|Paper||St. George Union|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||Some Indian Foods|
|Paper||St. George Union|
i " ' " I Some Indian Foods.1 Ife "Anv inquiry concerning the food of the Abor- . ..c-igiriiesis i interesting, as it reveals many plants ' i which might be used as food in times of scarcity, u iind which arc, wholly unknown to common people l ) and very little known by men of science. It is -not to'be understood that the substances which we , -f describe are used by all Indians. Those who re-''reiye re-''reiye annuities and those who arc confined to reservations, res-ervations, having become partly agricultural find other means of subsistence. But the wild, unsettled unset-tled tribes, who travel over thousands of miles of territory, and never remain in the same spot ir,or(e v. Ik than Mo or three days, are often compelled to make use of singular substances. Very few organic or-ganic substances, not known to be poisonous, are ' . to be found, which do not enter into their list of j foods. ' , . ' Clover enters very largely into the list. It is ! generally boiled, hut sometimes eaten in its raw " state. "Their manner of boiling their food HMiig- I .- ular, and it may be well to describe it. First, a I- hollow ih a rock is found, large enough to contain 1 . a sufficient quantity of water, then a fire is built, ; " and stones are heated red hot. The hollow is fill- f ed with water; and the red hot stones are dropped I into it; as fast as they are cooled they are taken I ' out, and their places filled with others. In this 1 j manner nearly all their vegetable foods are cooked., lt , The root of the yellow pond lily forms an nn- 1 , t- portant item. . It is found in the water fotir or five I ' feet deep, and the Indian women dive for it, 1 ' brfnging it up in pieces one or two feet long. . Musk rats store it up in large quantities, and the I Indians contrive to steal their supply. The seeds are also ustjd either ground and made into cake, or parched and eaten like pop corn. The root of a species of fern known as the Pier i aQxiilma. has a pungency which reders it disagrcjib'ie to the taste when raw, is roasted and I eaten in large quantities. When properly cooked ! it has a taste similar to that of wheat dough. The root of the cattail flag is a favorite dish, whether roasted, or boiled, or pound ad, and made into a cake. Before starting on a jourrtey, the Indians genurally procure a quantity of this' foot lb chew on the way, as a preventative of thirst. The inner bark of nearly all trees is eaten, but .thatof'thc pine is cdnsideredi choicest. That of the birch is next in flavor. It is generally dried, jpouhded.' and made into bfcrul. When new and' fresh, this bread is not unpleasant . to the tastet "but "when old, it has a "strong flavor resembling the wood of which it is made. The tender twigs of.manv trees are olten. chopped and Cooked m oil. When cooked in buffalo Hit, they form a very agreable dish, though not very nutritious. 'I he fruit of a' species of cactus known as the "Spanish bayonet!" is highly esteemed when fresh and green; but when ripe and dry, it ia a powerful cathartic. Some soldiers once captured a-a;large amount from the Apaches, arid being ur-acqu;tinted ur-acqu;tinted with its properties, ate a considerable quantity. The result was, that for some ' time no calls were made on the medicine chest lor saks or castor oil. s Of animals, no part except the skeleton is re, :- .fit f jectedf and .as 'Six a$my observations extend, there is' no living thing which they wi 1 refuse. Snakes, toads,'bugs, Hzni-ds, worms, and vermin of all'kinds are acceptable and are eaten with a rdish.B. C. Mo'rsbce, in 'The, Growing World. Acorns, also, arc consumed as food, either made into cakes, bread, or mush.. The acorns are j bitter, but the bitterness is extracted by filtering, , first removing the shells, thert pounding them in a ' kind of mortar until they are , fine as' ordinary meal: A shallow basin is then ' scooped but in cbarse. sand,' the1 meal placed in this basin and water poured on it until" the bitter taste has1 all been filtered out., They frequently, "taste the .mat by placing the fore'fingjpr in the basin, a peculiar twisting motion. causes a large quantity to adhere and this is dexterously transferred to the nibht'h.; When the filtering is satisfactory, the top is gath- , eredand dried or used at once as may be required. ' That at the bottom is taken up with a gooddeal df sand. Water is then added to reduce its cpnsis-tency cpnsis-tency and allow the sand to sink to the bottom The top is then poured off carefully. 'Xliis i re; peated several times; until at the end not an ounce of the mqal will he Avastcd. Our Illustration, (which we obtained from James Vick, Rochester. N. Y.) shows a group of Natives preparing the acorns for food. : In Vick's Floral Guide we findthe following interesting article concerning thfc Indians of . the Vosemite Valley; California, which we consider worthy of space ,in our columns in connection with the above: . . . n K M'' - ' uThe Indians of the valley are not without thir traditions. Once they were happy and prosperous prosper-ous ; the valley war. fertile and rain abundant, fur- i ft."' ' nishing them with corn and wild fruit, while the , m -1 neighboring mountains abounded in game. They 9 '- .were the favorites of a Grc'at Spirit who watched 1 w ' n over their interests, and who was tsometimes seen ,'; Jf j on the North. Dome, where he usually came to , m ". look upon the pleasant valley and hisrtdchildrcn. , v' A , On the opposite side of the valley is.-a mountain ' jt M ;, called Cloud's llest, because at almost all times -- m fleecy clouds maybe seen hovering about its crest. a Occasionally a beautiful goddess was, seen on this 1 mountain beautiful as the rainbow and glorious ., f as the sun. By some wickedu'ecs the chiefs had , 5 ; offended hcir godand he had departed fropithern. 1 ,r , j It Gained n'o more, their corn Vas ruined, the . streams dried, and 'the game forsdok the moun- - taiiis. , The' poor Indians were starving. In vain ! .they app.ealed to their god, who rertaincd deaf to J their cries.. The beautiful goddess sat on one of the fleecy clouds on the summit of Cloud's Rest. ' ! She saw their condition, her heart was filled with ; compassion, and in mercy caused the mountains tu bring forth water, and the MorcedJ' or River of ' .1 Merev, to floy through their vallejvbringirig hope and life to the hopeless and dying. : ' The Indians of the Yosemitfj believe in a Good - ' , , : and a Bad Spirit. The Good Spirit is the Indian's , i friend, but. tnc Bad Spirit is on (he constant watch -, to do them harm. They think, too, that man pos- ' sesses an immortal spirit, and its- home b the heart. It lives there, .even after the man is apparently appar-ently dead, until mortification sets "in, when it Is compelled to abandon its failing tenemeut. The J Good Spirit watches for the xnomeut whfcn thf V spirit of tlie Indian is compelled to leave its if tor- ' sMM tal home, to conduct it to the Indians1 hapny hunt- m ing grounds. The Bad Spirit is eaually alert, and Km if possible will seize the poor Indian's soul the fflM moment-it leaves the body, to drag it away tn a MM home of poverty and misery. The Bad ,bpit ,jm though abounding in evil, is not very smart, and 4fi is often deceived, evqn by the Indians. ffTJie plan tm of 4'foolrngM the Evll'Spirit is this:,. The hodv MM miist be destroyed speedil3'. so that the Indians fJM may know Just the time ynun the soul ,t:il;fs lU &BJ departure. To 'accpmplish' t'hts they hum their tfp dead. ,The friends are all summoned tu attend mm ihc funeral. The pile of wepd is; arranged so as MB 'to insure rapid" combustion.. After the hoily is wm placed upon the pile, the nearest Relative commn- clfl liicates the fire. All atlqu.ding 4the funeral are 11 drcsjsd in the mojt uncouth garbs imaginable, MM and are painted in the most frightful' manner. WM Each one carries'.! flag, painted with tome un- , WM couth or horriple p'esign- As soon as the fire fjL'fl reaches the body, they commence dancing and pm .wliboping around the pile, making the most i right- M fuL noise possible, jumping anil leaping, assault- M ingeach other, etc. all of which attracts tlie at- Rj teptfon of the Bad Spirit, when suddenly, as the fl fire reaches the heart, the spirit of the poor Indian I escapes, and the bad fellow after awhile wakes up f to find that in consequence of nut attending his business lias lost the game."