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Delfina Cuero: Her Autobiography, an Account of Her Last Years, and Her Ethnobotanic Contributions
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Delfina Cuero: Her Autobiography, an Account of Her Last Years, and Her Ethnobotanic Contributions

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  47 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
"My name is Delfina Cuero. I was born in xamaca [Jamacha] about sixty-five years ago [about 1900]. My father s name was Vincente Cuero, it means Charlie."

"With simple elegance the story of a Kumeyaay woman from the San Diego region engulfs the reader, until we feel as though we are sitting at the feet of some great-aunt or grandmother as she tries to pass onto us something
Unknown Binding
Published January 1st 1991 by Ballena Press
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Mar 26, 2015 Molly rated it liked it
Shelves: grad-school
This is an extremely moving account of an indigenous woman's life, Delfina Cuero. She and her family were essentially pushed out of the United States to Baja California, though she is indigenous to the San Diego area. This is her account of her struggles to keep her family alive--they were literally only ever paid in food or cloth for their work, never in money.
Apr 15, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
The setting is San Diego County. This short book chronicles the life of a Kumeyaay who lives between three cultures and across the boundary of the US and Mexico. She was raised as a small family, who had a donkey to carry their few possessions. They survived by working small ranches and living in the canyons where they could. Their foraging territory included Mission Valley, the backcountry of SD, Eastside canyons of the US and Mexico and all the way to the Gulf of California. Having no papers, ...more
Jul 06, 2016 Taia rated it it was amazing
Truthfully I chose to read this book because it was the shortest on a list of subjects for an anthropology term paper. I wound up unable to put it down. Shipek paints an absorbing and accessible picture of Cuero's many hardships and fascinating life. It is a story that deserves to be told.
Jul 11, 2014 Lynda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rereading
I own several copies of this book.
Art Mitchell
Jul 26, 2011 Art Mitchell rated it really liked it
The book was actually written by Florence C. Shipek, Phd. She was a great friend of Delfina and the Campo Band. The origins of the work were based on work Dr Shipek did for Defina to prove her citizenship in the US so she could collect social security. Dr. Shipek always used to remarked about the contrast between lives of her mother, Florence Connolly born in NYC, and Delfina born in the back country of San Diego. Both women were born the same year 1891, but what a stark contrast in the way they ...more
Elisabeth Newbold
Aug 08, 2009 Elisabeth Newbold rated it really liked it
San Diego County was once home to many, many Native Americans. This account of one Kumeyaay woman who lived "the old ways" was very enligntening. And sad too...she had a hard life, due mostly to bad treatment by early settlers: Mexicans, mission Catholics, and ranchers. I'm glad I read it.
Mar 27, 2016 Jasmine rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-library
It says that this book is more about ethnobotany, but I found it to be much more like an autobiography. It was a quick read and I found it to be interesting, to a point. I just wish there was more depth in it. Maybe that's part of its charm.
Aug 07, 2007 Jane rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in borderland societies
It is a book about the pre-colonial tribes that lived in southern Californai. It talks about their traditional developments for survival, including substinance, healing practices, and what they did for fun. I really liked it.
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