What is Osha Root?
For more than a millennia, Osha Root has been used by Native Americans. This perennial herb is found in deep rich soil in the mountains of the US and Mexico and is known by many different names: osha root, Porter’s lovage, Porter’s licorice-root, Porter’s wild lovage, Porter’s ligusticum, bear medicine, bear root, lovage, wild lovage, Indian root, Indian parsley, wild parsley, mountain ginseng, mountain carrot, nipo, empress of the dark forest, overoot, Colorado cough root, chuchupate, chuchupati, chuchupaste, chuchupatle, guariaca, hierba del cochino or yerba de cochino, raíz del cochino, and washí (tarahumara).
It looks remarkably like wild poison hemlock but can be recognized by its roots. The root of the plant is very hairy and has an unpleasant celery like odor. According to a Navajo legend, the Navajo learned about the use of this plant from the bears. As they emerged from hibernation they would seek out the root to stimulate their appetite and increase energy and they would chew it into a paste, drop it on the ground and rub it into their fur.
Osha is difficult to grow under under cultivation so it is almost always wild harvested. Since it is dependent on mycorrhizal fungi and grows extremely slow, cultivation where Osha naturally grows has been more successful. A permit is needed to harvest osha root as it is an endangered herb and purchasing it from a sustainably harvested source helps to ensure the root is not damaged due to over harvesting. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to source.
Continue reading Osha Root for protection energy and health
Sweetgrass, Hierochloe Odorata, is a beautiful sacred plant growing in the northern half of the U.S., up to the arctic circle. Sometimes called Buffalo Grass or Vanilla Grass, it spreads by underground rhizomes and prefers damp lowland areas. Because of its connection to water and its sweet smell it is considered feminine. People use it for ceremonies and healing along with sage and cedar. Continue reading Sweetgrass
The Denver Art Museum Leaflet Series
These leaflets were prepared by F.H. Douglas, curator of Indian Art at the Denver Art Museum.
Each leaflet has four to eight pages. The first page carries the title and a picture relative to the subject of the leaflet. The remaining pages are devoted to the text, which is divided into boldly marked subject headings. Each leaflet also contains a bibliography for further reading. Leading authorities on the various subjects were asked to approve the texts before publication.
Continue reading The Denver Art Museum Leaflet Series
Hand Made Dolls
If there is a universal child’s toy, it may well be a doll. Whether hastily made from scrap material at hand, or painstakingly made to exacting detail, dolls “speak” to our humanity. At first glance, dolls are simple play-things… suffering the ravages of many other mere “toys”. However, there are many other reasons dolls are created and decorated for children. Dolls may also be used to teach children important cultural and educational lessons in dress, hair style, adornment and dexterity.
Some dolls are created for specific purposes or occasions. Others are made with whimsy and artistic license. There are no limits to the variety of dolls. This author is particularly interested in beadwork as a decorative medium. By making a basic cloth doll body, there are unlimited ways to construct and decorate these miniature personalities. Continue reading Hand Made Dolls
Native Americans and Buffalo
Native Americans and Buffalo have a long history together. Buffalo, or the American Bison, has played an essential role in the survival and culture of the Native Americans who lived in the Plains region of what is now the United States, and parts of southern Canada. Buffalo once roamed the Plains in innumerable herds until the middle of the 19th century. Incursions by white settlers and the arrival of the railroad severely depleted the number of Buffalo living on the Plains. Native Americans use of every part of a Buffalo for food, clothing, tools, fuel and utensils. Continue reading Native Americans and Buffalo
Native American Crafting is Good for You
Crafting is an activity that brings different ideas to mind, depending on who is considering it. Some remember rainy day activities that involved empty containers and construction paper, others think of projects that involve buying supplies to create a particular item, and some consider it an everyday activity that is part of their lifestyle.
Crafting has had different purposes throughout human history. Creating functional objects from raw materials is certainly an important aspect of crafting. Expressing emotions, beliefs and esthetic ideals is another. Satisfying an inner desire to create by fashioning something beautiful or unexpected is a basic human trait.
What is the appeal of crafting today? Are there benefits for the crafter? Continue reading Crafting is Fun and Good for You
Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal skins. Tanning animal skins into leather is a process which alters the protein structure of the animal’s skin. Tanning can be performed by several different methods. At The Wandering Bull Native American Trading Post you will find several different leather types to choose from. Continue reading Leather Types