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Welcome to the Barona Cultural Center & Museum
Virtual Exhibit - Heritage Project

Since 2010, Barona Cultural Center & Museum staff has partnered with the Barona Indian Charter School to create projects that preserve the history and heritage of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. Each year, seventh grade students participate in a Heritage Project focused on the people of Barona and items within the Barona Cultural Center & Museum Collection. Projects have ranged from ancestral tool making (rabbit sticks, digging sticks) to cultivating and planting a Native Garden.

In 2015, the seventh graders' Heritage Project focused on ethnobotany (the science of cultural plant use) using specimens from the 1978-1982 Elizabeth Windsong Barona Indian Reservation Natural History Collection. Students learned "herbarium standards" (proper care for a collection of preserved plant specimens) and techniques to preserve plant specimens while researching and writing about traditional uses of plants for dietary, medicinal, and utilitarian purposes.

The 2015 Barona Indian Charter School seventh grade Heritage Project classes were held from February 17, 2015 to March 24, 2015. Classes met for one hour on a weekly basis. Each of the participating students was assigned one plant specimen. Jennifer Stone (Museum Assistant) and Therese Chung (Collections Manager) instructed the students in museum object handling and processing techniques and taught students how to describe each plant specimen and record all information written by the original collector.

After photographing the condition of the original plant specimen samples, students removed the plant specimens from their original acidic paper backgrounds and arranged them on the 11 1/2" x 16 1/2" acid-free herbarium sheet. All plant specimens were arranged centrally so that all the main characteristics of a particular plant species were prominently featured. The plant specimens were then attached using a neutral pH adhesive and strips of gummed lined linen to strap down stalks and roots of plant samples.

Placed in the four corners of each herbarium sheet are the photograph, fragment envelope, original hand-written notes or plant title, and specimen label. In the upper right-hand corner, students included a 4" x 6" photograph of their specimen. The photographs are of plant specimens alive and in their natural environment. The photograph enhances the quality of the herbarium by providing further data for classification. Each student created a fragment envelope out of acid-free paper and affixed it in the upper left-hand corner. The fragment envelope is for any seeds or loose pieces that have or will become detached from the original sample. These detached pieces are useful for further identification and/or destructive sampling. In the lower left-hand corner, students affixed Elizabeth Windsong's original hand-written notes or plant title. Each original specimen card contained hand-written identifications by Elizabeth Windsong. The detail of information varied from simple identification to traditional preparations and uses of plants. All hand-written documentation from the original mounting card was physically cut from the original and adhered to archival herbarium sheets. The specimen label, located in the lower right-hand corner includes the student's research: taxon information, catalog number, 'Iipay Aa (Kumeyaay/Diegueño) name, common English name, traditional use, location, collector, and dates collected. Using educational resources available in Barona Cultural Center & Museum Library, students were required to gather more information to fill out these specimen labels and write a descriptive paragraph about their plant sample. Supplementing the specimen label, the descriptive paragraph includes color, characteristics, origin, scientific nomenclature, 'Iipay Aa name, and traditional uses.


Tami Belmain, 7th and 8th Grade Teacher

Principal:   Martha Parham

IT/Site Design:  Erin Payne

Students:  Avellaka Aguilar, Justin Downey, Amy Dye, Yessenia Gonzalez-Bilbrey, Grettchen Gutierrez Silva,
Luke Manjarrez, Jorge Trevino, Jr., and Victoria Vigil

Barona Museum Staff:  Jennifer Stone, Therese Chung

2015 Barona Indian Charter School 7th Grade Heritage Project
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