Sunday, July 31, 2022

Native American Plant Myths - Plants for Deer Hunters

1590 North American Atlantic Coast Natives by John White (c1540 – c1593). 
The village of Pomeiooc (Pomeiock) was a Native America settlement,
 designated on de Bry’s map of Virginia, Americae Pars Nunc Virginia Dicta,
 between today’s Wyesocking Bay & Lake Landing, North Carolina. 
John White called the settlement Pomeyoo.

For thousands of years, Earth's indigenous people from separate ethnic groups inhabiting a variety of the planet's climates & terrains have searched for and created oral myths about plants & animals. They often used nearby plants not only for food but also as medicines to control ailments afflicting them. Many of these myths were passed down from generation to generation as oral tales before written language.

Extracted from: Myths of the Cherokee. 
19th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 
Washington Government Printing Office 1902  
Recorded by James Mooney (1861-1921) who was an American ethnographer
 living for several years among the Cherokee.

Plant Lore

A flowering vine, known as nuniyu'sti, "potato-like," which grows in cultivated fields, and has a tuberous root somewhat resembling a potato, is used in hunting conjurations. 

The bruised root, from which a milky juice oozes, is rubbed upon the deer bleat, a`wi'-ahyeli'ski, with which the hunter imitates the bleating of the fawn, under the idea that the doe, hearing it, will think that her offspring desires to suck, and will therefore come the sooner. 

The putty-root (Adam-and-Eve, Aplectrum hiemale), which is of an oily, mucilaginous nature, is carried by the deer hunter, who, on shooting a deer, puts a small piece of the chewed root into the wound, expecting as a necessary result to find the animal unusually fat when skinned. 

Infants which seem to pine and grow thin are bathed with a decoction of the same root in order to fatten them.