Archaeological and Contemporary Perspectives on the Native Cuisine of the San Francisco Bay Area

Lecture | October 30 | 4:30-6:30 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

 Rob Cuthrell; Vincent Medina; Alexii Sigona

 Archaeological Research Facility

Please join us for the ARF Fall Lecture
Native peoples of California draw on an incredibly diverse suite of plants and animals for food. Most people know that Native cuisine includes acorns and other nuts and berries as staple foods, but often we don't hear about the rich array of plants used for salad greens, seed foods, and "Indian potatoes." Nor do we hear about the diverse wild animal resources, including deer, waterfowl, fish and shellfish.

Join us in exploring local Native cuisine through a panel discussion of foods that Native people of the San Francisco Bay Area have eaten for thousands of years, as well as ways that Native people have managed and maintained the lands that produce these foods. Speakers will present recent archaeological research that gives us clues to past foodways and discuss how current and ethnographic knowledge of local Native food traditions, dietary laws, and management practices help inform interpretations of the archaeological past.

This event highlights the ongoing work of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust in restoring the traditional ecological knowledge of the Mutsun to better conserve and protect lands that are integral to their identity and culture, as well as the vibrant contemporary revival of Ohlone cuisine by Cafe Ohlone by mak-'amham.

Reception to follow.

About the speakers:
Rob Cuthrell has worked with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band for over a decade to conduct research on the long term history of indigenous land and resource stewardship. Rob's research integrates archaeology and historical ecology to explore how Native people used prescribed burning to maintain open and productive landscapes on the Central California Coast. Rob received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley in 2013, and now works as an independent researcher and Director of Archaeological Resource Management for Amah Mutsun Land Trust.

Vincent Medina is a member of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe, where he also serves as a Councilman representing his family’s lineage. He and Louis Trevino co-founded mak-‘amham, an organization and restaurant focused on reviving and strengthening traditional Ohlone foods and sharing them with their communities. Vincent was born and continues to live in his family’s indigenous tribal area of Halkin (Southern Oakland/San Leandro/San Lorenzo).

Alexii Sigona is a member of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Ph.D. student in Environmental Science, Policy & Management at UC Berkeley. Alexii works to restore native cultural landscapes as a participant in the Amah Mutsun Native Stewardship Corps program. His research looks at how indigenous stewardship efforts contribute to cultural revitalization.