The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in O'Odham Country
Longtime residents of the Sonoran Desert, the Tohono O'odham people have spent centuries living off the land—a land that most modern citizens of southern Arizona consider totally inhospitable. Ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan has lived with the Tohono O'odham, long known as the Papagos, observing the delicate balance between these people and their environment. Bringing O'odham voices to the page at every turn, he writes elegantly of how they husband scant water supplies, grow crops, and utilize wild edible foods. Woven through his account are coyote tales, O'odham children's impressions of the desert, and observations on the political problems that come with living on both sides of an international border. Whether visiting a sacred cave in the Baboquivari Mountains or attending a saguaro wine-drinking ceremony, Nabhan conveys the everyday life and extraordinary perseverance of these desert people in a book that has become a contemporary classic of environmental literature.
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Aal Waipia agriculture Andrew Weil arid Baboquivari Baboquivari Peak Baptisto birds border boys canyon Carl Lumholtz cave century CHAPTER charco chile Coatimundis cotton Coyote Coyote's crops cucurbits cultivated Desert Smells devil's claw diabetes diet drink earth Ecology fiesta floodwater fields Folk Taxonomy friends Gary Nabhan Gary Paul Nabhan gathered gourd ground grow harvest Henry Dobyns historic Howard Scott Gentry introductory quote irrigation Isidro Jose Juan Julian Justicia KUtowak land looked Madrugada Magdalena Manny Marquita medicine mesquite Mexican Mexico miles nutrients O'odham Organ Pipe Cactus Orosco Papago and Pima Papago country Papago fields Park Service pee-churs pickup Pima Indians plants pond Proboscidea Quitobaquito Remedio Reservation runoff season seeds shrine smells like rain soil Sonoran Desert Sonoran Papago Southwest species squash story tepary bean trees Tucson Underhill University of Arizona Vitoi vomit walked wash watch wheat wild wine feast