Indian Uses of Plants found on Panorama Vista and Vicinity

 

Arrowweed

Arrow shafts

Bakersfield Cactus

Moccasin (pad)

Blackberry

Food (fresh or dried and boiled;  dried cakes traded for steatite near Lindsay)

Blue Dicks

Food (corms;  “Indian potatoes’)

Buttonwillow

Arrow shafts

California wild grape

Food (fresh, not dried; juice; vines to line acorn leaching pits;  leaves to wrap acorn bread for baking);  binding (vines)

Caterpiller phacelia

Food (leaves)

Cattail

Tinder (fluff);  food (short roots or rhizomes;  flowers for bread)

Cottonwood

Fire-making hearth;   tinder (shredded root);  skirts (inner sapwood split into sheets); cordage (epicormic shoots); Basketry (root); twig beaters; baby cradles

Fiddleneck

Food  (seeds)

Grass (dry)

Tinder; food (seeds);  bundles held to  scatter the flow of water during acorn leaching

 

Greens:  clover,  miners lettuce, monkeyflower (before flowering)

Food (raw or cooked)

Elderberry

Fire Drills (young shoots); flutes; clapper sticks;  food (berries, dried, then boiled); tobacco pipes; javelins or spears

Jimsonweed

Medicine;  ceremonial, used with great caution

Mormon tea

Drink

Milkweed

Fiber (from stems collected in early winter;  milkweed  string  used to tie up hair, weave into carrying straps,  incorporate in women’s skirts;  thicker cords to tie tules together in a mat; 30 foot long nets to catch rabbits on a drive);  sap (medicine)

Monkeyflower

Food (leaves)

Mugwort

Medicine

Mulefat

Fire Drills

Nettle

Fiber (string to make into carrying straps, bind tules together)

Owls clover

Food (seeds)

Oak

Digging sticks; food (acorns;  Valley Oak acorns large and thin-shelled, easy to crack);  dice (caps stuffed with asphaltum, studded with shell beads or abalone shell;  black walnut shells used for same purpose)

Saltgrass

Salt

Tule

Food (roots pounded and dried and seeds); thatching;  mats as home partitions;  sleeping mats; clothing;   basketry;  boats or rafts

Wild Rose

Food (hips);  medicine (dried petals); ornaments (hips)

Wild Tobacco

Smoking tobacco (leaves dried, powdered, perhaps mixed with water to make dried plugs);  medicine

Willow

Basketry ;  aprons and skirts (bark);   looped stirring sticks; spears; fish weirs/traps; arrows; cordage;  poles for house frames

 

 

Sources: 

Anderson, M. Kat Anderson.  Tending the Wild

Lightfoot, Kent G. and Tis Parrish.  California Indians and their Environment.  California Natural History Guides.

Latta, Frank.  The Handbook of the Yokuts.