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Plains Apache Ethnobotany

Plains Apache Ethnobotany
Julia A. Jordan
University of Oklahoma Press
Publication Date: 

cloth, 212 pp., $34.95

The relationship of a Native American people to the indigenous plants of a region is the subject of this well-documented study by anthropologist Julia Jordan. In her report of fieldwork conducted in the mid-1960s, the author relates her findings on plants used by the Plains Apache. This tribe of nomadic hunter-gatherers has a rich historical and cultural background, eloquently described in the narrative. Jordan's treatise is unique in that her informants were both men and women, tribal elders who provided a wealth of knowledge about the environment, citing the plants and how they were used for food, medicine, fuel, personal care, and adornment, material culture and rituals. The text contains a variety of personal accounts from Jordan's subjects, describing how and where they gathered useful plants. These interviews provide the reader with particular insight into the relationships of Native Americans to their local environments.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden