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Teit, J. A. (1906). The Lillooet Indians. American Museum of Natural History Memoir No. 4, New York, NY.
Teit, J. A. (1909). The Shuswap. American Museum of Natural History Memoir No. 5. New York, NY.
Teit and Boas 1900
Teit, J. A. and F. Boas (1900). "The Thompson Indians of British Columbia. American Museum of Natural History Memoir No. 2."
Pg 219 Used to make clothing by poorer people.
Pg 233. Alectoria jubata was much eaten, particularly by the lower division. [about Nlaka'pmx]
Pg 236. Food was boiled in baskets into which red-hot stones were thrown. It was roasted on spits in front of the fire, under ashes, or in underground ovens. Dried venison and dried berries were sometimes pounded together and mixed with hot deer-grease. This mixture was cooled in cakes and put into sacks, or wrapped up in bark or skin. A favorite dish was made of roots of a floury nature (generally bitter-root) and service-berries boiled together until soft and thick. A little deer-grease was then added, and the whole eaten with a spoon. Sometimes Alectoria was added and the deer-fat boiled with it.
Pg 237 Cactus and Alectoria, as well as many roots, were steamed in the following way: Before any branches were put into the hole, a stick from an inch and a half to two inches in diameter was planted perpendicularly in the ground, reaching considerably above the level of the hole. When everything was covered up, the stick was pulled out, leaving an aperture into which water was poured, causing steam to rise from the hot stones underneath. When sufficiently steamed, the usual fire was kindled on top.
Pg 370 Removing Warts. -- Warts were removed from the hands, fingers, or arms by cutting them off closed to the skin, and placing on the fresh wound black moss which had been exposed to the fire until hot.
Teit and Boas 1928
Teit, J. A. and F. Boas (1928). "The Salishan tribes of the western plateaus." Forty-Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1927-1928 45: 23-296.
Alectoria jubata is listed as a principal vegetal food of the Coeur D’Alêne. Teit says it was much used long ago. The Coeur D’Alêne name for it is sä’tc’Etct. It was cooked in pits similar to steam pits for cooking other roots, but the lichen was not steamed. It was cooked in a pit along with camas, onions, and other knids of roots. Hot stones, grass, roots, grass, bark, then earth. Fire built on top and kept going, sometimes for two days. Alectoria, and sometimes camas, was cooked in pits until it became a paste, which, when cooled, was cut into bricks of different sizes. Long ago Alectoria was generally cooked by itself, but in later times it was the custom to cook it with wild onions.
Alectoria jubata is also listed as a principal food of the Okanagan. They called it “skole--¯’p” (symbol over preceding letter). The Lillooet called black moss “a.wi¯’.a” (symbol over preceding letter).
Alectoria jubata is listed as a principal food of the Flathead. They called it skola’pkEn.
The Okanagan used Letharia vulpina as a dye and a medicine. They called it kware¯’uk (symbol over preceding letter).
Teit and Steedman 1928
Teit, J. A. and E. V. Steedman (1928). "Ethnobotany of the Thompson Indians of British Columbia." Forty-Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1927-1928 45: 441-522.
The Thompson called Letharia vulpina kolomê’ka or kwalä’uk. It is used as a face paint by dipping it in water, or by wetting the face and using it dry. It was also used to paint wood.
The Swedes call it ulf-mossa. Powder it, mix it with glass, and smear it on dead animals to kill wolves. Also used as a dye.
Thieret, J. W. (2004). "Incredible edibles: Lichens." Lloydiana 8(1): 2-6.
Turner and Bell 1971
Turner, N. C. and M. A. M. Bell (1971). "The ethnobotany of the Coast Salish Indians of Vancouver Island." Economic Botany 25(1): 63-104.
Turner and Bell 1973
Turner, N. C. and M. A. M. Bell (1973). "The ethnobotany of the Southern Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia." Economic Botany 27: 257-310.
Alectoria, Peltigera and Sticta, along with other lichens and mosses, were called p’elems and were used as household material for activities such as lining steaming pits and wiping blood and slime off salmon (washing or scraping the fish ruined the taste).
Peltigera canina was used as a love charm by the Southern Kwakiult (Boas 1921 cited in Turner and Bell 1973). It was called tl’extl’ekw’és (seaweed of the ground) or lexlek’is (echo). Turner and Bell 1973
Turner, N. J. (1973). "The ethnobotany of the Bella Coola Indians of British Columbia." Syesis 6: 193-220.
Alectoria sarmentosa complex and Usnea spp. were called suts’wakt by the Bella Coola, or ipts-aak (limb moss, included mosses on tree branches as well). Were used as artificial hair to decorate masks. (Turner 1973). Were also used, if growing on alder, to poultice sores and boils (Smith 1928 cited in Turner 1973)
Lobaria pulmonaria, Lobaria oregana, and Sticta spp. were called sts’wakt-aak by the Bella coola (Turner 1973). Sticta, from certain trees only, was used as medicine. Boiled and decoction taken internally for pains in the stomach and externally as an eyewash and poultice (Smith 1928 cited in Turner 1973).
Turner, N. J. (1974). "Plant taxonomic systems and ethnobotany of three contemporary Indian groups of the Pacific Northwest." Syesis 7(1): 1-104.
Name of B. fremontii often translates as tree hair.
The Haida call mosses k’ínxaan or k’ínnaan; the Bella Coola call ground mosses and lichens ipst, and tree ones ipst-aak; Lillooet call mosses pá7sem.
Turner, N. J. (1977). "Economic importance of black tree lichen (Bryoria fremontii) to the Indians of western North America." Economic Botany 31: 461-470.
Thorough description of use of Bryoria fremontii for food. Discusses use by: Carrier, Chilcotin, Tsimshian, Coeur d'Alêne, Columbia-Wenatchi, Flathead-Kalispel-Spokane, Gitksan, Klamath, Kootenay, Loillooet, Nez Perce
Bryoria fremontii important food source in western North America. Related species used for food, clothing, dye, and as medicine. Wide discrepancy in what people say it tastes like, ranging from very good to disgusting. Possibly do to variation in lichen compounds or preparation. Bulk harvesting, so there was probably more than one species being harvested. Several people say that the only way to tell if an area has good lichen is to sample it first. Send people out to different mountain slopes to collect samples, and get mothers and grandmothers to taste it. If it was sweet and not bitter they would go harvest large quantities. Could be gathered at any time of year. Some collected it in June, others in the fall.
Some said that the tree it was growing on affected the taste. Shuswap and Northern Okanagan prefered lichen from Douglas-fir and western larch, and thought that the pines gave it an unpleasant pitchy flavor. Nez Perce preferred it from pondorosa pine and western larch. Lichen from young trees was thought to be more bitter than from mature trees. The Nez Perce thought trees growing close to a river produced poorer tasting lichen, while trees growing further up a mountain produced better tasting lichens. Lichen harvested off tree, tied into large bundles, and brought back to camp. It was cleaned of any twigs and dirt that was entangled in it, and then soaked for several hours or overnight in fresh water, preferably running water like in a creek. Sometimes it was worked with the hands or beaten with a paddle while it was being soaked. The lichen was then cooked in a large pit. Pit lined with red hot rocks, layers of damp vegetation placed over rocks (moss, ferns, skunk cabbage, grasses, and/or conifer needles). The lichen was placed on top of that and covered with more vegetation and a thick layer of dirt. Often holes were left to add more water. The pit was left overnight, or for 2 or more days. The cooked lichen was one quarter its original volume, and a black gelatinous mass. Eaten immediately or dried. Can also be prepared by roasting it then boiling it, or just boiling it fresh, but most people say that this isn’t as good.
Turner, N. J. (1978). Food plants of the British Columbia Indians. Part 2. Interior Peoples. Victoria, British Columbia, British Columbia Provincial Museum Handbook No. 36.
Turner, N. J. (1998). Plant Technology of First Peoples in British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook. Vancouver, British Columbia, UBC Press.
Turner and Bouchard 1974
Turner, N. J. and R. Bouchard (1974). Mount Currie and Fraser River Lillooet Ethnobotany. Victoria, BC, Unpublished manuscript. British Columbia Indian Language Project.
Turner et al. 1980
Turner, N. J., R. Bouchard and D. I. D. Kennedy (1980). "Ethnobotany of the Okanagan-Colville Indians of British Columbia and Washington." Occasional Papers of the British Provincial Museum 21: 1-179.
Turner and Clifton 2002
Turner, N. J. and H. Clifton (2002). Cultural Plants of Hartley Bay (Draft). University of Victoria. Victoria, BC. 53 pp.
Turner and Davis 1993
Turner, N. J. and A. Davis (1993). ""When everything was scarce": The role of plants as famine foods in northwestern North America." Journal of Ethnobiology 13(2): 171-201.
Bryoria fremontii was considered as a luxury by the Flathead of Montana, especially when mixed with dried powdered camas (Camassia quamash) (Stubbs 1966, cited in Turner and Davis 1993). Ray (1932: pg 104) cited in Turner and Davis (1993) classes it as one of the best liked vegetables of the Sanpoil-Nespelem Okanagan, when cooked with alternate layers of wild onion. Not as well liked as a food by the Lillooet as salmon was, as apparent in a story by Bouchard and Kennedy (1922: pg. 31) cited in Turner and Davis (1993). (Raven aquires a salmon during a food shortage and tries to hide his good fortune from the villagers by pretending that he only has black tree lichen bread, not salmon).
But not liked in other areas, perhaps do to variation in populations, or to contamination with other species. There are indications that the lichen varies greatly in taste, depending on the locality, elevation, and species of substrate tree (Turner 1977; and Marshall 1977 cited in Turner and Davis 1993). Preparation techniques likely had a great effect on the palatability. Could be eaten raw and unprocessed in times of need (Turner and Davis 1993) but usually there was an extensive preperation. Havesting in quantity from pre-tasted populations, soaking in fresh water for several hours or overnight, pounding or working with the hands, and then pit cooking (Marshall 1977 cited in Turner and Davis 1993; Turner 1977; and Turner et al. 1980). The cooked lichen loaves were then dried, and could be stored for up to 3 years without deterioration. They were said to be a good sustainer on long trips (Turner, 1978). Most people agree that cooking was necessary to make the lichen palatable, this was probably breaking down the complex lichen carbohydrates into more readily digestible forms (Turner and Davis 1993).
In times of scaricity the Kootenay would boil it with the stomach contents or droppings of grouse for flavoring (Hart 1976, cited in Turner and Davis 1993).
The unprocessed lichen could be stored dry and then brought out to eat when it was needed (Turner and Davis 1993).
It appears that it was a standard food in some areas, normally consumed but probably became more important during famines. Nlaka’pamux, Lilooet, and other interior peoples probably used it in this way (Turner 1977; Turner et al. 1990; Kuhnlein and Turner 1991, cited in Turner and Davis 1993; Turner and Davis 1993).
In other areas it would only be eaten minimumally normally, but increased in importance in famines (Kuhnlein and Turner 1991, cited in Turner and Davis 1993; Turner and Davis 1993).
The raw thallus was eaten as a famine food, never eaten except in cases of extreme hunger, by the Secwepemc (Turner and Davis 1993). It was also chewed as a thirst quencher by the Secwepemc (Turner and Davis 1993).
Turner and Efrat 1982
Turner, N. J. and B. S. Efrat (1982). "Ethnobotany of the Hesquiat Indians of Vancouver Island." Cultural Recovery Paper [British Columbia Provincial Museum, Victoria] 2.
Peltigera canina was remembered as a medicinal plant by the Hesquiat Nootka, but they didn’t remember a name.
Lobaria pulmonaria was called (tl)’ac(tl)’astuphc’um by the Hesquiat, and they used it as a medicine for children with sunburned faces.
Turner et al. 1983
Turner, N. J., J. Thomas, B. F. Carlson and R. T. Ogilvie (1983). "Ethnobotany of the Nitinaht Indians of Vancouver Island." Occasional Papers of the British Provincial Museum 24: 1-165.
Peltigera spp. was called (tl)’a(tl)’x7a·7aq (the ones flat against the rock) or (tl)’i·(tl)’i·dqwaqsibak’kw (resembling whale’s baleen).
Peltigera aphthosa may have been reffered to as t’it’idic˘c˘7a· (rocks growing on rocks), and chewed and eaten for tuberculosis by the Nitinaht.
A lichen like Peltigera spp., grey, growing on rocks, was used as medicine. Picked, washed, squashed, eaten. Used on man who couldn’t urinate, pissed in 30 min. (Turner et al. 1983)
Sticta spp. was called didi’dichia (growing on rocks) that was used as a medicine by the Makah. They mashed it and made a poultice that was used for running sores that were hard to heal. Especially for sores on the leg caused by bruises from walking among rocks. Densmore 1939 cited in Turner et al. 1983
Amoung the Nitinaht Alectoria sarmentosa complex and Usnea spp. were valued for their absorbant qualities, used for wound dressing, baby diapers, and sanitary napkins, and for wiping salmon. They were called p’u7up (lichen or moss), and were further named according to the kind of tree they were on. Usnea longissima was specifically used to dress wounds. It would be wrapped around the wound and left a while. Called indian bandage.
The Nitinaht refer to lichens and mosses as p’u7up. Peltigera spp. was not included in this group. Lichens growing on trees could be further differentiated by the branch that they grew on. A lichen on spruce was called tuxupati·c p’u7up, on hemlock q’wi(tl)’apati·c p’u7up, on grand fir c˘absapati·c p’u7up. The Hesquiat, Manhousat, and other Nootka peoples also had the same general term (Turner and Efrat 1982, Turner et al. 1983).
Turner et al. 1990
Turner, N. J., L. C. Thompson, M. T. Thompson and A. Z. York (1990). Thompson Ethnobotany: Knowledge and Usage of Plants by the Thompson Indians of British Columbia. Victoria, British Columbia, Royal British Columbia Museum.
Turney-High, H. H. (1937). "The Flathead Indians of Montana." Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association No. 48.
Pg 111 There is a parasitic pine lichen in the mountains which is considered an excellent condiment to be used with camas. It was gathered in July, some twenty-five pounds of the light stuff being considered essential for a very small family. The lichen was allowed to blacken on the tree before it was considered mature.
Pg 127 … a pit was dug, made as hot as possible by fire with stones to retain the heat, lined with sod and grasses thoroughly drenched with water to produce steam, filled with roots, covered with more sod, then earth, and a roaring fire built on top of all. … Camas was always cooked before being eaten or stored. Its taste in the raw is quite unpleasant. Occasionally it was cooked by itself, in which case it was dried and stored without pulverizing. In this state it was sometimes squeezed into little cakes which were subsequently dried and stored. Yet camas cooked plain was not the rule. Its chief blend was with the black lichen mentioned before, which baked with camas produces a black, gelatinous mass. This was later dried and pulverized. The lichen baked by itself was considered more of a tonic for the sick than a food.
Pg 158 Pine lichen: caúmtemkan or st’telu; skolápkan; skolkéin
Tuyama, T. (1984). "Dr. Masami Sato 1910-1984." Journal of Japanese Botany 59(11): 350.
Obituary for M. Sato, who did lots of work on edible lichens.
Filed with obituary by Syo Kurokawa
Uphof, J. C. T. (1959). Dictionary of Economic Plants. New York, Hafner Publishing Co.
Upreti, D. K. (1996). Studies in indian ethnolichenology - An overview. Ethnobiology in Human Welfare (Proceedings of IV International Congress of Ethnobiology). S. K. Jain. New Dehli, India, Deep Publications: 413-414.
Upreti, D. K. (2001). Taxonomic, pollution monitering and ethnolichenological studies on Indian lichens. Phytomorphology Golden Jubilee Issue 2001: Trends in Plant Sciences. N. S. Rangaswamy. Dehli, India, International Society of Plant Morphologists, Department of Botany, University of Dehli: 477-497.
Upreti and Negi 1996
Upreti, D. K. and H. R. Negi (1996). "Folk use of Thamnolia vermicularis (Swartz) Ach. in Lata Village of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve." Ethnobotany 8: 92-95.
"The Bhotias of the village generally store butter milk in wooden as well as earthen vessels. Its prolonged storage gives rise to white, 1-2 mm long worms. Peo[ple believe that this happens due to disgrace of bad people. They put a handful of podetia of this species in a wide cup containing burning coal, and direct the smoke into the vessel through its mouth, for killing the worms."
Also used as one of the ingredients in Hawan Samagri, which, in combination with many other materials, is used as an oblation and sacrificial offering to god and goddess through fire.
The samples that the authors tested only had thamnolic acid, although this species has been reported to contain other compounds in other areas.
Upreti et al. 2002
Upreti, D. K., V. Pant and P. K. Divakar (2002). "Exploitation of lichens from Pithoragarth district Uttaranchal." Ethnobotany 14: 60-62.
van Wyk and Gericke 2000
van Wyk, B.-E. and N. Gericke (2000). People's Plants: A Guide to Useful Plants of Southern Africa. Arcadia, South Africa, Briza Publications.
Velasco-Negueruela et al. 1995
Velasco-Negueruela, A., M. J. Pérez-Alonso and G. E. Abaraca (1995). "Medicinal plants from Pampallakta: an Andean community in Cuzco (Peru)." Fitoterapia 66(5): 447-461.
Reports that Ramalina flaccescens called "Papel-papel" by the Quechua in Pampallakta, Peru. An infusion of the entire lichen is taken internally as an antitussive. Thallus also chewed with coca leaves for magic rituals.
Vickery, A. R. (1975). "The use of lichens in well-dressing." Lichenologist 7: 178-179.
Parmelia saxatilis and Xanthoria parietina are used in well-dressing. Well-dressing started in the early 19th century, until recently restricted to the White Peak area of Derbyshire. Plant materials are used to create miniture scenes (often religious) in large trays (up to 3.7 m in length), and then these trays are placed at a well in town during the local well-dressing festival (in the summer), and left for several weeks. (the well is ‘dressed’). Parmelia saxatilis is refered to as grey lichen or grey moss, and Xanthoria parietina is referred to as gold lichen or gold moss.
Vogel, V. J. (1970). American Indian Medicine. Norman, Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma Press.
Wennekens, A. J. (1985). Traditional plant usage by Chugach Natives around Prince William Sound and on the Lower Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Anchorage, Alaska, University of Alaska: 111.
Wheelwright, E. G. (1935). The Physick Garden: Medicinal Plants and their History. New York, Reprinted in 1974 as Medicinal Plants and Their History. Dover Publications, Inc.
Wilkes, C. (1845). Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. Vol IV. Philadelphia, Lea and Blanchard.
Wilson, M. R. (1979). "Notes on ethnobotany in Inuktitut." The Western Canadian Journal of Anthropology 8(2,3,4): 180-196.
Cetraria crispa was called aouq (aouk’) by the Yuqpik (Inuit of southwest Alaska). It was chopped up and added to various soups as a flavouring. Cetraria cucullata was called ninguujuq (would like to be stretched) by the Yuqpik. It was also used as a soup condiment, for fresh fish or duck soup, but was mainly known as caribou food. Wilson, 1979, and Oswalt, 1957. Hawkes (1913) cited in Oswalt (1957) records eating this.
Cladonia rangiferina was called tuntutnuukaik (reindeer food) by the Yuqpik Inuit of southwest Alaska, but wasn’t used for anything. The Ungava-Labrador Inuit called it niqagasak.
Caribou mosses, such as Alectoria ochroleuca, Alectoria nigricans, Alectoria nitidula, and Cornicularia divergens were called tingaujaq by the Barrens-Keewatin, Baffin Island, Ungava-Labrador, and Greenland Inuit. They were known to be the favorite food of young caribou, and Inuit children would use them to lure fawns in to touch them. The North Slope Inuit (north coast of Alaska) call a “dry black moss” by the same name, and use it as tinder.
Unused yellow-green lichens, such as Cetraria nivalis and Dactylina arctica were called nagjjuujaq by the Barrens-Keewatin Inuit.
Nephroma arcticum was called kusskoak (kus’koak) by the Yuqpik (Inuit of southwest Alaska). They were uncommon, but found on or near decaying trees. They were collected and then stored until winter, when it was boiled with crushed fish eggs and eaten. It was also made into an infusion with hot water and fed to a person in weak condition to make him strong. It was reputed to be a very effective medicine. Wilson, 1979, and Oswalt, 1957.
Flat lichens, such as Parmelia saxatilis, Peltigera aphthosa, and Stereocaulon paschale were called quajuq by the Barrens-Keewatin Inuit. They were used, along with any other handy fill, to stuff caribou skins for rafts to cross inland streams to deep to ford.
An unidentified “type of white moss” found at Baker Lake was called uriugaq by the Barrens-Keewatin Inuit.
Yanovsky and Kingsbury 1938
Yanovsky, E. and R. M. Kingsbury (1938). "Analyses of some Indian food plants." Association of Official Agricultural Chemists 21(4): 648-665.
B. fremontii collected in Utah: 9.4% moisture, 24.8% dry weight lichenin (a starch), 0.3% reducing sugar, 0% non-reducing sugar, 51.7% dry weight hemicellulose, 1.6% dry weight ether extract, 5.5% dry weight protein, 4.3% dry weight crude fibre, and 1.6% dry weight ash. Specimens collected from Oregon were 9.6% moisture, 0% reducing sugar, 0% non-reducing sugar, 17.5% dry weight lichenin, and 35.4% hemicellulose.
Yarnell, R. A. (1964). "Aboriginal relationships between culture and plant life in the upper Great Lakes region." Anthropological Papers [University of Michigan] 23: 1-.
Parmelia physodes was used by the Potawatomi (Upper Great Lakes) in a soup. Smith (1933: pg. 68) cited in Yarnell (1964).
Sticta amplissima was a favorite old food of the the Ojibwa. They called it jîngwakons wakun. They collected the lichen found at the base of white pine, and boiled it until it looked like scrambled eggs. Smith (1932: pg 406) cited in Arnarson (1981) and in Yarnell (1964). The Menomini also used it. They would collect this lichen, along with other lichens, in any season and dry it for future use. Smith (1923: pg. 60) cited in Yarnell (1964).
Umbilicaria spp. was eaten by the Algonkins. Blair (1911: pg. 102-103; cited in Yarnell 1964) wrote that most of their families would have starved without it.
Cladonia rangiferina was used by Ojibwa. Reagan (1928: pg 246) cited in Yarnell 1964
Yoshimura, I. (1970). "Lung lichens is "ATO" in Kapaukow language (New Guinea)." Miscellanea Bryologica et Lichenologica 5(5): 76.
Translation: Each local language has a particular name for Lobaria pulmonaria. He has researched about a specimen of Lobaria inn the Leiden Museam. He learned that Lobaria is called Ato in Kapaukoe language. This is a general name for the genus of Lobaria.