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Native American Uses of Local Plants

with Steve O’Neil

June 3, 2023

Starts at 9:30am

Local ethnobotany has long been an interest of Stephen’s; he started interviewing elder Acjachemen women in Capistrano on the topic starting in the early 1980s.  He has given several talks on the subject, including twice at the Tidepool series at the Back Bay.  

He will cover a range of ethnobotanical topics —  food, building material, tools, ceremonial use, use as place names, appearance in folklore and origin stories, and so forth.

Biography: Stephen O’Neil, M.A., RPA. Cultural Anthropologist/Archaeologist
Stephen O’Neil has thirty years of experience as a cultural anthropologist in California. He has researched and written on ethnography, archaeology and history, concentrating on the Ethnohistory of southern California tribal peoples. He has expertise in the use of mission records for the study of population and social networks, and is familiar with rock art ethnobotany and family reconstruction. O’Neil also has archaeological experience in excavation and survey, mostly on Native American prehistoric sites, but also Spanish, Mexican and American period adobe structures. He has published in the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterly, News from Native California, and the Society for California Archaeology Newsletter on topics ranging from village place names, to cosmology and medicinal plants. He grew up along the Orange County coast and currently lives in Laguna Canyon.