Straight growth forms of wild shrubs and trees unaffected by insects, diseases, or accumulated dead material have been valued cross-culturally for millennia for use in basketry, yet these growth forms do not occur readily in nature without disturbance. California data are presented that demonstrate how fire and pruning were ancienthorticultural techniques that were utilized by Native Americans in various temperate ecosystems to shape ecosystem structure, reduce the occurrence of insects and diseases, and activate specific developmental stages in shrubs and trees for twined and coiled basketry.Itis suggested that the magnitude and extent of burning applied to wildlands for basketry and many other cultural purposes in most indigenous cultures in California have been drastically underestimated in the published literature. A methodological approach is outlined for unraveling past and present-day wildland management for basketry materials in various temperate regions. Working hypotheses to explain the ecological rationale for indigenous management at both the organismic and ecosystemic level are proposed.
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Anderson, M.K. The Fire, Pruning, and Coppice Management of Temperate Ecosystems for Basketry Material by California Indian Tribes. Human Ecology 27, 79–113 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018757317568
- Indigenous burning