Solanaceae Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh

Indian Tobacco

Blackfoot - Other, Smoke Plant

Use documented by:
Hellson, John C., 1974, Ethnobotany of the Blackfoot Indians, Ottawa. National Museums of Canada. Mercury Series, page 14

View all documented uses for Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh

Scientific name: Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh
USDA symbol: NIQUQ (View details at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Indian Tobacco
Family: Solanaceae
Family (APG): Solanaceae
Native American Tribe: Blackfoot
Use category: Other
Use sub-category: Smoke Plant
Notes: Leaves used for ritual smoking. Ritual smoking was begun by an orderly, who filled the pipe and passed it, unlit, to the man sitting next to the officiating ceremonialist. This man had the favored position because of his wealth in bundle ownership. He drew on the unlit pipe four times and then passed it back to the orderly, who lit the pipe and gave it to the man next to the distinguished bundle owner. This man drew on the pipe four times (not inhaling) and blew the smoke upward. Then the pipe was passed sunwise (clockwise) to each participant until it reached the door of the tipi, whence it was returned to the orderly. The pipe was not passed across the door to the other side of the lodge, where women and children were seated. If the pipe went out during the smoke, it was given to the orderly, who cleaned and refilled it. The manner in which the participant received the pipe varied according to bundle ownership. Thus, a Medicine Pipe bundle owner would grasp the pipe roughly with both hands half clenched, imitating the actions of a bear. A ceremony in which smoking had special significance was the Big Smoke, or All Smoking, ceremony. This ceremony was confined to ceremonialists, diviners, and bundle owners. They gathered for the single purpose of recounting their prestigious and wealthy positions in the tribe. The Big Smoke commenced at sundown and continued until day break, and there was continuous use of many pipes. Four songs were allowed to be sung for each bundle owned; participants would often qualify for sixteen songs or more.

RECRD: 3562 id: 23870