The Eastern tribes smoked tobacco. Out West, the tribes smoked kinnikinnick—tobacco mixed with herbs, barks and plant matter.
It has a highly narcotic effect on those not habituated to its use, and produces a heaviness sometimes approaching stupefaction, altogether different from the soothing effects of tobacco.
These traditionally sacred pipes are made of wood covered with either rawhide or buckskin and fringe. Deer or elk horn is often used for the bowl and mouthpiece. A medicine bag or medicine wheel is sometimes attached. Traditional Native American peace pipe ceremonies have three people in attendance.
Some kinnikinnick ingredients are clearly psychoactive, including the roots of Veratrum viride, the leaves and seeds of the thorn apple (Datura stramonium, Datura innoxia), the herbage of Lobelia inflata, the various tobacco species (Nicotiana spp.), sassafras bark (Sassafras albidum), and others (Hart 1979, 281*).
Seed Treatment: Remove seed from pulp. Plant outside in fall, 3/4″ deep. Seeds germinate the second year after sowing. Seeds have impermeable seed coats and dormant embryos; acid scarification for 3-6 hours followed by 2-3 months of warm and 2-3 months of cold stratification.
New Word Suggestion. Term refering to those who want to make peace and compromises on issues that were not obtainable before.
History. Pre-Columbian Native Americans fermented starchy seeds and roots as well as fruits from both wild and domesticated plants. Among the most common are drinks made from fermented corn, agave, and manioc.
Smoking the pipe, for many First Nations, is rich in symbolism: offering tobacco to the almighty, demonstrating solidarity and power within a tribe or band, signifying honour and the sacredness of life, as well as marking a commitment, an agreement or a treaty.
Among the ingredients in kinnikinnick were non-poisonous sumac leaves, and the inner bark of certain bushes such as red osier dogwood (silky cornell), chokecherry, and alder, to improve the taste of the bearberry leaf.
The common bearberry’s stunning red stems are studded with small, glossy, evergreen leaves. Noteworthy CharacteristicsFound throughout North America from Labrador to Alaska, south to Virginia and California, it is called kinnikinnick by Native Americans.
The fruit is a red berry. It likes to spread and will root where stems touch the soil.It can handle a wide variety of sun conditions, from full sun to part shade to full shade, and tolerate
It is not competitive on richer sites. It is slow to start growing, so plant densely or intermix with a fast grower if quick coverage is important. After a year or two, kinnikinnik will spread more rapidly to form mats.