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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

HOPPER MOUNTAIN NWRC:  Chumash Tribal Members Visit Hopper Mountain NWR

Region 8, November 24, 2009
Chumash members clipped stems of dried dogbane for use in making small ropes for necklaces and clothing (photo: Dan Tappe USFWS)
Chumash members clipped stems of dried dogbane for use in making small ropes for necklaces and clothing (photo: Dan Tappe USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Chumash members, along with Refuge Manager Dan Tappe, look for Native rock art on the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge (photo: Dan Tappe USFWS)
Chumash members, along with Refuge Manager Dan Tappe, look for Native rock art on the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge (photo: Dan Tappe USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Michael Woodbridge, Hopper Mountain NWRC
On November 24, Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Manager Dan Tappe escorted a group of Chumash Natives on the refuge for an outing to collect dogbane, a plant historically used by native tribes also known as Indian hemp, and look for Native rock art.

 

While dogbane is somewhat scarce in this part of California, the plant is prevalent in the wetland areas of the Hopper Mountain Refuge.  The Chumash members, including a Chumash native artist/cultural educator, clipped stems of dried dogbane for use in making small ropes for necklaces and clothing.  Dogbane fibers have been found in archeological sites dating back thousands of years.  The fibers, when rolled together, make a functional material stronger than cotton.


The Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex has a history of working with the Chumash and other Native tribes in the region.  The Complex is home to the endangered California condor, a species closely tied to many Native cultures in California.

Contact Info: Michael Woodbridge, 916-978-4445, michael_woodbridge@fws.gov