Pápa (Bapa) Waháŋpi

This is one of my favorite traditional foods. Pápa (or Bapa, as it’s often called around here) is dried meat, usually wild game — and waháŋpi means “soup.”

The main plant ingredients are sliced thíŋpsiŋla (Pediomelum esculentum) and waštúŋkala (dried sweet corn, Zea mays).

This is a hearty, nourishing winter soup. I had this bowl as part of a wintertime soup and stew cook-off contest at Sitting Bull College. The contest took place during a handgame tournament that we hosted, which attracted competitive teams from 4 states. People got pretty creative, cooking everything from pickle soup to tȟaníǧa. I don’t recall who won, but I definitely voted for this one.

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