Native American Gardening: Buffalobird-Woman's Guide to Traditional Methods

Native American Gardening: Buffalobird-Woman's Guide to Traditional Methods

by Gilbert L. Wilson


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Native American Gardening: Buffalobird-Woman's Guide to Traditional Methods by Gilbert L. Wilson

Early in the 20th century, anthropology student Gilbert Wilson made the first of several trips to an Indian reservation in North Dakota to examine agricultural techniques used among the Hidatsa Indians. This intriguing book is the result of his research. More than a survey of primitive agriculture, however, the work sensitively investigates the activities of a unique culture. With the help of Buffalobird-woman, a Hidatsa native, Wilson not only created a poignant biographical study and a classic anthropological document but also presented a Native American woman's interpretation of economics, with views about the land she cultivated, frequently sprinkled with shrewd and humorous observations.
The text covers a broad spectrum of topics, including methods that will be of lasting value to modern organic gardeners and farmers. Subjects range from useful advice on clearing fields, applying fertilizer, and storing crops for winter to such traditional activities as braiding ears of corn, making squash dolls, and harvesting tobacco blossoms.
Of special interest to anyone practicing sustainable agriculture, Native American Gardening will be of value to anthropologists, economic historians, and anyone fascinated by Native American life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486440217
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 07/26/2005
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter I Tradition
Chapter II Beginning a garden
Clearing fields
Dispute and its settlement
Turtle breaking soil
Turtle's primitive tools
Beginning a field in later times
Trees in the garden
Our west field
Burning over the field
Chapter III Sunflowers
Remark by Maxi'diwiac
Planting sunflowers
Harvesting the seed
Harvesting the mapi'-na'ka
Effect of frost
Parching the seed
Sunflower-seed balls
Chapter IV Corn
A morning's planting
Soaking the seed
Planting for a sick woman
Size of our biggest field
Na'xu and nu'cami
The watchers' stage
Explanation of sketch of watcher's stage
Sweet Grass's sun shade
The watchers
Eating customs
Youths' and maidens' customs
Watchers' songs
Clan cousins' custom
Story of Snake-head-ornament
Green corn and its uses
The ripening ears
Second planting for green corn
Cooking fresh green corn
Roasting ears
Corn bread
Drying green corn for winter
Mape'di (corn smut)
Harvest and uses
The ripe corn harvest
Rejecting green ears
Braiding corn
The small ears
Drying the braided ears
Seed corn
Selecting the seed
Keeping two years' seed
Threshing corn
The booth
Order of the day's work
The cobs
Removing the booth
Threshing braided corn
Amount of harvest
Sioux purchasing corn
Varieties of corn
Description of varieties
How corn travels
Uses of the varieties
Ata'ki tso'ki
Mäpi' nakapa'
Boiled corn ball
Tso'di tso'ki and tso'di tapä'
Madapo'zi i'ti'a
Other soft varieties
Mä'pi mee'pi i''kiuta, or corn balls
Parched soft corn
Parching whole ripe ears
Parching hard yellow corn with sand
Madapo'zi pa'kici, or lye-made hominy
General characteristics of the varieties
Fodder yield
Developing new varieties
Sport ears
Names and description
Chapter V Squashes
Planting squashes
Sprouting the seed
Planting the sprouted seed
Harvesting the squashes
Slicing the squashes
Squash spits
Spitting the slices
In case of rain
Drying and storing
Squash blossoms
Cooking and uses of squash
The first squashes
Boiling fresh squash in a pot
Squashes boiled with blossoms
Other blossom messes
Boiled blossoms
Blossoms boiled with madapo'zi i'ti'a
Blossoms boiled with mäpi'nakapa'
Seed squashes
Selecting for seed
Gathering the seed squashes
Cooking the ripe squashes
Saving the seed
Eating the seed
Roasting ripe squashes
Storing the unused seed squashes
Squashes, present seed
Squash dolls
Chapter VI Beans
Planting beans
Putting in the seeds
Hoeing and cultivating
Selecting seed beans
Cooking and uses
Ama'ca di'he, or beans-boiled
Green beans boiled in the pod
Green corn and beans
Chapter VII Storing for winter
The cache pit
Grass for lining
Grass bundles
The grass binding rope
Drying the grass bundles
The willow floor
The grass lining
Skin bottom covering
Storing the cache pit
The puncheon cover
Cache pits in Small Ankle's lodge
First account
A second account on another day
Diagram of Small Ankle's lodge
Chapter VIII The making of a drying stage
Stages in Like-a-fishhook village
Cutting the timbers
Digging the post holes
Raising the frame
The floor
Staying thongs
Enlarging the stage
Present stages
Building, women's work
Measurements of stage
Drying rods
Other uses of the drying stage
Chapter IX Tools
Squash knives
Chapter X Fields at Like-a-fishhook village
East-side fields
East-side fences
Idikita'c's garden
Fields west of the village
West-side fence
Crops, our first wagon
Chapter XI Miscellanea
Divisions between gardens
Fallowing, ownership of gardens
Frost in the gardens
Maxi'diwiac's philosophy of frost
Men helping in the field
Sucking the sweet juice
Corn as fodder for horses
Disposition of weeds
The spring clean-up
Wild animals
About old tent covers
Chapter XII Since white men came
How we got potatoes and other vegetables
The new cultivation
Iron kettles
Chapter XIII Tobacco
Observations by Maxi'diwiac
The tobacco garden
Arrow-head-earring's tobacco garden
Small Ankle's cultivation
Harvesting the blossoms
Harvesting the plants
Selling to the Sioux
Size of tobacco garden
Accessories to the tobacco garden
The scrotum basket
Old garden sites near Independence

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