Ethnobotany of the Gitksan Indians of British Columbia

Overview

During the 1920s Harlan I. Smith, an archaeologist with the National Museum of Canada, documented plant and animal knowledge and use among the Gitksan, Nuxalk and Ulkatcho Carrier of British Columbia. This volume is an edited version of a manuscript by Smith, which contains information on 112 botanical species and their traditional cultural roles among the Gitksan. Prepared between 1925 and 1927, Smith's work is the earliest, relatively comprehensive ethnobotanical study for any Tsimshianic group, the first ...
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Overview

During the 1920s Harlan I. Smith, an archaeologist with the National Museum of Canada, documented plant and animal knowledge and use among the Gitksan, Nuxalk and Ulkatcho Carrier of British Columbia. This volume is an edited version of a manuscript by Smith, which contains information on 112 botanical species and their traditional cultural roles among the Gitksan. Prepared between 1925 and 1927, Smith's work is the earliest, relatively comprehensive ethnobotanical study for any Tsimshianic group, the first record of a clearly ethnobotanical investigation undertaken in British Columbia, and the first to include the term "ethnobotany" in its title. This thoroughly revised version of the manuscript also offers additional introductory text, ethnobotanical and linguistic commentary, and concluding remarks not found in the original.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780660159683
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1997
  • Series: Mercury Series
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 7.02 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures 1
Acknowledgements 3
Introduction 4
The Gitksan People, Their Language, and Their Homeland 4
Botanical Environment of the Gitksan 9
Brief Account of Harlan I. Smith's Activities at the National Museum Leading to the Production of "Ethno-botany of the Gitksan Indians of British Columbia" 11
Smith's Original Manuscript 11
Pt. 1 H. I. Smith's "Ethno-botany of the Gitksan Indians of British Columbia" 11
Pt. 2 The Gitksan Consultants and Smith's Research Methodology 13
Additional H. I. Smith Materials on Gitksan Ethnobotany and the Kitwanga Garden of Native Plants 14
Transcription of the Gitksan Ethnobotanical Lexicon 15
Botanical Species Collected as Voucher Specimens or Observed and Noted by H. I. Smith 16
Plants and Fungi Known or Used by the Gitksan 18
Fungi (Mushrooms and Their Relatives) 18
Lichens (Lichenized Fungi) 20
Bryophytes (Mosses and Their Relatives) 22
Pteridophytes (Ferns and Their Relatives) 25
Gymnosperms (Conifers and the Taxad, Western Yew) 31
Angiosperms (Flowering Plants), Dicotyledons 47
Angiosperms (Flowering Plants), Monocotyledons 138
Unidentified Species 149
Discussion, Summary, and Conclusions 149
Summary of botanical species used as food or in food-related applications among the Gitksan 150
Summary of botanical species regarded as animal food among the Gitksan 152
Summary of botanical species used as material for technological and other applications among the Gitksan 153
Summary of botanical species used as medicinal applications among the Gitksan 155
Summary of botanical species with ritual or spiritual roles among the Gitksan 157
Summary of botanical species with mythological roles among the Gitksan 158
Summary of botanical species with miscellaneous cultural roles among the Gitksan 159
Summary of botanical species recognized and named among the Gitksan but which lack cultural roles 161
References 166
App. 1 Writing the Gitksan Language 170
App. 2 Botanical species collected or observed by H. I. Smith in 1925 and 1926 171
App. 3 Taxa reported by H. I. Smith in individual species accounts for which no observations or collections were reported 188
App. 4 Botanical species that lack Gitksan names or uses, but which H. I. Smith included in the main body of his original manuscript 190
Index 203
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