Cyperaceae Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (K.C. Gmel.) Palla

Softstem Bulrush

Ojibwa - Fiber, Mats, Rugs & Bedding

Use documented by:
Smith, Huron H., 1932, Ethnobotany of the Ojibwe Indians, Bulletin of the Public Museum of Milwaukee 4:327-525, page 418

View all documented uses for Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (K.C. Gmel.) Palla

Scientific name: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (K.C. Gmel.) Palla
USDA symbol: SCTA2 (View details at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Softstem Bulrush
Family: Cyperaceae
Family (APG): Cyperaceae
Native American Tribe: Ojibwa
Use category: Fiber
Use sub-category: Mats, Rugs & Bedding
Notes: Rushes used for the best mats. The bleached rushes were immersed in water for a few days and then cleansed. They selected long rushes, with small diameters, so that the pith content was small. When the mat was in service, such fibers were not readily crushed. The rush, when gathered, is an intense green, white only at the base where it stands in water. All rushes were first bleached pure white, and afterwards colored as desired. They were pulled, rather than cut, in order to obtain the maximum length. When thoroughly bleached and dried, they dyed them with white men's dyes. Formerly they used native dyes, which they really preferred. The bleached rushes predominated in any rug, and were ivory-white in color. The finished rug or mat was three feet wide and from four to eight feet long, and sold for from $8 to $30 in 1923. The edge was bound securely with nettle fiber cord.

RECRD: 155 id: 37504