Iwígara: American Indian Ethnobotanical Traditions and Science

Iwígara: American Indian Ethnobotanical Traditions and Science

by Enrique Salmón

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Tap into thousands of years of plant knowledge

The belief that all life-forms are interconnected and share the same breath—known in the Rarámuri tribe as iwígara—has resulted in a treasury of knowledge about the natural world, passed down for millennia by native cultures. Ethnobotanist Enrique Salmón builds on this concept of connection and highlights 80 plants revered by North America’s indigenous peoples. Salmón teaches us the ways plants are used as food and medicine, the details of their identification and harvest, their important health benefits, plus their role in traditional stories and myths. Discover in these pages how the timeless wisdom of iwígara can enhance your own kinship with the natural world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 05/18/2020

Salmón (Eating the Landscape), head of California State University East Bay’s Indian Studies program, provides a beautifully illustrated and philosophically uplifting guide to indigenous North American plant use. For background, Salmón delves into the spiritual beliefs of various cultures, including the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico and Arizona; the Cherokee, who once inhabited southeastern marshes; and his own people, the Rarámuri of Chihuahua, Mexico, originators of the “iwígara” concept “that all life, spiritual and physical, is interconnected in a continual cycle.” The bulk of the text consists of a glossary of plants’ traditional medicinal and ceremonial purposes. A particular highlight of this section consists of the perhaps surprising uses introduced for familiar species. The blueberry is a fine example of this, having been used to treat colic, fever, and varicose veins, and to improve night vision. Likewise, sugar maple trees can be used for more than syrup; their inner bark can also be used for “sore eyes and as a cough remedy.” Salmón includes vintage botanical drawings, b&w historical photos of the people from the cultures discussed, and color photos of the plants. This lovely compendium will strike a chord with many a nature-loving reader. (Sept.)

From the Publisher

A beautifully illustrated and philosophically uplifting guide to indigenous North American plant use…this lovely compendium will strike a chord with many a nature-loving reader.” —Publishers Weekly

“Rich information about uses and traditional significance. Color photos of the plants and examples of the ways they are used bring the information to life.” —Booklist

Iwígara is a rich compendium of 80 native North American plants that shines a light on their role in history, storytelling, food, and medicine.” —Martha Stewart Living

"A beautiful catalogue of 80 North American plants, revered by indigenous people for thousands of years for their nourishing, healing, and symbolic properties." —Gardens Illustrated

“I appreciate all of the practical information and lore contained in these descriptions, which will cause me to look at familiar plants such as the stinging nettle and the staghorn sumac in new ways.” —Hudson Valley 360

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643260341
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/15/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 1,079,847
File size: 26 MB
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