Pinaceae Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.

Western Hemlock

Hesquiat - Other, Ceremonial Items

Use documented by:
Turner, Nancy J. and Barbara S. Efrat, 1982, Ethnobotany of the Hesquiat Indians of Vancouver Island, Victoria. British Columbia Provincial Museum, page 44

View all documented uses for Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.

Scientific name: Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.
USDA symbol: TSHE (View details at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Western Hemlock
Family: Pinaceae
Family (APG): Pinaceae
Native American Tribe: Hesquiat
Use category: Other
Use sub-category: Ceremonial Items
Notes: Boughs used by girls at puberty for rubbing ceremony. Girls at puberty were brushed on the arms and face with boughs, which were bundled together with soft, fern fronds. The bundle was fist-sized, with needled hemlock twigs sticking out from both ends. Before the rubbing ceremony began, the girl would go down to the edge of the water at sunrise and, four separate times, would dip the branches in the water, suck the water from the branches, then blow it out in a fine spray. At the same time, she would dip her face in the water with her eyes open, four times, each time lifting her head and spraying out the water. This was said to prevent eye disease to herself and future children. All bundles used for this purpose were subsequently deposited in a special place.

RECRD: 560 id: 40996