Processing Dried-out Čhaŋšáša

Oops. I let the čhaŋšáša dry out — again. Have you ever gotten so busy that you just didn’t get to processing the čhaŋšáša you harvested before the bark got all dried out? Or maybe you just forgot about a piece, and discovered the poor, dried-up stick in a corner somewhere, months later? I’ve doneContinue reading “Processing Dried-out Čhaŋšáša”

Pȟežíȟota kiŋ Hinápȟa: 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 kiŋ Hinápȟa: 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”

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”

Čhaŋšáša in Winter

I realized I’ve never posted a good picture of what this shrub looks like in the winter. I guess I’m usually too busy scrambling over snowbanks to get it, and trying to keep warm. I don’t usually pull out my phone, or take off my glove to memorialize the occasion. Thankfully, Sitting Bull College hasContinue reading “Čhaŋšáša in Winter”

Waȟčázi sú kiŋ / Sunflower seed

Waníyetu wóečhuŋ/ winter projects. This is another entry in my series of winter projects. Wahčázi sú kiŋ / the seeds of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus) are one of my favorite Indigenous North American traditional foods that many people don’t realize originate in the Americas. Then and now, they’re an important source of food and oil.Continue reading “Waȟčázi sú kiŋ / Sunflower seed”

Wagméza kačháŋ / Winnowing corn

Waníyetu wóečhuŋ / winter projects. When working with traditional foods and plants, especially in a climate like Standing Rock’s where we have at least 5 months of winter, the work we do is highly seasonal. Some people would assume this means that there is nothing plant-related to do for 5 months out of the year.Continue reading “Wagméza kačháŋ / Winnowing corn”

Napé oílekiyapi / Dogbane / Apocynum cannabinum

Waníyetu wóečhuŋ/ winter projects, latest installment: My cousin and I spent Christmas (not our religion, but a day off from work) making some Dogbane cordage. It creates a strong string or rope, and is fun to make. Here, you can see all 3 stages, from the dry stalks to the broken-down fibers, to the finalContinue reading “Napé oílekiyapi / Dogbane / Apocynum cannabinum”