Pinaceae Pinus ponderosa P.& C. Lawson

Ponderosa Pine

Navajo, Ramah - Fiber, Furniture

Use documented by:
Vestal, Paul A., 1952, The Ethnobotany of the Ramah Navaho, Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology 40(4):1-94, page 13

View all documented uses for Pinus ponderosa P.& C. Lawson

Scientific name: Pinus ponderosa P.& C. Lawson
USDA symbol: PIPOP (View details at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Ponderosa Pine
Family: Pinaceae
Family (APG): Pinaceae
Native American Tribe: Navajo, Ramah
Use category: Fiber
Use sub-category: Furniture
Notes: Wood used to make boards and cradle bow of the two board type of baby cradle. A young tree, in an area where few people go and therefore not likely to be cut down, is selected, corn pollen is sprinkled on it from the bottom upward, and a solid piece is taken from the east side. As the cradle is made, prayers are said but no songs sung. If the first baby is a boy, the top tips of the boards are truncated, if it is a girl, they are pointed; thereafter either kind can be used for either sex and the cradle is saved for later children unless the baby dies. The cradle is rubbed with red ochre and tallow to protect if from evil spirits who never use red paint. Formerly, a buckskin covering was used over the top but now a blanket is considered better. The footboard is moved down as the baby grows and the cradle is discarded when the baby begins to walk. Small branches of a tree from which squirrels have gnawed the bark are tied together in a row about five inches long and tied to the cradle to keep the baby from hurting himself (until he is three years old). Dirt from a spot where a squirrel has landed on the ground is placed in a buckskin bag and attached to the sticks as an additional precaution (effective even when the baby is grown).

RECRD: 10346 id: 27990