Pȟežíȟota Hinápȟe: Spring sage, and Sage Tea

A shot from last spring: The first spring shoots of Pȟežíȟota (ceremonial sage, Artemisia ludoviciana) emerging in on the prairies of Standing Rock in late April 2018. Working with this plant over the years, I have noticed that there are certain times of the year that are better to pick it for certain uses. TheContinue reading “Pȟežíȟota Hinápȟe: Spring sage, and Sage Tea”

Early spring Cattail Fluff

It’s early spring, and the new green shoots of this year’s cattails are just getting started underwater, and aren’t yet visible. But the remains of last autumn’s cattail crop still stand, poking out of the cold water. Weathered by the winter, the cattails turn to fluff in my hands. You can only get the fluffContinue reading “Early spring Cattail Fluff”

Ȟaŋté Ačháȟšlaya – Ice-covered Juniper

Photo taken in Shoshone-Bannock territory, at Massacre Rocks State Park in Idaho. Covered in ice and snow after an early-spring storm in mid-March 2019. There are so many juniper (ȟaŋté) species in North America, and I have yet to learn them all. This one is a little bit thicker, bluer, and more resinous than theContinue reading “Ȟaŋté Ačháȟšlaya – Ice-covered Juniper”

Wamákȟaškaŋ: Finding Food in Winter

A coworker of mine in another city, who grew up in the tropics, reacted with shock when I sent her a picture of a bison standing in deep snow, digging to get to the grasses below for a meal. “Don’t they hibernate during the cold months?” she asked. I won’t get into the biology ofContinue reading “Wamákȟaškaŋ: Finding Food in Winter”

On Čhaŋšáša and Traditional Tobacco

Winter projects, continued: Peeling the red outer bark away to reveal the green cambium layer on a fresh čhaŋšáša branch. Another, more abstract waníyetu wóečhuŋ: reflecting on what “traditional tobacco” means. If you are wondering about ceremonial uses of čhaŋšáša and would like to know more about the traditional teachings around it, there are aContinue reading “On Čhaŋšáša and Traditional Tobacco”

Wild Grape Juice – Čhuŋwíyapehe Iyúwi Haŋpí

Wild grapes. Čhuŋwíyapehe iyúwi. Vitis riparia. I like wild grapes so much better than the domestic ones. They’re the perfect mix of tart and sweet, and there’s also the element of appreciating something you have to work for, since (at least on Standing Rock) harvesting wild grapes involves a trip into the woods, and usuallyContinue reading “Wild Grape Juice – Čhuŋwíyapehe Iyúwi Haŋpí”