This coarse, herbaceous annual, commonly found along roadsides, ditch banks, in river bottoms and irrigated fields grows so tall and is so abundant that occasionally it is cut for hay. Amaranth is a prolific seed-bearer upon which quail, doves, and other birds feed.
Choohugia means 'night carrying.' On the Salt River Reservation the leaves are boiled and eaten with pinole; also, when young and tender, the leaves are cooked for greens and as such are enjoyed by a number of tribes besides the Pima, according to Lewis Manuel.
Lena Meskeer gave me the following recipe as sufficient for one person: The seeds are dried and ground, and one or two handfuls of meal are thrown into a pint of boiling water, a small teaspoon of salt is added, and the whole cooked until done.* * * *
This is a perennial with thick, fleshy basal leaves and a tall stalk that bears greenish buds and pale yellow flowers in June. It is found growing on arid hills, 2000 to 4,500 feet high. Arizona produces at least eight species, and it is probable that the Indians use several of them; in fact, the Mescalero Apache were named after one of the species from which they prepared an article of food.
A-ut, which is now becoming scarce, grows on the highest mountain in the Estrella Range. After the heavy heart or head is baked in the ground, it is sliced and dried and kept in a bag inside the house. The slices may be used at any time and are eaten like candy, stated Annie Thomas.
The leaves are removed from the head of the mescal, which is baked for twenty-four hours in a pit with hot stones. This is covered with more hot stones, a layer of grass, then sealed with earth. Walter Rhodes asserted that the agave becomes tender and sweet, and is served with pinole.
According to Father Antonine, the edible fruit, wet or dry, is called a-ut.
(See Castetter, pp. 10-14; Russell, p. 70; Castetter and Underhill, p. 16.)* * * *
*NOTE: As this volume is for the layman as well as for the scientist, and since the index is complete, the author has made every effort to simplify the arrangement. Therefore, the plants are arranged under the common family name. For instance, the second plant listed is AGAVE DESERTI ENGELM. However, the order is governed by the common family name, Amaryllis.
My specimen, growing in sandy soil, was collected in the Sacaton Mountains. It is a herbaceous plant, replete with tannin; it has fleshy stems and is parasitic on Compositae and even on cactus roots. Kearney and Peebles explain that the name 'cancer-root' was bestowed because of the reputed efficacy of the plants in treating ulcers by applying the stems to the sores. Wooton and Standley tell us that a decoction of broomrape is used by the Navaho in treating sores.
When broomrape first appears in the spring, the tender young sprouts resemble asparagus, and, although bitter, are used in the same manner. They are cooked by covering with hot ashes and baking them in the fireplace; and this is still done by a very few of the old people. The lower part is eaten, but the upper end is discarded, declared George Webb. (See Russell, p. 75.)* * * *
|Pima name:||Oos chuevatpat||Buckthorn|
Condalia lycioides is a shrub which grows to a maximum height of eight feet and commonly prefers dry plains and mesas, frequently forming thickets. As the large and numerous thorns keep away intruders from the nests, some people call it "bird refuge," whereas it is known as bota mota by the Mexcans.
The Apache use the roots for washing their hair, and at Stotonic also the Pima made suds of the roots for shampoo. At the same place, the thorns were recommended as "a good thing with which to prick," and Catherine Clark elaborated by saying, "To prick the skin over rheumatic pains, after which treatment the blood is washed off with cold water." When collecting a specimen, my informant warned, "Tell her to be careful, because she will hurt herself."
The black berries, which are very sweet when fully ripe, are gathered and eaten raw. A syrup was made by boiling the berries in water; they were then squeezed out by hand and the seeds thrown to the chickens. The sweet juice was allowed to cool and thicken.
Kearney and Peebles state that the Pima treated sore eyes with a decoction of lotebush roots; and Russell (p. 76) mentions that these black berries were eaten.* * * *
This species of Rumex, called curlyleaf, is a naturalized plant from Eurasia; it grows along ditches and sometimes becomes a troublesome weed in alfalfa fields.
Dock leaves are used for greens throughout the reservations. Women at Salt River told me that "the leaves already have vinegar in them and we don't need to add any." At Co-op it is also mixed with other greens.
On the Salt River Reservation, to obtain a yellow dye the roots are pounded and then boiled. Mason McAffee said the yellow edges of ancient Pima cotton blankets were colored by this method.* * * *
|Wild Pie Plant|
There are no fewer than fourteen distinct members of the Rumex family in Arizona, and wherever they grow, certain species are known to contain a high degree of tannin. The tuber has been used for tanning, dyeing, and curative purposes. This perennial grows in sandy soil, in streambeds, in fields along ditches; it is quite decorative, especially when the seeds are ripened to a coppery red. Even early in spring the large bright-green leaves are very striking in this semi-desert country. Cañaigre is valued among the Pima chiefly for its medicinal properties.
May Makil, whose parents were Maricopa, told me that in olden times the Indians roasted the seeds, ground them on a metate, added water, formed the dough into flat cakes, and baked them in hot ashes. She also said that this same Rumex is eaten as pie plant, a recipe for which is given as follows by Miss Elizabeth Hart in her "Pima Cookery": Wash and boil tender red stems, strain off juice, add flour, and cook until thick. Combine solids and sugar with this sauce and fill raw piecrust with mixture; add top crust and bake. In spring, the young succulent leaves are boiled or roasted and eaten as greens, although they are very bitter.
Fat, jolly old José Henry told me that for a cold and a bad cough he chews the root of cañaigre, and when I asked if he swallowed what he chewed, he answered, "Yes, and it stops my cough." The roots are used by the Hopi likewise in treating colds, and are sucked by the Pima for sore throat. Powdered roots are eaten by the Papago for painful throat. At Lehi the tuber is boiled in a little water and when well cooled the decoction is used as a gargle for sore throat, or it is held in the mouth to cure sore gums. For this trouble also, as well as for skin sores, a powder made by drying the sliced roots in the sun and grinding them on the metate, is applied. Should you, emulating the locust of the fable, have sung away the days and not prepared against winter colds, I will pass on a secret that was whispered to me: Oven-baked roots lose none of their potency and the process is speedier. According to Frank Russell, so long ago as forty years, this powder was used in treating sores. Dr. Ruth M. Underhill states that the Papago employ the same method, and I was informed that a decoction of the ground root is used by the Pima as a wash for sores.
In the process of tanning hides, the dry roots are crushed and placed in a vat with water and the leather is soaked therein for a long time. The resultant color, according to May Makil, is a brownish red. To dye willow withes yellow for basket-making, they are left in the liquid for a short time; but if a brownish color is desired, they are soaked for a longer period, according to Ruby Allen. For their yarn, the Navaho obtain a medium-brown dye from cañaigre roots boiled in water; and according to Alfred F. Whiting, the Hopi, because of the scarcity of wild dock used for dyeing, have planted its tubers at the base of Oraibi mesa.* * * *
|Common name:||Giant cactus||Family:||Cactaceae|
|Sahuaro or Saguaro||Pitahaya|
|Pima name:||Haa shan|
This cactus, the largest in the Southwest, bears the Arizona state flower which is pure white and blooms in May and June. Sahuaro grows on well-drained soil and occasionally reaches a height of fifty feet. It has proved to be one of the most useful of all plants to the Pima, and it certainly forms a highly decorative feature of the landscape.
"To keep the stomach warm" and to make the milk flow after childbirth, a gruel is made from sahuaro, according to Fanny Wilson. The ripe fruit is picked with a long forked stick and the skin removed and discarded. A little water is added to the pulp, which is boiled until it becomes light in color; it is then drained and spread to dry. Next the seeds are removed by stirring the pulp around in a basket, then they are ground on a metate and mixed with an equal quantity of whole wheat. Boiling water is now added, and the whole cooked until it resembles a thin porridge, which is seasoned with salt. Lena Innes gave the same recipe, omitting the whole wheat.
The red fruit is picked, split into halves, the skins discarded, and the pulp eaten as dessert. The pulp may also be boiled into a syrup with a little water, the seeds are strained off, and the juice again boiled. The liquid is then sealed in glass jars, and the longer it is kept the more it thickens-like honey. The seeds are dried, and when needed they are roasted and ground on a metate to make a mush, which is moist and sticky, according to Lena Innes. As a substitute for lard, which is used with beans and corn, the ground seeds are either passed through a sieve or left mixed with husks, it was stated by Emma Howard.
The preparation and drinking of an intoxicating beverage (ha-ashan navait) made from sahuaro is a religious ceremony of the Papago which, a Pima informant said, they would refuse to describe. When the fruit ripens, it dries, and the wind blows it down; then it is gathered and pressed into a ball five or six inches in diameter, the sugar content making it adhere. These balls are stored in large earthenware ollas, the mouths of which are covered with pieces of cloth tied over the rim and sealed with mud. This conserve is removed as needed and boiled in water to make syrup or wine; in the latter case, it is allowed to ferment for twenty-four hours, then strained. If bottled and sealed, the wine will keep a long time, said George Webb. (See Castetter and Underhill, pp. 20-22.)
Sahuaro seeds, which are known to contain vitamin C, are fed to chickens. According to Miss Elizabeth Hart, a small Indian boy belonging to a poultry club collected sahuaro seeds to feed his chickens. Unable to buy grain, within a few months the lad received first prize for the plumpest poultry with the whitest flesh.
Dead sahuaro ribs, which were used as splints for broken bones, were bound to the injured limb with a rope of human hair, or by twisted cotton, stated Stephen Jones. Mary Manuel advised burning the fractured area with live coals.
According to Russell, sahuaro seeds were used as a medium for tanning, and were available at any time, as they were always kept in storage as an article of food. (See Castetter, pp. 19-20; Russell, pp. 71-72. )
For further uses of the saguaro, see under Arts and Industries.* * * *
|Common name:||Nightblooming cereus||Family:||Cactaceae|
|Pima name:||Ho-ok vaao|
Cereus comes from the Latin, meaning 'waxen' and ho-ok vaao means "witches' ladle," whereas the Spanish name, reina-de-la-noche ('queen of the night') is far more complimentary. It is a slender, inconspicuous plant that grows at low altitudes and usually among Larrea. Blooming in June and July, its beautiful white flowers last but a night. George Webb told me it could be traced in the dark by its heavy fragrance. Sweetpotato cactus derives this name from the tubers, which ordinarily weigh from five to fifteen pounds. Walter Rhodes stated that the plants are becoming very scarce. Castetter and Underhill write (p. 18) that the large roots are chewed for thirst, or they may be baked whole in ashes, peeled, and eaten.
As a cure for diabetes, Walter Rhodes and George Webb stated that the large tubers are cut up, boiled, and the concoction administered; or the tubers, according to George Webb, are sliced and the juice sucked.* * * *
|Common name:||Barrel cactus||Family:||Cactaceae|
The visnagas belong to the giant cacti of the desert, and, considering their size, have small roots. These two species can be distinguished by their spines. In E. wislizeni the central spine is strongly hooked, and there are bristle-like spines on the margin of the aerole. The central spine of E. lecontei is usually deflexed or ascending, and seldom hooked, and there are no bristle-like spines. The former species has been known to grow as high as eleven feet and to thrive at an altitude of 4,500 feet. According to Peebles, E. wislizeni Engelm. occurs on the Gila Indian Reservation, although the common barrel cactus of that vicinity is E. lecontei. Both kinds have been used to make cactus candy.
As I was starting out to collect cacti with George Webb, he revealed to me the following: "When the Indians wanted plants for food or medicine, they went to the hilis, and that is where I am taking you first-to the Sacaton Mountains." On reaching our destination, he gave me the method of preparing visnaga for quenching thirst: A sharp stone is employed to remove thorns at the top of the plant; the crown is then scooped out to form a cup; the pulp (which resembles green melon) is pounded, and juice begins to flow. The greenish liquid is neither sweet, sour, nor bitter.
The thorns of E. lecontei can be used for phonograph needles, and those of E. wislizeni have been made into fishhooks. A sweet dish was prepared by removing the top of the plant and the spines, then the cactus was cut in large slices, which were carried home and cut into small pieces, like potatoes, and, while fresh, were placed on top of dry mesquite beans in a pot with a little water and slowly boiled for a long time. This information was afforded by Sarah Smith and Juana Innes. (See Higgins, p. 64.)* * * *
|Common name:||Bunch cactus||Family:||Cactaceae|
E. Engelmannii grows about ten inches high in rocky soil; the blossoms are a brilliant rose-purple, averaging three inches in diameter, and are very showy. The spines vary in color from white, yellow, brown, or black. This cactus is found up to 5,000 feet altitude; its flowering season is February to May.
When ripe, the scarlet fruit, which has a network of white spines, is eaten, the spines being removed with a stick. George Webb stated that "the fruit tastes between strawberry and vanilla."* * * *
|Common name:||Fish-hook cactus||Family:||Cactaceae|
|Pima name:||Ban maupai||Cactus|
M. microcarpa is a widespread species that grows in both heavy and well-drained soil and blooms during June and July.
The small red fruit of ban maupai (meaning 'like coyote paws') is rubbed on arrowshafts to color them. For earache, the thorns are removed, the cactus is sliced, boiled, and placed warm in the ear. This is also a remedy for suppurating ears. This treatment brought relief to Stephen Jones, the informant.* * * *
Var. Ramosa Peebles is a cylindrical-stemmed, bushy plant with strongly armed joints and numerous spines. It bears yellow, red, or variegated flowers which remain open for only a day. The dry, woody joints are made into canes, napkin rings, and other souvenirs for the tourist. If the spines are singed off, cattle, sheep, and goats browse on cholla without danger; and in an unusually dry season I have seen this done on cane cactus in New Mexico. I have also seen Penitentes in that state with cholla bound to their naked backs, on top of which they carried heavy crosses.
About April, using two long sticks, the gemma (buds) are picked before opening. They are gathered in large flat baskets and, to remove the spines, are stirred with a short piece of wood. The bottom and sides of a pit are lined with stones which are heated by a fire of mesquite (Prosopis velutina) stumps, as these burns better than any other wood; extra stones are heated to form a top covering for the pit. These and part of the coals are removed and the hot pit is then lined with branches of chuchk onk ( Suaeda, inkweed), which is also placed between layers of cholla buds to add flavor and to prevent scorching. When full, the pit is covered thickly with inkweed, hot stones, and lastly earth. The contents are allowed to steam or bake overnight and are then spread to dry and stored away. As they make a good balanced meal, the baked buds are ground and made into gruel to be given patients suffering from stomach trouble and needing a special diet, according to Mary Manuel and Catherine Clark.
I saw the young flower buds of this cactus being picked and placed in a flat basket with tongs made of bent mesquite wood. With a twist of the wrist the immature flowers were removed from the plant, and when the basket was full, they were transferred to a large carton placed in the near-by wagon. The buds are taken home and dried, and later are either boiled or are roasted on coals, stated Barbara Harvey.
The dry buds are cooked with onk ivakhi (Atriplex wrightii) to flavor the salty greens; they also are ground on a metate, mixed with wheat flour, and boiled to make atole, according to Salt River Club Women. Antelope cactus has fewer thorns than ordinary cholla. After boiling the dry buds of this species, they are fried in grease and eaten, or are boiled with meat, I was informed by George Webb.
Castetter (pp. 35-37) mentions the Indians' many uses for Opuntia, as do Castetter and Underhill (p. 14 et seq.) and Russell (p. 71).* * * *
|Common name:||Pencil cholla||Family:||Cactaceae|
|Pima name:||Vipe noim||Cactus|
O. arbuscula when mature develops into a tree-shaped shrub with heavy trunk and compactly branching crown. It flowers in May and June. The similarity of this species to the cactus that follows, O. versicolor, is so marked that I will describe the qualities of both jointly.* * * *
|Common name:||Deerhorn cactus||Family:||Cactaceae|
|Pima name:||Vipe noi|
This cactus flowers in May and its blossoms vary in color from yellow to terracotta, on the same branch. The yellow flowers wither and turn reddish in the afternoon. The name "versicolor" can probably be attributed to the fact that flowers on different plants vary from purple to red or yellow.
The fruit on both Deerhorn and Pencil cholla is always green, and in the spring young fruit ends are gathered, placed in a basket, and thorns removed with a stick. For storage, the fruit is dried, or when green it is boiled with onk ivakhi (saltbush) and tastes more sour than hannam (cholla). This information was given by George Webb, who conducted me to the wash in Santan Pass to see these cacti growing.* * * *
|Common name:||Christmas cactus||Family:||Cactaceae|
Christmas cactus is found growing from 1,000 to 5,000 feet altitude. It is slender in form, varies in spines, and has very characteristic proliferous fruits, that, is, one grows from the other, forming bright clusters. For this reason it is cultivated in gardens, although my attention was first called to it in Santan Pass.
The coral-colored fruit is gathered in baskets and most of the fine thorns are removed with a brush-like branch. More thorns are rubbed off with a cloth; then the fruit is eaten raw at any time of the year.* * * *
|Pima name:||I - ipai|
Opuntia phaeacantha is found throughout most of Arizona, growing at an altitude of from 1,200 to 7,500 feet. The blooming season is April to June.
Opuntia engelmannii, a bushy plant with stout spines, grows at a somewhat lower altitude and only in the southern part of the state, but it has the same flowering period.
Miss Hart writes that "the tender new-forming leaves are sliced, cooked, and seasoned like string beans." This is a very welcome addition to the diet of desert dwellers.
"If too much pricklypear fruit is eaten, it results in chills and the person shakes all over," stated José Henry; and George Webb explained that there are several varieties of pricklypear-one has light-red fruit which is not poisonous, and another, of darkish-purple, which gives the "shivers."
To encourage the flow of mother's milk, heated pads of the pricklypear are placed on the breasts, according to Mary Manuel.
Mr. Peebles told me that on the Salt River Reservation, Indians are growing an imported Mexican pricklypear for its abundant fruit, and the Mexicans in that locality are so fond of this species that they procure it from the' Indians.
The ripe fruit is boiled and white underclothes are dyed in the liquid, said Ida Redbird. The resultant color is a dark pink.
Nopal was applied by the Aztec as poultices to relieve pain and reduce swelling. (See Badianus, p. 243.)* * * *
|Common name:||Creosote Bush||Family:||Zygophyllaceae|
|Erroneously called Greasewood|
This graceful, feathery shrub, covering dry plains and mesas, grows about eleven feet high, has small, strong-scented evergreen leaves, and yellow flowers which bloom profusely in spring. Although the resinous branches make a bright fire, they burn too quickly for practical use except perhaps as kindling. According to Dr. Harold S. Colton, a black gum is produced by lac insects sucking the juices of the creosote bush and forming incrustations of lac over the branches. Lac insects are of great economic importance and have been known to Europeans for more than two hundred years; but the American variety, unlike the Asiatic, is of little use in the production of varnish, although it has possibilities in the manufacture of phonograph records.
Mr. Charles B. Fleming, Jr., of the Botanical Laboratory at Phoenix, informed me that Mexicans pickle the flower buds of the creosote bush and eat them as we eat capers.
To reduce high fever an emetic is prepared by boiling creosote leaves in water, half a cup of the decoction being drunk warm. If the first dose gives no result, a second is administered. For the sores of impetigo, a skin disease often found in children, an infusion is used as a lotion which, I was told, dries up the pustules better and faster than the application of salves. A similar infusion is held in the mouth for toothache, and it was emphatically stated by Jane Pablo that this remedy cures the pain.
On the Salt River Reservation members of the Women's Club call creosote "greasewood," and for removing dandruff they recommend that a warm tea be massaged into the scalp. Two hours later the hair should be shampooed. To prevent feet from perspiring, and as a deodorant, the soles of shoes are lined with small twigs in leaf. Also as a deodorant, a powder of the ground plant is sprinkled in the armpits, and in this form it is dusted over sores. A decoction of creosote gum is given for tuberculosis; and as a gargle and a hot drink for colds, the leaves are brewed into a tea. Branches with green leaves are heated and bound on the seat of pain. The women confidently stated that "this plant cures everything, and that's what nature gave us."
Here are several remedies for the relief of rheumatism: An infusion of covillea is drunk, according to Walter Rhodes. Valensuelo stated that the smoke of the plant is believed to be beneficial, and twigs are heated and applied to afflicted parts. The Maricopa wear small branches of the plant in their shoes; painful members of the body are held over the steam of creosote, and sometimes a very hot foot-bath is prescribed for the purpose.
At Gila Crossing a handful of the ends of green creosote branches is added to a pint of cold water; this is boiled for twenty minutes, strained, cooled, and taken for gas or headache caused by upset stomach. Ida Redbird suggested that a "handful of greasewood" thrown into a quart of hot water and allowed to boil down, then strained, and a cup of the liquid taken, is efficacious for stomachache, cramps, and gas pains. If not relieved within half an hour, another cup was advised for the patient.
Ancient and famous Tashquent recommended "heated greasewood wrapped in a cloth and applied for a bruise," a recommendation that may well be heeded as coming from one of such long experience.
The effervescent Feliciana de Vasquez, a medica of repute, prescribed the green tips of hediondilla (or gobernadora) and mesquite thrown on embers with a pinch of sugar, then the entire body subjected to the smoke as a cure for weakness-laziness. This should be administered on Saturday or Sunday, followed by epsom salts on Wednesday.
Eric Stone claims that the gum is chewed and swallowed by Pima as an antidysenteric; and as an intestinal antispasmodic, a weak concoction of the bark is imbibed. Numerous Papago medicinal prescriptions are listed by Dr. Underhill, as are industrial uses which much resemble those of the Pima.
Professor Maximino Martinez records (p. 133) that leaves of creosote are cooked in water (6 grs to 250) and applied as a plaster for scratches and wounds on the skin. When cooked with 10 grs to one liter of water it is used for baths and rubs for rheumatic pains. The same infusion is taken internally for disuria (difficulty in passing urine).* * * *
|Pima name:||Ko okpat|
Verdolagas, locally called "pigweed," as are various other plants, is a common, low-growing, succulent annual found on irrigated land.
On the Salt River Reservation this plant is gathered during the summer, cooked, and served as greens.
I have enjoyed eating it in the spring with a few chile seeds added to give flavor. Also, the Spanish people of New Mexico combine the raw verdolagas with salad-dressing.* * * *
Like all cattails, those in southern Arizona grow in swamps and marshes. They are tall, narrow-leaved plants, with creeping rootstocks.
Several informants at Salt River School Club stated that the leaves, when green, are woven into mats and roofs; the flower stalk is split and dried for basket-weaving; the silky down makes stuffing for pillows, and Josie Taylor said that the yellow pollen was used dry to decorate face, chest, and back.
In the spring, cattails begin to form buds which contain a yellow powder, or pollen, that must be carefully watched and gathered at the right time, otherwise it blows away. The buds are picked with great care and placed in baskets, and as the pollen is very fine, it must be winnowed into an olla. Mary Manuel, who said, "We go to collect this every day, as we are crazy about this food," gave two recipes for its preparation:
A fire is built, and after it has burned down, the ashes are pushed aside; cold water is sprinkled on this cleared spot and a layer of powder spread upon it. The process is repeated until an entire basketful of pollen is used. The top layer is then wet down, the whole covered with hot ashes and allowed to bake until considered done. When removed, it resembles biscuit, and the color has changed to a brownish shade. "You'd swear it contained sugar, but that is its natural sweetness," said Mary. The other method: For every two handfuls of powder, add one of ground wheat, then stir into boiling water to form a gruel. "I use no salt, because I like it sweet," Mary concluded.
According to Tashquent, the tender white stalks and the roots were gathered all the year round and eaten raw.* * * *
|Common name:||Broom baccharis||Family:||Compositae|
|Pima name:||Shooshk vakch|
Rosinbrush grows in the bottom-lands and on the hillsides up to 4,000 feet altitude, and occasionally is found in saline soil. The blossoming season is from September to March. This shrub is considered poisonous to livestock.
Shooshk vakch means 'wet shoes.' The Pima make brooms from the stalks.
Mr. Fleming, of the Phoenix Botanical Laboratory, told me that Mexicans use the plant for toothache.* * * *
|Common name:||Strangle weed||Family:||Cuscutaceae|
|Pima name:||Vammat geekwa|
Dodder is a herbaceous, parasitic, leafless and rootless plant, with yellow or orange stems and small, white, waxen flowers.
At Salt River Women's Club it was explained that the Pima name for dodder means 'snake crown' and Indians run away from it because they believe "snake is underneath." On the other hand, Lewis Manuel claimed that "the Pima fear dodder because if a snake sees them take the plant, the snake will get after them."
At Sacaton Flats, cattle feed on strangle weed, although Dean McArthur said they are known to have died from its effects; therefore the Indians fear the plant may be poisonous and do not touch it.
Wooton and Standley (p. 514) state that the Navaho is said to have parched the seeds for food.* * * *
A. lentiformis, which grows to a height of ten feet, is taller than any other saltbush. It is found in saline soil and is a palatable forage plant.
The leaves are rubbed in water to produce a lather with which clothing and baskets are washed, although it is too strong for the hands. In the past, the tiny seeds were roasted and eaten in time of famine, said Mason McAffee; and we note that they were also of importance during the time of Russell, who gives (p. 78) the following method of preparation: "The seed of this saltbush is cooked in pits which are lined with Suaeda arborescens and the papery inner bark of the cottonwood moistened and mixed together. The roasting requires but one night, then the seeds are taken out, dried, parched, and laid away for future use. When eaten, it is placed in a cup and water added until a thick gruel is produced." He also states (p. 80) that "the root is powdered and applied to sores," but I suspect this knowledge has been forgotten, as I was told that the plant has no medicinal qualities.* * * *
Cattle-spinach, a symmetrical bush often associating with Larrea and growing in arid, saline soil at an altitude of 2,500 feet or lower, is well named, as it is an important forage plant. In writing of the Hopi, Whiting (p. 73) tells of the desert saltbush being cooked as greens or added to meat and other vegetables for its salty flavor.
Fanny Wilson remembered that "the ancients," when starving, roasted and ground the collected seeds of desert saltbush to make pinole, which tasted salty, whereas José Henry said the seeds were made into bread. At Stotonic the leaves are still used for washing baskets, and Lewis Manuel stated that when oedam is not available, sha-ashkachk eepatkam ('rough fruit') is used for the same purpose. A specimen was not available.
The white cottony galls produced on this plant by a certain insect are used by both Pima and Maricopa for rheumatism. The galls are gathered and dried. The Maricopa mark the painful spot with a glowing arrowwood stick; a gall is lighted on the cauterized area and allowed to burn; this is done seven times in succession during the same day.
Pima use the above method also in a somewhat less painful way: The galls are set afire and placed on any aching spot either in the muscles or above the bones. This remedy is applied only once, but if favorable results are not obtained, it is again used within three or four days. If a new pain develops in another part, the same treatment is given immediately, according to Ida Redbird.
Mary Manuel described her treatment for rheumatic pains: The flesh is burned by pressing a live coal on afflicted parts and this treatment must be repeated four times "before you can say it's done." Mary explained: "I have a grandson who was the only member of the family who would do everything I asked. My back hurt me so bad recently that I got him to burn it way down low. He was much embarrassed and now I'm afraid he won't ever carry out my orders again." For bad sprains, the same burning method is used. "You cannot feel the pain of the burn because the other pain is so bad. It is only the Maricopa who use the burning, as the Pima consider it too painful."* * * *
Iodinebush is a fleshy, succulent, almost leafless perennial, with a woody base. It grows mainly in saline soil and does not appeal to livestock, although burros will occasionally eat the young branches. For this reason it acquired one of its common names-"burro weed."
When seeds ripened in the summer, they were gathered in a basket and winnowed, then were roasted in a special pot "with ears on the sides," said Sarah Smith and Juana Innes. After this, the seeds were ground on a metate, water was added, and the whole cooked like atole.* * * *
|Pima name:||Onk ivakhi||Goosefoot|
This Atriplex is a tall, coarse annual plant, larger than A. elegans. It grows along roadsides and in waste land, spreading over southern Arizona and New Mexico, and into Sonora. Kearney and Peebles aver that this species is held in particular esteem as a potherb by the Indians.
According to Mary Makil, the leaves are boiled in water which is strained off and the greens are then fried in grease. It is salty in taste, as is indicated by the Pima name onk ivakhi, meaning 'salty greens.'* * * *
This is a large genus of annual herbs, many members of which help to nourish not only cattle and sheep but also man. Lamb's quarters originated in Europe and are now naturalized almost throughout North America. Kearney and Peebles write: "The Indians use the leaves for greens and the seeds of certain species for making mush and cakes, sometimes mixing them with cornmeal."
Mary Makil related that in spring the leaves are boiled in water, salt added, and when cooked the liquid is strained off; then the greens are fried in grease and eaten. The Yaqui, according to Valensuelo, call lamb's quarters chichi quelite and eat them as greens.* * * *
|Common name:||Indian Spinach||Family:||Chenopodiaceae|
Monolepis, a small plant belonging to a large family which includes garden and sugar beets, also cultivated spinach, is an annual growing in arid regions.
Gathered while young, during late autumn and winter months, opon must be well washed and then boiled in a little water until tender. The liquid is drained off ("juice squeezed out," as José Henry said), the greens are salted, then fried in lard or any other fat.* * * *
This shrub, which grows in moist saline soil, sometimes reaches a height of eight feet, although it is often lower as a result of browsing. The succulent young leaves and branches attract both cattle and sheep; however, the shorter branchlets are thorn-like and cattle are in danger of bloating by the oxalates in the sap.
Mason McMee explained that during hard times the seeds were roasted and eaten.
Whiting (p. 74) gives a list of numerous articles fashioned from goosefoot wood by the Hopi.* * * *
|Pima name:||Chuchk onk|
Suaeda torreyana is a clammy shrub, with inconspicuous flowers and fruit, which grows in saline and alkaline soils and sometimes reaches eight feet in height.
Chuchk onk, meaning 'black salt,' produces flavor in cooking. See Cholla.
Dr. Underhill gives the same use for inkweed by the Papago as herein noted for the Pima.* * * *
We are speaking here of the cultivated pumpkin which needs no description.
Pumpkin seeds, ground on a metate with a little water added, make a paste which is used to cleanse and soften the skin. In Wetcamp I was told that it is used as a substitute for cold cream.
On the Salt River Reservation the seeds are roasted until brown by shaking them up and down, back and forth, in a pan with live coals. When done, they are cracked with the teeth, the kernels eaten, and the husk discarded.
(See Russell, p. 71; Castetter and Underhill, p. 36.)* * * *
|Common name:||Gourd (cultivated)||Family:||Cucurbitaceae|
Quod supra scriptum est:
Annual herbaceous plants having trailing stems with tendrils; they are related to melons, squashes, pumpkins, and cucumbers. Usage found under Rattles. (See Russell, p. 91.)* * * *
Although wheat was introduced from Europe, it has lately become the most important crop of the Pima. Harvested wheat is dried in the sun on top of the ramada. When small in quantity, it is beaten out with a long pole (oos) of mesquite, willow, or cottonwood; when of greater quantity, the threshing is done with horses.
Stephen Jones of Salt River Reservation told me that in early days wheat was used as money and that a two-pound lard can full was worth ten cents.
Ka poot ka (green wheat in the milk stage) is dried, roasted, and ground, water added, and a "thin soup" made which is given to young mothers to make the milk flow. At Sacaton this gruel is known as atol, from the Spanish form atole, (Aztec atolli) and at Salt River Reservation it is called koo ul. Sonora wheat is best for this porridge as well as for haak chui (roasted flour), which is prepared by a like method and known to the Mexicans as pinole, (Aztec pinolli). At Sacaton Flats dry corn is used in the same way, Mary Manuel stating that it is made into a similar gruel to enrich mothers' milk. Walter Rhodes described a thin porridge made from wheat just beyond the milk stage, ground sahuaro seeds, and cholla buds (hannam), the whole mixed with water and boiled "for mother's milk." While on the subject of mother's milk, I inquired about childbirth and old Mary explained that in the past, during travail, the woman was made to kneel on the floor or to sit on something folded up and no medicine was given. (See Toor, p. 111.) Upon arrival of the baby, the attendant woman would start pressing on the mother's abdomen to bring down the afterbirth, which, whether male or female, was always buried and the spot covered with ashes. Now, Pima women usually go to the hospital.
Emma Howard gave the following recipe for "poshol" (pozole, Aztec pozolli): On a windy day, wheat is winnowed in a basket, dampened, and pounded in a mortar with a wooden pestle. The resultant meal is boiled in salted water with cactus-seed "lard" added. Sometimes the "poshol" is cooked with corn, beans, or cabbage. Emma also said that in olden days the women arose early in the morning, ground their baskets full of wheat into meal, added water and salt, and made the dough into tortillas; or they made tortillas and fried them in hot suet, which caused them to puff up. (These are called wamachida, meaning 'something made brown' according to Father Antonine.) Often the dough was formed into a single large cake which was buried in hot ashes until thoroughly cooked.
For matai chuet chimait ('bread in ashes,' or 'ash-bread'), a stiff dough, like pancake batter, is made of hand-ground wheat, and a little salt added. The dough is formed into a cake, three inches thick in the middle, thinner at the edges. A fire for baking is made of mesquite wood, for this produces the hottest coals, and when it has burned down, the coals are pushed aside and an earthen dish is used to form a shallow bowl-like depression in the hot ashes. The flat loaves are placed in the hollow made by the dish, covered with ashes, topped with hot coals, and allowed to bake for about an hour. The bread is then tested with a stick; if it is found to be thoroughly cooked, it is removed and cleansed of the ashes with water and a corncob. The informant said that the very brown crisp edges taste best. According to Mrs. Adolph Wilson, these ash-cakes are still made and enjoyed as a change from regular bread.* * * *
Quod supra scriptum est:
A tall, coarse perennial, with flat leaf-blades, which grows in wet ground but is disappearing from the reservations owing to subsoil pumping. Kearney and Peebles (p. 97) give nine uses for this reed, whereas I recorded only two, for making flutes and mats.* * * *
|Pima name:||Da hap dum||Honeysuckle|
A beautiful shrub when in full bloom, this species is the only nonmontane found in Arizona. When planted where it receives plenty of water it attains tree proportions. The wood is soft and the stems pithy. Medicinal knowledge of elderberries and their white flowers has spread through the centuries from the Orient, via Europe, to the American continent.
Meta Goodwin informed me that the berries were one of the old foods of the Pima, but that at present they are made into jams and jellies.
At the Salt River Club I was told that, to reduce fever, one-half cup of dried flowers are steeped in hot water which is then drained off and the liquid drunk lukewarm.
The flowers, either fresh or dry, are boiled in water and the decoction is taken, while hot, for stomachache, colds, and sore throat. An old Maricopa used to gather the flowers in season, take them to town, and sell them to Mexicans who used the remedy in the same way as did the Indians. These latter, on visits to Mexico, said Ida Redbird, had learned the medicinal value of the elderberry blossom.* * * *
Botanies describe these shrubs, which bloom in the spring, as about three feet high, with opposite stems, slender and jointed; the leaves are reduced to mere scales with clustered inconspicuous flowers and hard, bitter, black seeds.
At Lehi the boiled roots are used as a tea. Tashquent said that the ends of the branches are boiled and made into a beverage.
At Lehi also the roots are dried in the sun, powdered on a flat stone, and sprinkled on all kinds of sores, including those caused by "bad disease." George Webb stated that the powdered roots are applied in this way for syphilis.
Oo-oosti means 'sticks tea,' but I was told that koopat is the new name. (See Russell, n. 80; Whiting, p. 63.)* * * *
This species of Mormon-tea, which is the largest in Arizona, sometimes grows as high as fifteen feet and is found in desert or grassland reaching 4,500 feet in altitude.
Lewis Manuel asserted that this Ephedra is administered as an antileuretic. Other remedies for venereal diseases were related to me by Isaac Howard who advised burnt-bone powder applied dry three times daily to bleeding sores which he claimed are cured in two weeks; and Mary Manuel recommended "burning the boils caused by bad disease with live coals."
Stella Young tells us that Ephedra viridis is gathered at any time by the Navaho, and the twigs and leaves boiled with alum produce a light-tan color.* * * *
|Common name:||Lichen on stones|
|Pima name:||Jievut hiawsik|
As no specimens could be procured, I was unable to obtain the botanical identification of lichen. However, I learned that "earth flower" is the translation of both the Pima and the Papago name.
Mary Manuel introduced the subject by saying: "Men know more about this than I. The Pima men gather jievut hiawsik and carry it in their pockets to bring luck in killing game. The Maricopa are too superstitious to do that, for they fear if they carry the plant about too much, it will make them sick."
This lichen, which has a strong odor, is the color of grey ashes and grows on rocks and dead wood in certain spots on the hills. It has more religious meaning than any other plant, and is smoked, mixed with tobacco, at the summer dances, when its distinctive odor is noticeable. Like marihuana, the smoking of jievut hiawsik "makes young men crazy." "The Pima believe that if they smoke this lichen they can get any woman they want, but this is just a superstition," explained George Webb.
Isaac Howard described "earth flower" as being "reddish and white and different colors, and smells like violets." He says the lichen is ground into a powder which is not bound on sores or cuts, as it would produce blisters, but is sprinkled on the affected parts. Isaac told of a case where a girl, struck by a rattlesnake, was taken to a hospital and the wound was lanced by a doctor. As it did not heal, she returned home and my informant cured the wound by using the above remedy four times at intervals of several days. Another treatment, related by Mary Manuel, is to apply red coals, when the swelling begins, on wounds caused by snakes, scorpions, and black-widow spiders.* * * *
|Yerba del Manso||Lizardtail|
Yerba-mansa has creeping, perennial, aromatic roots which are astringent. At a distance the myriad white bracts give marshland the appearance of a snowy field. The plant thrives in wet, alkaline soil, and my informants claim that it is rapidly disappearing from the reservations because the water-level has been lowered by pumping for irrigation by whites. On my long trips in every direction, the strictest vigil failed to reveal a single specimen. Only one locality where it still grows is known--St. John's Mission at the junction of the Gila and Santa Cruz rivers.
Isaac Howard states that vavish is the most useful of all Pima medicinal plants, and he asserts with sincere faith that the wet powdered roots made into a poultice will cure stomachache, as it is a slight irritant.
Juanita Manuel says that the best medicine for a cough is made by boiling the roots of yerba-mansa and drinking the tea, or they may be chewed and swallowed. A prescription for colds is a brew made from the fresh or dry roots, and for preventing a cough caused by an itchy throat, also for sore throat, a dry root is held in the mouth, according to Mary Manuel. For a cold, the hot tea is drunk and the patient is well-covered with blankets to cause sweating. This method is used more by the Papago than by the Pima, states Mrs. Adolph Wilson.
When very tired, Annie Thomas finds relief in a warm bath made from vavish.
George Webb asserted that wounds are treated by washing with a decoction of the plant, then a sprinkling of powdered roots, followed by the application of green leaves and a bandage.
For "bad disease" an infusion made from the roots of this plant is applied to the sores and taken internally, stated Mary Manuel. Mrs. Adolph Wilson told me of a Pima woman infected by syphilis, whose first two children died. Her third child, a daughter, was born with "pimples along the groin" and the mother was advised to apply yerba-mansa tea daily. This was done until the rash disappeared; but later it returned and the applications were resumed until a cure was effected. The child is now a grown girl.* * * *
|Common name:||Cheese Weed||Family:||Malvaceae|
Malva parviflora L. is a native of the Old World, introduced into the Southwest where it is now a common weed. Along ditches and irrigated fields this mallow grows very tall and its leaves are as large as saucers, but the pinkish flowers are rather insignificant.
At a School Club meeting on the Salt River Reservation an old woman told me that she has a friend who boils the plant and makes the decoction into a shampoo.
No uses for the plant were known at Wetcamp, but I was informed that it is called "sunflower" because the leaves follow the sun and droop at sunset.
Apparently Pima children do not eat the green seeds as do white children, who call them cheeses. On the other hand, Pima hogs greatly relish them, according to Catherine Clark. Knowledge of its vitamin content must have been lost through the years, as Russell tells us that the plant was boiled and the liquid mixed with pinole in times of famine.* * * *
|Common name:||Desert Hollyhock||Family:||Malvaceae|
When in spring bloom, this and several other species of globemallow are highly decorative along roadsides and in the fields. In variabilis the flowers are usually red, although this variety is variable, and lavender or pink petals are often found. The plant, which grows at a maximum altitude of 2,500 feet, belongs to the same family as cotton, okra, and hollyhock.
According to Domingo Blackwater, hadamdak means 'sticky,' and piniendak 'sore eyes.' Walkingstick explains that this mallow is "covered with hairs" (pubescent) which get on children's hands and then are rubbed into the eyes, causing irritation. "The kids are forbidden to touch this plant," said Juanita Manuel.
I was given three remedies for treatment of diarrhea with mallow: Juanita Manuel stated that a root is boiled in a little water and a tablespoon of the liquid taken in the morning. According to Fanny Wilson and Mary Jackson, the roots are pounded, boiled, and the decoction given. Barbara Harvey informed me that the roots are boiled in water and the infusion drunk cold.* * * *
|Common name:||Desert Milkweed||Family:||Asclepiadaceae|
Botanists claim that this desert milkweed is abundant on dry slopes, mesas, and plains in Mohave, Gila, Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma counties, Arizona, and that the sap contains an appreciable quantity of rubber. Mr. Peebles mentioned a medicinal plant used by the Pima which is not indigenous to the Sacaton village area, but had been transplanted from the foothills of the Sacaton Mountains to "the Colonel's" garden. I was shown the plant and introduced to its owner, who gave me a graphic description of how Hugh Patton was convinced of its efficacy. Patton had been told that, for stomach disorders, five or six inches of the stem should be chewed and spat out, and that it would prove to be both a physic and an emetic. One day, scoffing at the ancient remedy, he chewed the required amount and started off in his truck; but in a very short time he became convinced that the alleged dual effect of the dose had not been exaggerated.
Edward Jackson could not give me the Pima name for this desert milkweed, and he took me over to see Patton at his store in the hope that he, who is in his seventies, could reveal it, but neither he nor any other informant was of help in this direction.
This plant is considered good for many ailments, including sore eyes. Its use is also very dangerous, as a man below Gila Crossing took too large a dose and in consequence died.* * * *
|Common name:||Milkweed vine||Family:||Asclepiadaceae|
|Pima name:||Bann vee-ibam||Milkweed|
Bann vee-ibam, meaning 'coyote gum,' grows along washes and climbs over bushes and trees.
To make chewing-gum the main stem of this vine was broken and the milk allowed to drip into the green stalk of a squash vine, a section of which had been cut, leaving the joint at the bottom. This stalk was baked under the ashes and the gum was then ready for use. Ida Ridbird said that the Maricopa believed that if this gum were handled too often, it would create boils.
Lena Meskeer still makes chewing-gum by boiling milkweed juice in a deep pottery bowl when pumpkin-stems are not available.
Castetter and Underhill (p. 28) give a list of several gums chewed by the Papago, as also does Russell (p. 78); nor does Whiting (p. 20) neglect to list the Hopi favorite chewing-gums.* * * *
|Common name:||Mesquite mistletoe||Family:||Loranthaceae|
Quod supra scriptum est:
A parasitic plant growing from seeds deposited by birds on the branches of trees and shrubs. When mistletoe becomes too abundant it absorbs the vitality of its host and the tree dies. Our variety usually has red berries. Russell (p. 71) states that the berries of this species were the only ones eaten, and Castetter and Underhill inform us (p. 19) that the Papago still gather them for food.
In olden times the medicine-man placed the berries in his mouth, leaned over the patient, and sucked at the afflicted places, then spat out the berries and claimed that he had removed them from the body-an old trick among many Indians. "As long as you believe in anything, no matter what religion you have, you can be cured," said George Webb. Nowadays, at Stotonic, the plant is soaked in warm water and sores are washed with the infusion.
Mistletoe berries were mashed or boiled and, when eaten, "tasted like pudding," according to Annie Thomas. The berries were boiled in water until reduced to a thick mush, which was cooled and a cupful given for stomachache; and it also acted as a purge, on the authority of Dean McArthur.* * * *
|Common name:||Osage orange wood||Family:||Moraceae|
|Pima name:||S'hoitgam kawli||Mistletoe|
S'hoitgam kawli ('thorny fence') is a familiar hedge-plant introduced by whites from its native bottomlands in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, where it grows to tree size.
Osage orange is known by its yellow, inedible fruit which is rough-skinned and milky. The inner wood and the large roots are bright-orange in color, and were formerly used for dyeing. (See Industries.)
* FOOTNOTE: This was called bois d'arc because it was a favorite wood for making bows. "Osage" is from wazhazhe, the tribal name of the Osage Indians, corrupted by the French.* * * *
|Common name:||Tansy mustard||Family:||Cruciferae|
In reference to the crucifers, I quote from Kearney and Peebles as follows: "Few of them have any considerable value as forage, but it happens that species of . . . Descurainia, etc., although avoided while the plants are green, are relished, especially by horses, when the buds are ripe."
Tansy mustard is a desert annual that grows about two feet high, sheltered by any bush, and has yellow flowers resembling mustard. It demands much rain to bring forth a good crop of the minute red-brown seeds, which are shaken into baskets as soon as they are ripe. The seeds are then roasted, mixed with water, and eaten like atole according to information by Josie Taylor.* * * *
|Common name:||Wild mustard||Family:||Cruciferae|
|Pima name:||Shoo uvat||Mustard|
Introduced into this country from Europe, mustard overruns irrigated districts, producing solid carpets of yellow which enliven the landscapes during winter and early spring.
Domingo Blackwater informed me that ripe mustard seeds were collected and stored for use in winter. When needed they were used for food and also as a laxative, Domingo having eaten them for the latter purpose. Dean McArthur states that a long time ago the seeds were parched, ground, and cold water added to make a gruel. Now, mustard is no longer taken internally but is used externally as a counter-irritant plaster.
For sore eyes, Lucy Howard advised that a few dry seeds be placed under the lids to cause weeping and hence to cure eye trouble. She also suggested that foreign matter can be removed by placing a few seeds in the eye-a far more drastic method than our present-day linseed remedy.* * * *
|Common name:||Jimson weed||Family:||Solanaceae|
Datura discolor grows at an altitude of about two thousand feet or under, along roadsides and in waste places. There are other species handsomer and more striking than discolor, and I suspect the Indian of not knowing exactly which specific plant is used for each remedy. I merely chanced to show them this variety, and had I indicated meteloides, I would have received the same information. It is called "loco weed" by both Maricopa and Pima, and the latter also know it as "poison lily."
One morning at dawn, on a Hopi mesa, I was attracted to a beautiful white flowering Datura meteloides which was perfuming the air, but as I approached the plant an Indian woman stopped me by saying, "Do not touch; it is very bad!" This apparent fear seems to bear out Hough's statement in 1898 that "The use of Datura is extremely rare and is much decried by the Hopi." However, Whiting, (p. 89) was able to collect several items regarding the plant.
At Fort McDowell Indian Reservation the roots of this plant are used for chest troubles, according to Ollie Goka, an Apache, and the leaves are pounded with salt and placed on sores, stated Mrs. Erilie Jones. They also say that "the plant makes you dizzy." Mrs. Thomas, at Salt River, told me that "if you get the juice from just back of the flower in your mouth, you go temporarily crazy;" and Mrs. Clark asserted that the "roots are poison."
Mrs. Chaigo said that one must cut the tip of the bud and pour the liquid into sore eyes; and Jose Henry recommended the same treatment. The buds are gathered early in the morning and, to keep them fresh, they are wrapped in a wet cloth.
According to Mary Manuel, the flower is carefully picked and handled, that the water or dew it contains may not be lost. It must then be heated and placed on an aching ear, although there is danger of resultant deafness if applied too frequently. She said that she "would be afraid to use the remedy, as I am already blind and would just as soon keep my hearing, as now I can at least enjoy talking to people." Old Mary further stated that if a man was hopelessly ill with "bad disease," he had to choose between suicide and the following treatment: He chewed the fresh root of Datura and went crazy for a day and a half, and, when he recovered from that, he was cured of his sickness. She thought this malady was unknown to the Indians until the arrival of the Spaniards.
John Scott, of Lehi, said that to draw pus from a boil, a green leaf is rubbed with the thumb and "made slick," then applied; and Roys stated that a certain species of Datura was employed to cure hemorrhoids and ulcers. He also gave various other recipes for the use of this plant in treating many ailments.
José Henry related a story of revenge: "A white man settled near a Pima whose horses he killed and fed to his hogs. After stating his case to the American authorities and appealing to them without avail, the Indian dug Datura roots and threw them to the hogs which ate them and died." Lewis Manuel had another story: "When the traders first settled on the reservation, they raised pigs, and the Indians got the bright idea of feeding Datura roots to the hogs and waiting for them to die. Then the traders would give them away and the Indians would have a feast."
Lewis stated that the small flowering species is the strongest, and when one inch of the root is chewed, "ants look like horses and butterflies like airplanes."
Yaqui women, as well as those of the more northerly tribes, use an infusion of Datura leave to mitigate the pains of childbirth. The natives of these areas make a brew from the leaves steeped in mescal to produce a kind of intoxication. For the same purpose, according to Martinez (p. 279), they smoke the leaves and chew the fruit; and also make a salve with the ground leaves and seeds which they mix with lard and rub on the stomach; this mixture likewise produces intoxication and visions. It is understood that all these practices are dangerous.
In the Badianus Manuscript of 1552 mention is made of the medicinal uses of Daturas by the Aztec, and many prescriptions are given.
*Footnote: Toloache, from Aztec tolohua, to incline or bow the head; tzin, reverential.* * * *
There are about ten species of Lycium in Arizona, where they grow along washes, on dry slopes, or in desert areas, and squawbush bears an abundance of juicy berries. To judge by its numerous common names, the shrub is well known and its fruit has probably brought succor to many drought-haunted wayfarer besides the indians.
The red berries are boiled and mashed, and the liquid drained off and used as a beverage, I learned from Ida Redbird.
A cup of fresh berries are cooked with half a cup of sugar and half a cup of water, then flour is added to thicken. Catherine Clark said, "this is very good."* * * *
|Common name:||Ground cherry||Family:||Solanaceae|
|Pima name:||Koekoel viipit|
Ground cherry is an annual herb, the bladdery calyx of which covers the berry, otherwise described as having a fruit enclosed in calyx. it is a member of a large family which includes such useful plants as the potato, tomato, red pepper, and eggplant.
At stotonic, when asked about this herb, all the women giggled and reluctantly explained that it is not used, but is given the "bad name of old man's testicles."* * * *
|Common name:||Blue Nightshade||Family:||Solanaceae|
|Pima name:||Vakwa hai|
Bullnettle is a troublesome long-rooted perennial, difficult to eradicate from irrigated fields. The leaves are silvery and prickly, and the flowers are usually violet, but sometimes blue or white. Kearney and Peebles, (pp. 795-796) state that a protein-digesting enzyme, resembling papain, has recently been discovered in this plant.
Annie Thomas described the following method of making cheese: a pinch of powdered bullnettle berries is tied in a small bag or cloth and placed in an eight-pound lard can of warm milk, to which is added a piece of the dried stomach of a rabbit or of a cow about the size of a silver dollar. After about half an hour the precious bit of stomach is removed, washed, dried, and saved for future cheese-making until it is worn out. The liquid is squeezed from the cheese, which is salted and placed in a cloth on a metate, weighted with a heavy stone, and allowed to harden.
The maricopa name of bullnettle berries means 'sneeze balls.' Ida Redbird and many other indians still use the crushed, dry yellow berries for curing colds. When held to the nose they cause violent sneezing. Lena Meskeer said she followed the same prescription with good resu]ts.* * * *
The common Eng]Lish names of ocotillo are successfullLy descriptive of this spiny shrub with wand-like sterns which whip in the wind. Growing on dry mesas and slopes, its bright scarlet flowers decorate the sword-like tips during April and May, giving beauty to the monotone desert landscape. With the rainy season, wedge-like leaves appear which soon drop off and their midribs lengthen and harden into more stiff thorns. The Latin name was given in honor of Dr. Pierre Fouquier of Paris, the term ocotl is Aztec, illo the Spanish diminutive. Therefore, as pitch pine, ocote, was made into torches by the Mexicans, so were the thin dry wands of ocotillo.
When this plant is used green for fences, it often takes root, as one may see in our southern deserts. The Papago used ocotillo for house construction, as well as for many other purposes, while the Pima, as stated by Mason McAffee, planted it to beautify their gardens.
Although Kearney and Peebles, (pp. 583-584) tell us that the Apache relieve fatigue by bathing in a decoction of the roots of ocotillo, and also apply the powdered root to painful swellings, I have found no medicinal properties attributed to the plant by the Pima.* * * *
The catclaw bears sweet-smelling pink flowers, but has cruel thorns.
Catclaw bushes are cut and allowed to dry for firewood, or are piled high for brush fences; also, we are informed by Lewis Manuel, the wood is employed for making bows.* * * *
|Pima name:||Kuk chue - edak|
Cercidium floridum is a tree that reaches a maximum height of twenty-five feet and grows more abundantly in washes than on plains or hillsides. When covered with yellow blossoms it is highly decorative and most alluring to devotees of color photography. I had only one Pima informant who gave me two uses, although Castetter (p. 38) claims the beans of this tree, ground and mixed with those of the mesquite, were eaten by the Pima in earlier times. Parkinsonia aculeata is also called paloverde and is frequently mentioned by Castetter and Underhill.
According to George Webb, the green pods are gathered in summer and eaten raw, and the trunk and larger branches are made into ladles.* * * *
Quod supra scriptum est:
Sometimes called chacate, from Aztec chacatl, these straggling perennial herbs grow on dry mesas and plains and are particularly drought-resistant. They are suspected of being root parasites. Kearney and Peebles (p. 421) state that the Papago treat sore eyes with an infusion of the twigs obtained from K. parvifolia, and that a dye, used to color wool, leather, and other materials, is made from the roots. From Castetter and Underhill (p. 48) comes the information that a red dye was extracted from the root of K. glandulosa.
Oeto roots from the desert hills were boiled and the decoction applied to sores caused by "bad disease." This liquid was also drunk for the same trouble, asserted Mary Manuel.
Lena Meskeer, of the Maricopa Reservation, considers ratany the most important medicinal plant. For sore throat a piece of the root is chewed all day; for fever, half a cup of strong, sour-tasting tea made of the roots, is prescribed. If the pain is not relieved and fever not reduced, the dose should be repeated. For a cough, Domingo Blackwater uses a similar remedy.
Ida Redbird stated that as an absolute prevention against infection," the powdered root of ratany is packed down on the navel of a newborn babe after the cord has been cut.
The roots are boiled in water and the liquid makes brown dye, which the informant, John Scott, thinks is used to color willow withes for basket-making. A more detailed description of the process was given by Walter Rhodes: Dry oeto roots are ground on a metate and about a pint of the powder is added to a gallon of cold water, which is boiled for an hour. The willows are placed in this brew and boiled for half an hour, after which the shoots are removed, rinsed in cold water, and dried in the sun.* * * *
|Rat's sweet potato||Pea|
Quod supra scriptum est:
A low-growing herbaceous perennial, springing from tuberous roots, it thrives in hard alkaline soil, especially when occassionally flooded. It becomes a nuisance along ditches and in cultivated areas. The plant bears yellow flowers, or the stamens are red, and is reputed to be good hog-feed, although the many spherical tubers, about an inch in diameter, are tough.
As described by Lucy Howard, these tubers resemble small sweet potatoes. In olden days they were dug with a sharp stick, but lately with a shovel. When enough are collected, they are boiled and eaten like potatoes and are rather sweet.* * * *
|Pima name:||Hoi itgam|
Hoi itgam bears very handsome, pea-like flowers, and the leaves are evergreen. I encountered great difficulty in cutting of my herbarium specimen with a hunting knife, as the wood is very tough and the branches are protected by spines. Palo-de-hierro has been known to reach thirty-five feet in height, but this is unusual, as the Indians prize its wood highly for firewood, tool handles, etc., and they do not spare the tree long enough for it to reach maturity. My Japanese gardener (confined in a concentration camp) spent weeks polishing a large slab of the trunk which ultimately acquired a handsome gloss, and he made of it a gift that I value.
This tree grows at an altitude of 2,500 feet, also in washes, where the seeds have been carried down. The Pima used to gather the fallen beans and roast them in a pit or in earthen bowls over a fire. The beans were parched and eaten whole, or ground and mixed with water to make pinole, and the flavor resembled that of acorns or peanuts, I was informed by George Webb.* * * *
These shrubs or low trees are well known throughout the Southwest and are of economic importance. They bear small, feathery leaves, large straight spines, and yellow sweet-scented flowers followed by bean-pods which are relished by man and beast for their sugar content. The blossoms are a great favorite with bees; the wood is used for fence-posts and as fuel.
The black gum of the mesquite (kwi choovadak) has been comforting for many ailments. When boiled with a little water, it is applied to sore lips, to chapped and cracked fingers, as a lotion for "bad disease," and it is taken internally "to cleanse the system." As a tea it is held in the mouth to heal painful gums. Mary Manuel stated that "when the first Indians came, they started using this same resin for sores." Another informant, Annie Thomas, recommended the gum boiled in water and applied to burns, which treatment prevents soreness. At Salt River Reservation, dry mesquite beans are boiled and the decoction used as a bleach after severe sunburn.
Domingo Blackwater asserted that young mesquite roots are made into a tea and drunk to overcome diarrhea.
According to Feliciana de Vasquez: "Mesquite is a cool plant, therefore it should not be given for high fever; but it is good for bad headache and stomach trouble. The green leaves are rubbed between the hands, crushed in water, strained, and a pinch of sugar or salt added. This makes a cooling drink."
My Maricopa informant, Ida Redbird, revealed the following: "To prevent infection in the navel of a newborn child, mesquite gum is pounded into powder and mixed with very fine sand strained through cheesecloth. The compound is then tasted, and if not too bitter, it is sprinkled on the navel and pressed down. For pink eye, Ida's uncle used to pound the green mesquite leaves, boil a handful in water, and place them on his eyes, a treatment that gave him relief."
The Pima are vain about their hair, hence as soon as it commences to turn grey, they resort to a dye made as follows: Mesquite gum is boiled in water and the decoction applied to the hair with a rag. Black clay or mud, which forms in ditches is plastered on the dyed hair and allowed to remain over night; before sunrise the following morning this is washed of in three tubs of water. "You are uncomfortable during the night, but your hair is very black after the treatment," said Ruby Allen. The customary shampoo for dark hair is made of bit, or black mud, which is plastered on the head, allowed to remain all day, and washed off with cold water in the evening, according to Juan Leonard. Bartlett (vol. II, p. 230) wrote: "They have a singular practice of filling their hair with clay; so that when dried it resembles a great turban. I could not imagine their object in adopting so filthy a custom, unless it was to destroy the vermim"
To make a paint for pottery, according to information by Mary Manuel, mesouite resin is boiled in a small quantity of water.
Lena Meskeer, on the Maricopa Reservation, considers mesquite beans the most important of all wild foods; and Chamberlin wrote in 1849: "We set about to kill some birds but did not succeed very well; however, we should not have suffered, as long as beans were so abundant."
For a good sweet drink, called vau, mesquite beans (vihok, called algarroba by Mexicans) are pounded in a stone mortar, cold water is mixed with the powder, then the product is strained. To prepare dumplings, the beans are boiled in water until soft, allowed to cool, then pressed out with the hands; the remaining liquid is again boiled and small flat wheat-flour tortillas added. This is simmered until no juice remains. On the Salt River Reservation a mush is made from mesquite beans.
From Lewis Manuel came the information that catkins are sucked because they are sweet; and they are called kwi hiawsik (hiawsik, meaning 'blossom'). Josie Taylor stated that one of the sweets the Indians ate in olden times was mesquite gum which they consumed raw or which they prepared by covering with hot ashes, causing the gum to swell.
See Badianus Manuscript (p. 200); Wooton and Standley (pp. 419-421); Saunders (pp. 61-66); Castetter (pp. 43-45); Chamberlin (p. 179); Kearney and Peebles (p. 420); Russell (pp. 66 et seq.).* * * *
|Common name:||Fremont screwbean||Family:||Leguminosae|
The screwbean, so called from the character of its spirally twisted seedpods, is a tall shrub or small tree commonly found growing in river valleys, as it loves moist, heavy saline soil. Fresh pods of the bushes are so rich in sugar that children chew them for their sweet taste, and all kinds of grazing animals relish both the pods and the feathery leafage. Tornillo is a brother of mesquite, yet it is not found so extensively as the latter. The wood is used for fence-posts and is an excellent fuel.
Roots of the screwbean bush are boiled and the healing tea used for washing sores. Mason McAffee stated that the dry roots are pounded into powder, which is dusted over sores.
To cure a woman who was having trouble with her menses, Lucy Howard gave tea made of the roots of this plant. "She is up and around."
Screwbeans were ground, mixed with water, and drunk as a gruel. This was a sweet and nourishing beverage, asserted Lewis Manuel.* * * *
These annual herbs are abundant over dry plains, and hills up to 3,000 feet altitude, and they supply excellent fodder. They bear a great quantity of mucilaginous, shiny brown seeds resembling the imported psyllium.
Teresa Conger described the following cure for diarrhea: "Early in the morning, before eating, half a cup of ripe seeds, which have been gathered and stored, and half a cup of water are mixed and allowed to stand a short time. Before this mixture jells too hard, it is administered. The dose for a baby is one tablespoon of seeds to half a glass of water."
This plant requires a wet season to produce seeds, which must be gathered at the right time, for in a few days they become scattered and are gone. White people use these seeds to stimulate bowel activity and to provide lubrication.* * * *
This coarse annual gives trouble to both the farmer and his stock, as the burs mat horses' tails and manes, and are dangerous if used as fodder.
M. C. Stevenson states that the poorer Zuñi even ate the seeds of a species of Xanthium.
Sacaton Flats Club recommended fresh cocklebur leaves mashed and placed on screw-worm sores in livestock. George Webb says the burs are boiled and a half cup of the strong tea is taken either for constipation or for diarrhea.
Russell (p. 80) was told that the pulp of the cocklebur was combined with soot as a remedy for sore eyes, but its use may have become obsolete within the last forty years, as no one mentioned this treatment to me.* * * *
|Pima name:||Vashai soof|
This and a related species, C. rotundus L., flourish in swamps and are readily distributed by irrigation water. Near Scottsdale the white settlers complained to me that their lawns were invaded by a sedge which they found impossible to eradicate because of the small tubers by which it propagates. Walter Rhodes informed me that the Pima say that the early name for Scottsdale was vashai, 'grass'; soof, 'scented,' because the plant was so abundant there.
Mr. Rhodes stated that for coughs, or indeed any kind of cold, the fresh or dry tubers, which "pucker like green persimmons and are astringent," were chewed until the taste disappeared, when they were discarded.
Dean McArthur asserted that a certain man at Co-op grew vashai soof for snake-bite. A tuber of yellow nut-grass was chewed and the quid immediately applied to the wound, followed by another. When this remedy was used the wound was never lanced, as is done in most cases. In about three days the patient was walking around.
When Lewis Manuel's father, Charles Sampson, who was known as Mooi Choo-edaks (meaning 'has many coals' because of his bad habit of fibbing) went with others to hunt jackrabbits in spring and summer, he spent all day in the chase. To "pep up" his horse, he chewed nut-grass tubers and spat them up the animal's nostrils, according to Lewis Manuel.* * * *
This particular sedge is common along streams and ditches up to an altitude of 4,000 feet.
According to Kearney and Peebles (p. 161), E. Palmer reported that in olden times sedge seeds were eaten by Cocopa Indians along the lower Colorado River. At Stotonic I learned that the Pima ate the small tubers which they stated grow on the roots.* * * *
|Yerba de la golondrina|
This small lacy plant grows close to the ground in sandy soil on gravelly plains and low mesas. When in bloom it becomes an exquisite botanical gem and can be enjoyed even without a magnifying glass.
George Webb described a treatment for snake bite: The wound is lanced immediately, the poison sucked out, and the juice of the spurge plant is squeezed into the cut. The green plant is chewed and the juice swallowed, causing vomiting, followed by sweating. "The man surely is very sick." Angel Sanchez advises that a tourniquet be quickly applied, the wound cut, and bathed with tea made of spurge. A hot poultice of the boiled plant should be bound on before and after retiring, and several times a day. "It will surely cure," he asserted.
Ida Redbird's husband, a Maricopa, boasted that eating the spurge while driving cattle would not affect him. However, on one occasion he ate too much and was forced to dismount, vomit, and roll around on the ground in great pain. This tale of hlm was related by his son. Now, when constipated, the same man isolates himself and eats a small quantity of spurge which acts as an emetic and a laxative, but it cures his trouble.
Another Maricopa, Lena Meskeer, chews the root of the spurge, which grows in the hills, for stomach trouble. This makes her vomit and loosens her bowels.
Mr. Peebles told me that this plant, related to the castor bean, is poisonous and that he would rather suffer from rattlesnake bite than take the remedy. While talking recently with an educated Hopi, I brought up the subject of the use of spurge by his people for snake bite and he answered, "Yes, we use poison to fight poison."
Martinez records (p. 300): There exists a hierba de la golondrina (Muleje B. California) that appears to be the same species named above, or one closely related. Of this it is said that it has properties of curing bites of scorpions and snakes and is much esteemed for such cases. It is applied locally to the affected part. This has not been proved.* * * *
Quod supra scriptum est:
Brought from the Old World tropics and well established on the American continent, this shrub bears large, handsome, shiny leaves tinged with red, and ornamental spring seed-pods. It produces castor and lubricating oil, and is cultivated as a decorative plant. It is poisonous.
When a child, Lewis Manuel said that he would eat the beans without ill effect, whereas the Pima poison gophers by placing several beans in the animals' holes. The dry beans are ground on a metate and the powder is sprinkled on any kind of sores, although no bandage is used.
For constipation and headache two or three beans are shelled and eaten, and they act as a purge, according to Ida Redbird. For the latter ailment, Isaac Howard advises that the brow be bound very tightly. "By this method the pain is made to leave."* * * *
|Pima name:||Sai oos|
Jimmyweed, which has a small yellow flower, often grows on overgrazed range land, in saline soil, or along the roadside in irrigated districts.
Juanita Manuel chews the fresh leaves to alleviate coughing. For muscular pain, Fanny Wilson recommended that the skin be scarified with a bit of glass and a handful of rayless goldenrod warmed and pressed against the afflicted part. She also stated that this plant, when dry, is used for kindling, as it burns like paper.
Mr. Fleming informed me that Aplopappus is called "jimmyweed" by cowmen because, when eaten by horses or cattle, it gives them the "jimmies." According to Kearney and Peebles (pp. 907-908) the effects are still more serious because if a cow eats the plant in quantity the calf gets "milk sickness" or the "trembles" and the disease is transmissible through the milk to human beings.* * * *
Two species of Encelia are found in Arizona, whereas there is only one in New Mexico, and that is rarely seen. E. farinosa is a low, branching plant which, during early spring, covers dry, rocky hillsides with a blanket of golden bloom. The plant is of dome-shape, grows about three feet high, bears gray leaves, and its leafless flower-stalks rise above the bush. The resinous branches make a quick fire and the yellow secretion is gathered and chewed, which was done in Russell's time.
Drs. Castetter and Underhill (pp. 59, 71) state that the Papago smeared this resin on their water-bottles, and to prepare their arrowshafts to receive the points the slit ends were dipped in the boiling gum of the brittlebush. They preferred the latter to mesquite gum, which melts in the sun, and the too sticky secretion of the creosote bush.
Brittlebush spreads into Mexico, where it has been given the names incienso, hierba del vaso, palo blanco (white stick), and hierba ceniza (herb of ashes).
Mary Beal wrote: "The common name most favored by botanists is Incienso , which came to us from Mexico with the early padres, where its resinous gum was burned as incense, exhaling a strong penetrating fragrance. Thence too came the name Yerba del vaso, from its use as a pain reliever. The gum was heated and smeared on the body, especially on the chest and on the side. This versatile resin also served as a primitive chewing gum and when melted made a good varnish."* * * *
|Common name:||False Cocklebur||Family:||Compositae|
Bur-sage is a common and troublesome weed bordering streams and spreading over irrigated fields. The burs are armed with hook-tipped spines which are difficult to remove from clothing and the coats of animals.
To loosen a cough, the leaves are warmed and spread on the chest and allowed to remain over night. "We warm it up and put it on rheumatic pains, then you get good feelings," said a Papago of the Salt River Reservation.
Angel Sánchez, a Mexican, claims this plant is called chicura by the Indians and for women's pains and menstrual hemorrhage the roots are crushed and boiled, as they are better than the leaves. The decoction is strained through a clean cloth, placed out-of-doors over night, and a small cup is administered before breakfast. Sánchez stated that this cures the trouble and that one little root costs twenty-five cents at the drugstore.* * * *
Sunflowers fringe the roadsides and adjacent fields with their bright golden blossoms. They are tall-growing, coarse animals with strong smelling rough leaves and stems. The seeds were eaten by nearly all Indians wherever sunflowers grew, not only raw, but roasted and also ground into meal.
At Salt River Reservation, the inner pulp of the stalk is used as chewing-gum; also, children chew the petals as gum, which stains the mouth yellow. In the same locality the inner pulp of the dry stalk is broken into pieces and strung on a string to make candles which burn down quickly.
Although the taste is very bitter, a decoction of the leaves is made, strained, cooled, and a tablespoon or more is given for high fever until it abates, according to Ruby Allen. Mrs. Goodwin states that the same brew is applied to horses' sores caused by screw-worms. Bringing to mind the question of worms in human beings, I learned from Mary Manuel that in olden days "we did not have them because we ate the right food, but recently my grandchild passed many. All I could do was to make her lie on warm ashes, sprinkle them on her stomach, and massage twice daily. Maybe that cured her, or perhaps she got well because she stopped eating sweetstuff.'
Whiting mentions the dried petals of the sunflower which are ground, the powder mixed with yellow cornmeal and used to decorate Hopi women's faces in the Basket Dance. He also gives several other uses for the plant.* * * *
This short-stemmed annual belongs to the Fetid marigolds, and its small yellow heads are very strong-smelling. Soon after the rains have fallen, chinchweed carpets sandy and gravelly plains and hills in the Lower Sonoran Zone. My specimen was collected at the foot of Sacaton Mountains.
Oitpa, which serves as a laxative, is picked in the flowering season as at that time it contains the medicinal property. The fresh plant is boiled in water, allowed to steep, and strained off; or the dry plant is prepared in the drunk in large quantities throughout the day.* * * *
|Pima name:||Oos hawkmaki|
Flowering in the spring, this rank-smelling shrub forms dense thickets along streams throughout the state in the Lower Sonoran Zone. It is browsed by deer, horses, and cattle, and the pinkish flowers are an important source of honey.
A medicine-man could effect an immediate cure for snake bite on a horse by chewing the roots of arrow-weed and spitting on the open sore, according to Isaac Howard. Stephen Jones said that a tea made of the roots boiled in water is good for sore eyes.
For stomachache and diarrhea, the roots are washed, crushed while still fresh, and boiled into a strong tea, a cup or two of which is administered. Ida Redbird has tested this remedy with success. She also suggests chewing the root and applying it all over the body to sooth a nervous child that cries out in its sleep.
In olden days a fire was started by twisting a length of dry arrow-wood between the palms of the hands with a downward movement into a groove made in a sahuaro rib. Dry horse manure was used as tinder. In pottery-making any wood was used for the bed of coals, and the kiln was built of cow manure, I was informed by Stephen Jones.* * * *
|Pima name:||Hwai hoehoevo||Sunflower|
Quod supra scriptum est:
A coarse, succulent annual introduced from Europe and now common along roadsides and in waste places. Kearney and Peebles (p. 1028) give the following information: "A gum obtained by the evaporation of the juice of this plant is said to be a powerful cathartic and it has been used as a so-called cure for the opium habit."
Hwai hoehoevo ('deer lashes') tastes sweet, and the leaves are rubbed between the palms of the hands and eaten raw, as are the ender stems. The leaves are also cooked as greens, stated Lewis Manuel. When they are young and tender, these greens are boiled in salted water, with chile added, and eaten by the Yaqui, I was informed by Valensuelo.* * * *
|Pima name:||S'hoitgamivakhi||Chicory tribe|
Sonchus asper, naturalized from Europe, is found in six Arizona counties and is a common weed in gardens and cultivated fields.
'Prickly greens' was the meaning given by Women's Club for s'hoitgamivakhi. The tender leaves are rubbed between the palms and eaten raw, or they are cooked as greens. The stalks are peeled and eaten raw like celery, said Walkingstick, and according to Lewis Manuel these stems quench thirst and the whole plant is bitter.
Russell (p. 77) says that "the leaf of this thorny plant is eaten raw or boiled."* * * *
|Pima name:||Svockhi oos|
Tamarix, naturalized from North Africa, is a large shrub or tree cultivated for hedges. A handsome, feathery plant, it bears minute flowers varying in shade from white to dark pink.
Svockhi oos ('red stick') is planted for winter wood supply and for its grateful shade which keeps summer kitchens cool, although the Indians complain that nothing else will grow within a large radius of the trees.* * * *
Martynias are coarse, clammy, annual herbs with thick stems, sizable leaves, and few flowers. They bear large, fleshy, beaked pods which, when dry, split into hooklike appendages. Ihuk is cultivated by the Pima for use in basket-making, although it grows wild on plains and mesas.
Two species of Martynia occur on the reservation, M. parviflora Wooton and M. arenaria Engelm. The former, according to information from local Indians, is the species most used in basketry. It has comparatively small purple flowers, while M. arenaria has larger, yellow flowers. The young pods are used for food by natives in Sonora, and the Papago still use them for this purpose. Mr. Odd Halseth stated that the dry seeds are cracked between the teeth and eaten like pine-nuts by the Pima.
For rheumatic pains a small piece of claw is broken off and pressed into the flesh, then lighted and allowed to burn. "Just for fun" the fresh seeds are chewed and the juice swallowed according to George Webb.* * * *
|Pima name:||Chi ul||Willow|
These trees, which grow to the height of forty-five feet, are to be found along streams throughout most of Arizona.
Eric Stone (p. 35) states that the Pima and other tribes made a decoction of the leaves and bark which they drank as a febrifuge. The efficacy of this remedy is further verified by Kearney and Peebles (pp. 216-217), who tell us that the drug salicin, obtained from the bark of various willow species, has febrifugal value, as well as other properties. (See Industries.)
The Pima distinguish between the full-grown tree and the young shrub-like shoots, insisting that they are different species. Chi ul signifies "sweet," and the catkins are eaten raw.
In making the outdoor storage basket, hawmda, the work is commenced with wands from this willow. Slips are planted to form fences, Lewis Manuel stated.* * * *
|Common name:||Valley cottonweed||Family:||Salicaceae|
|Pima name:||Aupa (Aupa haupuldak)||Willow|
A great boon to the arid Southwest is the cottonwood tree, often planted for its refreshing shade. Preferring broad river valleys where the soil is moderately moist, occasionally it reaches 100 feet in height and a circumference of four feet. The buds are resinous, the catkins long and drooping, and the wood is light and pulpy.
Fence-posts are made of cottonwood, which is useful also as fuel, but it is poor in either case. The young green pods, aupa haupuldak, are chewed as gum and the twigs are employed in certain basket-making at Lehi.
A handful of aupa ha hak (cottonwood leaves) is boiled in a pint of water and sores are washed with the decoction. Like greasewood, this is very healing. For hair-dye a brew was made from cottonwood leaves, strained and mixed with tea from mesquite bark on the Salt River Reservation.
Copyright © 1884. The Arizona Board of Regents