IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Ethnobotony and Indigenous Culinary Arts


The purpose of this guide is to offer both general and in-depth resources in the area of ethnobotany and indigenous culinary arts. Most of these resources are housed in the IAIA Library. Some useful Internet resources are also provided.

Table of Contents

IAIA Catalog

There are several ways to search for literature information in IAIA Library catalog. If you do not have a specific title, author, or call number in mind, one way of searching is by performing a simple keyword search. Another way is by searching subject headings. Some useful subject headings include:

  • Ethnobotany
  • Medicinal plants
  • Wild plants, Edible
  • Indians of North America–Food
  • Indian cookery

IAIA Print and Media Resources

Some useful starting points in our print and media collection:

Native American Ethnobotany
Medicinal and Food Plans of the North American Indians
REF 581.97 M694n
A Bibliography REF 016.581 L987m
A Handbook of Native American Herbs REF 615.321 H973h
Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine REF 615.321 F757d
PDR for Herbal Medicines REF 615.321 P348
New Native American Cooking: More than 125 Traditional Foods & Contemproary Dishes Made From America’s Indigenous Ingredients REF 641.59 C321n
Cooking with Spirit: North American Indian Food and Fact REF 641.59 W729c

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Articles & Additional Resources – IAIA Databases


  • Provides full-text articles from allied health and nursing journals.
  • The search phrase “Medicine, Native American” may be useful.

Academic Search Premier

  • A multi-disciplinary full text database containing articles from nearly 4,700 publications.

eHRAF World Cultures

  • A cross-cultural database that contains information on all aspects of cultural and social life.


  • Full text articles from archived scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, anthropology and social sciences.

North American Indian Thought & Culture

  • Included are biographies, auto-biographies, personal narratives, speeches, diaries, letters, and oral histories.

Ethnic NewsWatch

  • Articles from the ethnic, minority and native press.

Oral History Online

  • Gives access to full-text, audio, video, or bibliographic citations to more than 7,000 interviews.

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Selected Internet Resources

Native American Ethnobotany

A Database of Foods, Drugs, Dyes and Fibers of Native American Peoples, Derived from Plants.

The PLANTS National Database

It includes names, plant symbols, checklists, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, images, crop information, automated tools, onward Web links, and references.

Botany/Plant Biology (Biosciences)

Covers all areas of the biosciences with numerous links to sites.

Plants for a Future Database

Edibile, Medicinal and other uses of over 7,000 plants.

Traditional Herbal & Plant Knowledge, Indentificationsl

H.O.N.E.R.I.: Herbology & Optimal Nutrition Education & Research Institute

Lots of links to related information.

Ethnobotany of the Americas

Bibliographies compiled by the Library of Congress.

Na’Neelzhiin Ji Otta’ Plant Book

Traditional use of plants in the Torreon area of New Mexico.

Native American Nutrition Education Database

Resources for cultural food practices, food composition, food safety, health indicators/dietary intake, nutrition education, and recipes/cooking.

Native American Nutrition Education Database: A Resource List for Educators

Links to information about diabetes, health, nutrition and recipes.

National Food and Nutrition Information Center

Resources for nutrition and health professionals, educators, government personnel and consumers.

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