All the Land’s Surface is Medicine

Edible and Medicinal Plants of Southwest Alaska

Welcome to this gallery of illustrations for the book Yungcautnguuq Nunam Qainga Tamarmi: All the Land’s Surface is Medicine: Edible and Medicinal Plants of Southwest Alaska. Written by cultural anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan, the book is on edible and medicinal plants used by the Yup’ik residents of Southwest Alaska. This project centers on the preservation and celebration of the utility of native plants. Its focus is on documenting and describing Yup’ik traditions, making it possible for this knowledge to be passed down to continuing generations. It is intended as a field guide, but also as an enduring record of the Yup’ik elders knowledge about plants and the role plants continue to play in Yup’ik lives. More than one hundred elders shared stories with Riordan.

“They spoke eloquently about time spent gathering and storing plants and plant material during snow-free months, including gathering greens during spring, picking berries each summer, collecting wood, harvesting tubers from the caches of tundra voles, and gathering a variety of grasses which they used for everything from boot insulation to house construction.”

Click below to view the gallery, located at the bottom of each image are their descriptions.

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists of which the Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists group is a chapter, through the BAEE Native Plant Award.