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The Ground Shots Podcast

Oct 28, 2019

Episode #28 of the Ground Shots Podcast features a conversation with Tamara Wilder, who is based out of Ukiah, California.

Tamara has been teaching various ancestral skills from wild foods preparation, primitive fire-making, hide tanning, cordage and more for several decades.

She co-wrote the book 'Buckskin: The Ancient Art of Braintanning' with Steven Edholm. She co-founded the organization Paleotechnics with Steven, who is a past podcast guest. Paleotechnics functions as an educational resource on the art of simple, ancient and universal ancestral technologies.

Tamara tirelessly travels and teaches classes all over the west coast of Turtle Island every year with suitcases full of cordage samples, wild food preparations, fire-making supplies, and primitive tools to teach others how to use them, tons of books and pamphlets to share on permaculture, ancient living skills, craft and more. I’ve assisted her teaching before and she pays such great attention to detail and process. She cares deeply for sharing these skills as much as possible so others can feel empowered to participate more directly with our natural environment. She has a heart of gold and goes out of her way to help others and be in service to the land. She also facilitates conversations about IUD awareness.

We sat down outside of her light clay straw infill cabin near Ukiah, California this past Spring to record this conversation for the podcast.




In this conversation with Tamara, we talk about:


defining 'ancient technologies' and how many are universal and how others are regionally specific

the importance and abundance of wild foods in northern California

bay nuts, madrone berries, manzanita berries, acorns

how eating the wild foods around us connects us deeply to the land

'mast years' with certain wild foods, including this past year's huge bay nut crop

the importance of acorn processing to the cultural identity of many indigenous folks in northern California

how Tamara went from punk rock vegan to teaching about animal processing

the ancestral relationship many folks have around the world historically to consuming animals

legal issues around picking up roadkill, why there are laws making it illegal in some states

how abalone is poached and over-harvested

the historical wild management practices of indigenous folks in northern California like controlled burns, and the importance of these practices to ecological health

how overpopulation affects the ability for humans to live in balance with the land

Tamara's teachers: Jim Riggs, Margaret Mathewson, Melvin Beattie

fiber and cordage as pandemic technologies and Dogbane's importance as a superior fiber plant that grows across turtle island



Paleotechnics website:

Paleotechnics on Patreon:

Paleotechnics on Facebook:

Paleotechnics Blog:

Tamara on Instagram: @wilder_tamara

Buckskin book by Tamara and Steven 'The Ancient Art of Brain-Tanning':

‘Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources’ by Kat Anderson:


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Theme music: 'Sweat and Splinters' by Mother Marrow

Music: ‘On my Knees’ by Mother Marrow

Produced by: Opia Creative