ecodreaming ethnobotany

native dreaming and traditional food preparation

When discussing the traditional food preparation of acorns, bay nuts, and occassionally California buckeyes with a friend, I was asked a question that I have heard many times before: “How on earth did people (our ancestors) figure out these complex ways to render otherwise poisonous foods, edible?” I hadn’t thought about this question in a long time. This question is often answered “our ancestors were smart” or something to that affect — or with a cringing shrug and a comment about how awful it must have been for the people in those savage times. For me the answer seemed obvious for the first time, as if something in the morphic field had actually shifted. These solutions and ways of food preparation were given to the shamans in their divinations, through visions and most importantly, dreams. It is only in a culture so alienated from the natural world (and from our dreams) that this question even arises. A better question might be: “how can we use our native dreaming instincts to figure out what we should eat now in this time of ecololgical upheaval?”