Wild Plants

Wild Plants of the Pueblo Province: Exploring Ancient and Enduring Uses, by William W. Dunmire

This book is a sturdy trail guide to identify and learn uses for plants in the pueblo world. “Pajarito Plateau and the mid Rio Grande Valley feature a diverse plant community that is virtually unrivaled in western north America.,” according to ecologist Dunmire and botanist/anthropologist Tierney

The first sections are dedicated to outlining the geological and archeological history of the area, tracing the development of Puebloans from the early foragers to the Anastasi and then to the present day descendants. Influences from the Spanish colonizers and other immigrants are woven in. Surprising facts about changes in diets and daily activities are detailed.

I picked up this book at my local branch library when I first moved to the area. I was mesmerized by the contents and could not put it down. Not only are the photographs unusually clear so to easily identify plants, but the writing is full of stimulating material about the uses Puebloans found for particular plants.

The book seems to be  begging you to get out onto the trail and to discover plants in a way that makes you feel a part of local history and of the special knowledge that is a part of indigenous culture. by George Muedeking