Malvaceae Gossypium hirsutum L.

Upland Cotton

Zuni - Other, Ceremonial Items

Use documented by:
Stevenson, Matilda Coxe, 1915, Ethnobotany of the Zuni Indians, SI-BAE Annual Report #30, page 92

View all documented uses for Gossypium hirsutum L.

Scientific name: Gossypium hirsutum L.
USDA symbol: GOHIH2 (View details at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Upland Cotton
Family: Malvaceae
Family (APG): Malvaceae
Native American Tribe: Zuni
Use category: Other
Use sub-category: Ceremonial Items
Notes: Fuzz used alone or made into cords and used ceremonially in a number of ways. The cotton cords were tied loosely around the wrists and ankles of the newborn child while supplications were offered that the rain makers would provide enough rain to insure proliferative crops so that the child would have full nourishment its whole life. Cotton down was used to cover the heads of rain priests after their deaths symbolizing their duties in this world and also their obligations in the undermost world. Crowns and certain masks were also covered with raw cotton to indicate that the gods represented were rain makers or were specially associated with the rain makers.

RECRD: 32978 id: 16133