The Central California Ethnobotany Project is a collaboration between faculty and students from several different colleges and departments at California State University, Fresno.  The faculty include Dr. Katherine Waselkov in Biology (plant systematics), Dr. Emily Walter in Biology (STEM education), Dr. Brian Agbayani in Linguistics, Dr. John Pryor in Anthropology (archaeology), and Dr. Leece Lee-Oliver in American Indian Studies.  With funding from CSU STEM-NET, we have established a database of Central California native and introduced plant species that are or were used by Native people in Central California.  This database is currently under construction, and includes images of herbarium specimens representing these native species from the Fresno State Herbarium, a dictionary of Chukchansi (Yokuts) words associated with these species, and ethnographic and linguistic information about the uses of these plants from an unpublished book, "Yokuts Plants: Their Names and Uses" by Mary A. Gorden.  Gorden's information is derived from previous published and unpublished sources, going back to the early 1900s.  Interviews with current members of Yokuts and Mono tribes in the Central California people are either ongoing or planned as part of a continuation of this project.  We are currently applying for more funding in order to continue expanding our collaboration with Native groups in the area and the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in the database, facilitate customizable public and tribal access to the database, and integrate educational materials for K-12 and college instructors.

Mukurtu CMS provides:

  • Local cultural protocols to provide granular access parameters for digital heritage content;
  • Flexible templates that adapt to various indigenous stakeholder needs;
  • Traditional knowledge fields customizable for curating content alongside standard Dublin Core metadata fields;
  • An innovative set of Traditional Knowledge licenses that work with traditional copyright and Creative Commons licenses to better serve Indigenous needs; and
  • A safe, secure, free and open source platform for managing digital cultural heritage materials online and offline

Mukurtu is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (or "GPL"), which means anyone is free to download it and share it with others. This open development model means that people are constantly working to make sure Mukurtu is a cutting-edge platform that supports the unique needs of indigenous libraries, archives and museums as they seek to preserve and share their digital heritage. Mukurtu encourages collaboration and innovation as we seek to offer respectful and responsible models for content management.

Media Asset: