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Bonnie Bade

Expert Profile

Bonnie Bade

Professor, Medical Anthropology; Chairwoman, Anthropology Department
California State University, San Marcos
medical anthropology
health of California farm and agricultural workers
Oaxacan and Mixtec ethnomedicine
Mixtec illness etiologies, medicinal concepts and practices and medicinal plant use
health of Luiseño Indians


Dr. Bonnie Bade is a medical anthropologist whose work focuses on farm worker health, health care, California agriculture and farm labor, transnational migration, and ethnomedicine and ethnobotany among peoples of both indigenous Oaxaca and indigenous Southern California. Dr. Bade has worked with Mixtec communities in California, the San Diego/Tijuana border region, the San Joaquin Valley, and Oaxaca for over 15 years. Dr. Bade earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of California, Riverside in 1994. Her dissertation is entitled "Sweatbaths, Sacrifice, and Surgery: The Practice of Transnational Health Care by Mixtec Families in California." Dr. Bade's ongoing research in California, in Mexico and at the border examines health care patterns, specifically the traditional healing traditions that Mixtec women and farm worker families turn to when they have no health insurance. Central to Dr. Bade's research is the documentation of the use of indigenous forms of health care to supplement clinical forms available in health institutions on both sides of the border. She has also conducted ethnomedical research in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she has been documenting illness etiologies, medicinal concepts and practices, and medicinal plant use with a Mixtec healer named Don Primo Dominguez Tapia for 15 years. She has also been working with the San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño Indians to document cultural practices, ethnobotanical concepts, and political efforts related to the Band's cultural survival. Recently she has worked closely with artist Deborah Small of the Visual and Performing Arts Department to produce an exhibition on Mixtec medicine that has shown at Fresno's Artes Americas gallery and the Escondido Center for the Arts. Dr. Bade teaches anthropology at California State University, San Marcos.

Anthropology Department, Craven Hall 6125
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos  California  92096
United States
Office Phone: 
(760) 750-4124
Office Fax: 
(619) 750-4111


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