaborative Archaeological and Ethnographic Approaches to Human – Plant Interactions

Mario Zimmermann
Email address: 
Proposal Type: 
Live 75 minute session - which includes 6 speakers/discussant timeslots.
Session Date and Time: 
Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 09:00 to 10:15

Despite the absence of truly agricultural societies in most of pre-Contact Western North America, ethnobotanical research in the area has yielded a bounty of information on the ways Native inhabitants have managed certain plants in the past and continue to do so at present. This symposium features a series of ongoing projects centering on the archaeological and ethnographic evidence for the manipulation and consumption of specific vegetative resources. Our speakers address topics such as traditional foods and medicine, the smoking of tobacco and non-tobacco products, and the spread of caffeinated beverages in the Americas. Access to materials under study was made possible by collaborative research schemes involving tribal partners such as the Muwekma Ohlone of California, the Coquille of Oregon, and the Kalispel of Washington. Through the active exchange of data, ideas, and perceptions, study partners can move beyond academic pursuits and discuss implications in the realm of public health, cultural and ecological stewardship.