Indian Use of Wild Plants for Crafts, Food, Medicine, and Charms

SKU: 091964516X

Frances Densmore
Grade Levels:
Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Adult Education, College, University
Ojibwe, Woodland
Book Type:

Sale price$9.55


Indian Use of Wild Plants for Crafts, Food, Medicine, and Charms is the unabridged reprint of Uses of Plants by the Chippewa Indians in the 44th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, 1928. Frances Densmore (1867-1957) was an ethnomusicologist with the Smithsonian Institution and her research into Ojibwe music brought her to the study of over 200 plants used by the Ojibwe of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Northern Ontario from 1908-20. Most of her 43 informants were women living on the White Earth, Red Lake, Cass Lake, Leech Lake, and Mille Lac Reservations in Minnesota, the Lac Court Oreilles Reservation in Wisconsin, and the Manitou Rapids Reserve in Ontario. Her primary informant and translator was Mary Warren English of White Earth. The text is organized around the use of plants as food, medicine, charms, dyes, and in the creation of household articles and decorative arts. Charts listing the plants according to their scientific, common and Ojibwe names are provided as well as a list of their medicinal properties. The importance of healing plants used to treat disease and injury are recorded. Included are 33 plates each containing several photographs. The detailed first-hand information about collecting, preserving and using medicinal plants is invaluable. Methods of harvesting and cooking wild rice, making maple sugar, and preparing beverages, vegetables and fruits are detailed. In the decorative arts section, the author describes in text and photographs the intricate work of Ojibwe women in the creation of birch-bark biting as art. Also included are two stories about Winabojo (Nanabosho) and the birch and cedar trees. Unfortunately there is no index but the table of contents lists the amazing amount of information in this classic of ethnology.

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