Tobacco Use by Native North Americans: Sacred Smoke and Silent Killer

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Recently identified as a killer, tobacco has been the focus of health warnings, lawsuits, and political controversy. Yet many Native Americans continue to view tobacco-when used properly-as a life-affirming and sacramental substance that plays a significant role in Native creation myths and religious ceremonies.

This definitive work presents the origins, history, and contemporary use (and misuse) of tobacco by Native Americans. It describes wild and domesticated tobacco species and how their cultivation and use may have led to the domestication of corn, potatoes, beans, and other food plants. It also analyzes many North American Indian practices and beliefs, including the concept that Tobacco is so powerful and sacred that the spirits themselves are addicted to it. The book presents medical data revealing the increasing rates of commercial tobacco use by Native youth and the rising rates of death among Native American elders from lung cancer, heart disease, and other tobacco-related illnesses. Finally, this volume argues for the preservation of traditional tobacco use in a limited, sacramental manner while criticizing the use of commercial tobacco.

Contributors are: Mary J. Adair, Karen R. Adams, Carol B. Brandt, Linda Scott Cummings, Glenna Dean, Patricia Diaz-Romo, Jannifer W. Gish, Julia E. Hammett, Robert F. Hill, Richard G. Holloway, Christina M. Pego, Samuel Salinas Alvarez, Lawrence A Shorty, Glenn W. Solomon, Mollie Toll, Suzanne E. Victoria, Alexander von Garnet, Jonathan M. Samet, and Gail E. Wagner.

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Product Details

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Part One: Traditional Uses of Tobacco by Native Americans
1. Introduction to North American Tobacco Species (Joseph C. Winter)
2. Traditional Uses of Tobacco by Native Americans (Joseph C. Winter)
3. North American Indigenous NICOTIANA Use and Tobacco Shamanism: The Early Documentary Record, 1520-1660 (Alexander von Gernet)
4. Ethnobotanical Notes from Zuni Pueblo (Carol B. Brandt)
Part Two: Description of the North American Tobaccos
5. Botanical Description of the North American Tobacco Species (Joseph C. Winter)
6. Out of California: Cultural Geography of Western North American Tobacco (Julia E. Hammett)
Part Three: The Archaeobotanical Study of Tobacco
7. Tobacco Use, Ecology, and Manipulation in the Prehistoric and Historic Southwestern United States (Karen R. Adams and Mollie S. Toll)
8. Tobacco on the Plains: Historical Use, Ethnographic Accounts, and Archaeological Evidence (Mary J. Adair)
9. Tobacco in Prehistoric North America (Gail E. Wagner)
Part Four: The Identification of Tobacco Pollen
10. Prehistoric Tobacco Pollen in Southwestern Colorado: Distribution and Possible Contamination (Linda Scott Cummings)
11. Morphological Studies of New Mexico Solanaceae Pollen (Richard G. Holloway and Glenna Dean)
12. Morphological Distinctiveness of NICOTIANA Pollen and the Potential for Identifying Prehistoric Southwest Tobacco Use through Pollen Analysis (Jannifer W. Gish)
Part Five: Evolution of the Use of Tobacco by Native Americans
13. From Earth Mother to Snake Woman: The Role of Tobacco in the Evolution of Native American Religious Organization (Joseph C. Winter)
14. Food of the Gods: Biochemistry, Addiction, and the Development of Native American Tobacco Use (Joseph C. Winter)
Part Six: The Negative Health Effects of Tobacco Use
15. Health Effects of Tobacco Use by Native Americans: Past and Present (Jonathan M. Samet)
16. The Huichol Indians, Tobacco, and Pesticides (Patricia Diaz-Romo and Samuel Salinas Alvarez)
17. Native Americans and Tobacco: Deer Person's Gift or Columbus's Curse? (Joseph C. Winter, Glenn W. Solomon, Robert F. Hill, Christina M. Pego, and Suzanne E. Victoria)
18. Tricky Toes, Those Coyote Smokes: How Coyote Learned the True Power of Tobacco (Lawrence A. Shorty)
List of Contributors

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