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2022 PMJA Award Submission for Long Documentary: The Acorn, An Ohlone Love Story

In the early 1900s, an Ohlone woman named Isabel Meadows was recorded describing her longing to eat acorn bread again. Meadows detailed the bread’s flavor; the jelly-like texture; the crispy edges; the people who made it. And she talked about the bread’s place in the creation story of her tribe. A century later, a young Ohlone man named Louis Trevino came across the recordings and recognized Meadows as an ancestor from his community. Trevino and his Ohlone partner, Vincent Medina, are on a journey to bring acorn bread, and the language and traditions connected to it, back to the Ohlone people.

Sit with Trevino and Medina as they grind acorns in their backyard and cook Ohlone dishes; listen to archival recordings of Meadows; and hear how the Ohlone languages reflect the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys. “The landscape,” said Medina, “gets embedded within our language itself.” 

The Acorn: An Ohlone Love Story is a documentary about Ohlone food, language, land and history -- but, ultimately, it is a story about Ohlone strength, and about how the landscape that stretches from the East Bay of California, where Medina's family is from, to Monterey and Big Sur, where Trevino's family is from, has been, and continues to be, Ohlone land. And at the heart of this story are acorns.

Outside/In is NHPR's podcast about the natural world and how we use it. Click here for podcast episodes and more.

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