Synopses & Reviews
From mountain shrines to lowland oases, ethnobiologist Gary Nabhan takes us on a series of journeys with contemporary Papago Indians, the Tohono O'odham, or "Desert People." From these journeys we discover how much the Desert People know about the dynamics of their arid homeland in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. The Desert Smells Like Rain
offers insights into the natural history of desert plants and animals as it documents a dying agricultural tradition that has enriched the biological diversity of the Papago's seemingly harsh environment. Drawing on his extensive scientific research and study of Papago folklore, as well as his years of work among the Desert People in village gardening and nutrition programs, Nabhan portrays a desert-adapted way of life that has persisted despite the pressures of modern civilization.
About the Author
Gary Paul Nabhan is an ethnobiologist and natural history writer working in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. A cofounder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, he works with native farmers throughout the Southwest and northern Mexico to conserve traditional food plants and their associated folklore. He was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing in 1976, following the publication of his second book, Gathering the Desert. He and his family currently reside in Tempe, Arizona, near the Desert Botanical Garden, where he serves as Assistant Director.