April 14, 2009 "Wild" and Cultivated Plants


Tewa Ethnobiology< xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" prefix="o" namespace="">

April 14, 2009


Plant Identification Manuals

Robert DeWitt Ivey (2003) Flowering Plants of < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" prefix="st1" namespace="">New Mexico, 4th edition.

          RD&V Ivey Publishers. Albuquerque.

William C. Martin and Charles R. Hutchins (1980) A Flora of New Mexico,

2 vol. A.R. Gantner. Germany.



Classification of Foods

Survival/Starvation - infrequent

Snack – occasional, low amount, not consumed by all

Seasonal supplement – available in season to amplify diet

Seasonal staple – dietary mainstay for a few months

Staple (storable surplus) – large amount harvested and stored often for year


Native Wild and Cultivated Plants

Koegi¶ - food

Win ku – snack


P’in                                                                                                                Who collects?

Ahkonsüts’‚égi (Monarda menthaefolia) – condiment; add to blood sausage              M   ?Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) – eat berries                                                                       M

Ávéh (Prunus virginiana) – eat berries fresh or boil                                          M Khän an fi,khan phéh pu (Dryopteris felix-mas) –root chewed and sucked    M      

Osa pu- cook leaves with peas                                                                            M

Oyohay phéh (Oxalis violacea) – eat fresh leaves                                                       M

pú¶p’áap’ay, p’inpupa, (Frageria ovalis) – eat fresh fruit                                            M   ?Smilacina racemosa – eat ripe berries                          M

Tewabay (Holodiscus dumosa) – eat small fruit                                                             M

Wän (Pinus ponderosa)–strip bark and boil phloem for wintertime soup; chew M/F

phéhkây¶i¶ (Celtis reticulata) – eat fruit fresh, boil for drink or sauce                         M



H³ü p’ay (Juniperus monosperma) – eat “berries” fresh or roast                         W/C/M

Kun, Kun ka (SI) (Rhus trilobata) – crush berries in cold water to make drink        M/F

kwØ­khá (Quercus gambelii) – roast and eat or grind and cook acorns                      MW

Omúkwan (Ribes cereum) wax current – eat berries fresh                                          M

t’oe (Pinus edulis) – eat nuts (t’oet’oh); chew old sap for gum                          F/M

phaamúu (Yucca baccata) – peal and eat fruit fresh, dry in sheets for winter;

                                                                                         beverage                             M/F

Pin süts’‚égi  (Monarda pectinata) leaves dried and cooked in meat stew; sausage       M

Po te phé¶yØvi (SI) (Ribes inebrians) – eat berries                                                           M


Sabewe póvi (T) (Echinocereus triglochidiatus) – eat fruit; singe spines and eat raw

                                                                                 or  cook, peal, mash and eat         M/W

sée(Allium geyeri)   – eat raw or fried with beans and meat                                   M

Tseeshup’ay (Ribes leptanthum) – eat berries                                                          M/W                                                      




süts’‚égi    (Marrubium vulgare) – condiment                                                           M/W

?__ (Sporobolus contractus) – gather and eat seeds                                                              W

ahkon sée  (Allium cernuum) - eat raw or fried with beans and meat             M/W

Indian rice grass (Achnatherum hymenoides) – parch gathered seeds for gruel           W

Sopaa (Lycium pallidum)eat fruit                                                                       W/C

O’kina (SI) (Ratibida columnifera) – seed once used to make bread                              W

Pogonphey (SI) (OO) ( Psoralidium lanceolatum) – roots chewed as licorice candy  M/W

Tay (Puffball: ?Calvatia sp.) – boil and fry                                                                 M/W

Pú¶béyékwØ, pingue (Hymenoxys richardsoni)   chewing gum                               C/M                                              

Púhú – root ground, mixed with cornmeal, and eat as gruel               W/M

Sa’owowaphéy, kutembây (Aster hesperius v. wootonii) eat root to relieve thirst        M                                        

Sapu (T), tsimaha (Cymopterus acaulis var. fenderli) – kids eat roots;

                                                    dig roots for family; condiment on peas, beans       C/W                      

 nanphu, sago bay (Solanum jamesii) – boil potato to eat; may mix with clay            W

P’innae wh­­ (Polansia dodecandra)   - boil top of fresh plant                                      W

 sØ­ bây  (Opuntia polyacantha) – eat  fruit (sØp’eh) and boiled singed pad        C/W

 ta¶ããy­­  Atriplex canescens  -  parch seed and boil in gruel                                         W

thankhohay póvi (Penstemon barbatus subsp. torreyi) – suck nectar from flower      C

w¼nsávehwakh³ (Escobaria vivipara var. neo-mexicana)– plant singed and eaten   W

Yôe póvi – eat petals for snack                                  C/M


P’ok’ay - River

Süts’ëëgi¶  (Menta avensis) – condiment; steep plant for tea                                        W

Tay – buds eat as snack                                                                                                     C

Taypu, tays­­ – (Coprinus atramentarius) (OO) – grow at base of dead cottonwood;   W

                                                                                 boil and eat                                                                                                                                     


Kwi¶ôn  - Ditch

Oekuu phéh (Asparagas officianale)  - eat stalk raw, boil stalks                              C/W

Ovín phéy póvi  (Lathyrus eucosmus) - eat pods                                                            C

Pimbay  (Prunus americana)– eat fruit raw or dried                                                    C/F

P’oesusú  (Phragmites communis)– eat root                                                                  M/C

?__(Rumex crispus) – boil leaves; parch and grind seeds for gruel                                   W

Yerba wena (Sp.) (Mentha spicata) – tea beverage from leaves; condiment                   W




Nava - Field

Súu (Amaranthus hybridus) – grind seeds to color paper bread                                       W

 WhØä (Cleome serrulata) – boil twice young greens; boil or fry pods                            W

Wh­­, khwä (SC) – boil leaves and pods; fry leaves and pods in lard                         W

K’ot’awoe (Taraxacum officinale) – eat greens fresh                                                    W/C

ányï¶ (Helianthus annuus) – eat seeds                                                                               W

                   Called mother of corn and never hoe from field: it nourished the corn

déphéh (T, SC, SI, OO) (Thelesperma megapotamicum) – boil plant fresh or dry for tea W

déphéh SI (?Coreopsis tinctoria) – boil leaves and flowers for beverage                        W

Kuu pi phé¶yØvi (SI) (Polygonum laphifolium) – seed balls ground with meat for

                                                                                   food, dried as balls and boil to eat W

Kw­­n phéy (SI) (Lactuca pulchella) – gum from stem chewed as gum                        C

Kwataphéy (SC) (Asclepias latifolia) – chew leaves for gum; eat pods fresh              M/C

Kwiphéy, wí\íbây, whire phéh  (Petalostemum candidum) - eat  sweet root raw     C/W               

p’in wh­­ (Descurainia obtusa) - condiment                            W

p’inwikee (Mentzelia multiflora) – eat roots; once ate seeds                                       C/W

ph³yض (Portulaca oleracea) – boil/fry green plant parts; once ate seeds                   W tsígó¶óthéh (SI) (Physalis virginiana) –put in sauce with chili, si, kulanti seed         W/C

                                                               eat fruit;

tsígó¶phéh  (Physalis virginiana) – eat fruit; make sauce                                                  C/W    

Súu (Amaranthus leucocarpus) – uncommon; boil young leaves for spinach; seeds?   W                                                                                         

Súu (Amaranthus retroflexus) – boil young leaves for spinach; sometimes fry             W

Súu, kéesú (SC) – (Amaranthus blitoides) eat seed as mush or dried mush balls           W

Súu (Chenopodium album)eat boiled greens; parch and eat seed in gruel                       W

Te w’ge (Chenopodium leptophyllum) – eat seeds as mush; boil greens for spinach      W

Whkú(T)  (?) – boys chew pods ( Asclepias sp.)                                                             C/M



sesaaye (Salsola tragus) – know Spanish eat young greens but not Tewa;

                                            brought from Russia in 1873; reached Pacific 1895


Trade with Plains Indians

Ko¶ t’oh (Juglans nigra)walnuts whole or shelled                                                    M