Agavaceae Yucca sp.


Navajo - Other, Ceremonial Items

Use documented by:
Elmore, Francis H., 1944, Ethnobotany of the Navajo, Sante Fe, NM. School of American Research, page 32

View all documented uses for Yucca sp.

Scientific name: Yucca sp.
Common names: Yucca
Family: Agavaceae
Family (APG): Asparagaceae
Native American Tribe: Navajo
Use category: Other
Use sub-category: Ceremonial Items
Notes: Leaves used for ceremonial purposes. On the sixth day of the Mountain Chant Ceremony, before the couriers were sent on their way, a basin of water containing soap root was brought in, and after the medicine man had daubed the couriers with a little of the suds, they washed themselves from head to foot and cleaned their hair as well. The Lashing God in the Night Chant carried a ring of yucca leaves on his back and suspended from this by its roots was a complete plant of soapweed. He held in his hand yucca scourges which were made from the leaves taken from the east and west sides of the plant. For the yucca that hangs at his back, a specimen was selected whose roots stuck well out of the ground and was kicked out with the foot. Masks made of the leaves were also used in the Night Chant. In one of the dances of the last night of the Mountain Chant, yucca was made to grow from the root through buds and flowers to the ripe fruit.

RECRD: 2707 id: 44248