Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians



Buffalo Bird Woman, A Hidatsa Indian Born About , Was An Expert Gardener Following Centuries Old Methods, She And The Women Of Her Family Raised Huge Crops Of Corn, Squash, Beans, And Sunflowers On The Rich Bottomlands Of The Missouri River In What Is Now North Dakota When She Was Young, Her Fields Were Near Like A Fishhook, The Earth Lodge Village That The Hidatsa Shared With The Mandan And Arikara When She Grew Older, The Families Of The Three Tribes Moved To Individual Allotments On The Fort Berthold Indian ReservationIn Buffalo Bird Woman S Garden, First Published In , Anthropologist Gilbert L Wilson Transcribed The Words Of This Remarkable Woman, Whose Advice Today S Gardeners Can Still Follow She Describes A Year Of Activities, From Preparing And Planting The Fields Through Cultivating, Harvesting, And Storing Foods She Gives Recipes For Cooking Typical Hidatsa Dishes And She Tells Of The Stories, Songs, And Ceremonies That Were Essential To A Bountiful HarvestA New Introduction By Anthropologist And Ethnobotanist Jeffery R Hanson Describes The Hidatsa People S Ecologically Sound Methods Of Gardening And Wilson S Work With This Traditional GardenerPraise For Buffalo Bird Woman S Garden A Gem Of A Book Useful For Today S Gardener Organic Gardener One Of The Best Gardening Books Around City Pages Every Gardener And Agricultural Scientist Should Find Gems Of Practical Wisdom In These Pages, Borne From An Age Old Tradition When Sustainable Agricultural Practices Made The Difference In Sustaining Life Fascinating Foster S Botanical Herb Review Historical Photographs And Diagrams Of Farming Techniques, Along With Actual Recipes And Hidatsa Vegetable Varieties, Make This Gem Of A Book Useful For Today Gardener Organic GardeningBuffalo Bird Woman's Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians

Gilbert Wilson was born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1869 He earned a bachelors degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1899 after graduating from Wittenberg College, and was ordained a Presbyterian minister in Moorhead, Minnesota He then returned to Wittenberg and earned a master s degree In 1902, he became a pastor in Mandan, North Dakota Wilson was excited to live near Native Americans, as he enjoyed studying Indian life and folklore, and aspired to write sympathetic children s books which accurately depicted Indian life and customs Wilson married Ada Myers of Springfield in 1909 and had one child, who died suddenly in early adulthood Later in life, Wilson was both a pastor in Stillwater, Minnesota, as well as a professor of anthropology at Macalester College in Saint Paul, where he also served as pastor.Wilson s career as an ethnographer began when he visited the Sioux at Standing Rock Reservation in 1905 Two books came out of this early work The Iktomi Myth 1906 and Indian Hero Tales 1907 The next year, Gilbert and his brother Frederick would visit the elderly Hidatsa woman, Buffalo Bird Woman, at Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota This began in earnest Wilson s careful documentation of Hidatsa life In following years, he would include other family members of Buffalo Bird Woman in his scholarship, most prominently her brother Henry Wolf Chief and her son Edward Goodbird Wilson was also adopted into the Prairie Chicken Clan as a son to Buffalo Bird Woman and a brother to Edward in 1909.Among the many published works some posthumously that came out of this relationship, were the ethnographic works Agriculture of the Hidatsa An Indian Interpretation 1917 , The Horse and Dog in Hidatsa Culture 1924 , Hidatsa Eagle Trapping 1929 , The Hidatsa Earthlodge 1934 and the children s books Myths of the Red Children 1907 and Indian Hero Tales 1916 He also published Buffalo Bird Woman s and Goodbird s autobiography in Waheene an Indian Girl s Story, Told by Herself and Goodbird, the Indian.Early in Wilson s work at Fort Berthold, he generated great controversy when he bought the Waterbuster clan medicine bundle from Wolf Chief, who converted to Christianity and was wary of shouldering the responsibility of bundle ownership Wilson then sold the bundle to a wealthy New York collector, which angered many Hidatsa, especially those from the Waterbuster clan, as well as the curator of the State Historical Society of North Dakota who tried to bar Wilson from the reservation However, Wilson s adopted family supported him and allowed him to continue his research.As a student of Alfred Jenks, Wilson became a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Minnesota in 1910 He received his degree in 1916 with his dissertation, Agriculture of the Hidatsa An Indian Interpretation This work is a classic of northern Plains ethnography, and is still used by scholars today to gain insights into traditional Hidatsa farming practices.

[PDF] ↠ Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians Author Gilbert Livingstone Wilson – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 129 pages
  • Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians
  • Gilbert Livingstone Wilson
  • English
  • 13 July 2019
  • 0873512197

10 thoughts on “Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians

  1. says:

    I think I could have appreciated itif I had donegardening, especially with the crops she focused on Those were corn, beans, squash, and sunflower seeds, so that is four sisters, not three sisters, but they were doingrow cropping rather than the mounds that have been described.Anyway, I am sure there will be people who can getout of this, but I can still appreciate the value of taking this down and preserving the the memory and knowledge of this woman, as well as the thor I think I could have appreciated itif I had donegardening, especially with the crops she focused on Those were corn, beans, squash, and sunflower seeds, so that is four sisters, not three sisters, but they were doingrow cropping rather than the mounds that have been described.Anyway, I am sure there will be people who can getout of this, but I can still appreciate the value of taking this down and preserving the the memory and knowledge of this woman, as well as the thorough way in which it was done

  2. says:

    Gilbert Wilson, a minister turned anthropologist, hit upon a great idea for his Ph.D thesis head off to a nearby Hidatsa village and chat with the elderly about the local Indian traditional agricultural practices, by then 1910 nearly extinct In a stroke of luck his fellow pastor and interpreter s mother turned out to be a terrific source Buffalo Bird Woman Maxi diwiac was a garrulous old woman, with an excellent memory, and sharp and busy enough that she d tried out the newfangled ways Gilbert Wilson, a minister turned anthropologist, hit upon a great idea for his Ph.D thesis head off to a nearby Hidatsa village and chat with the elderly about the local Indian traditional agricultural practices, by then 1910 nearly extinct In a stroke of luck his fellow pastor and interpreter s mother turned out to be a terrific source Buffalo Bird Woman Maxi diwiac was a garrulous old woman, with an excellent memory, and sharp and busy enough that she d tried out the newfangled ways a bit and concluded but of course that the Old Ways Were The Best, and kids these days with their potatoes and hippity hop music and video game consoles and white beans instead of red So glued are they to their cell phones that they are stuck with inferior squash I may be mixing things up a little.Anyway, she s a hoot, and if you are one of the lucky few interested in agricultural history or Indian culture as it once was, you re in for a treat.Freely available online at collaborated with Maxi diwiac on her biography Waheenee An Indian Girl s Story, as well as that of her son Goodbird the Indian His Story I believe he knew her beforehand, which is what gave him the idea for the thesis in the first place

  3. says:

    As a gardener and historian, I enjoyed this interview the descriptions are very clear and the photos solidify some of the account Very practical application of ancient methods Fascinating reading A treasure for those wanting to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.

  4. says:

    I ve been interested in Native American agriculture and subsistence habitsgenerally since I hit on the idea that they could solve the ecological koan I ve been puzzling over for the last six or so months how can we create landscapes that produce tons of diverse and satisfying foods, and at the same time meet the needs of our nature creatures Native peoples solved this problem they maintained a careful balance of wild spaces and cultivated spaces, so that every creature had its place W I ve been interested in Native American agriculture and subsistence habitsgenerally since I hit on the idea that they could solve the ecological koan I ve been puzzling over for the last six or so months how can we create landscapes that produce tons of diverse and satisfying foods, and at the same time meet the needs of our nature creatures Native peoples solved this problem they maintained a careful balance of wild spaces and cultivated spaces, so that every creature had its place When the Indian population was decimated by diseases, the ecosystem became a cornucopia of mast, bison, passenger pigeons, and salmon If the same thing were to happen now, America would just become a patch of monotonous invasives So obviously there was something worth learning about and imitating there.Carol Deppe pointed me to this book in The Resilient Gardener, and I hoped to get some clues here To that end, there is not much The Hidatsa either planted or tended patches of serviceberry and chokecherry near their villages And they harvested a few foods from the vast prairie surrounding the village bison, elk, and wild turnips Their chief subsistence is just what you think Native American agriculture would produce the Three Sisters There are a few surprises BBW doesn t grow the Sisters in the milpa system they are nearly always described in Corn and beans grow in alternating rows several feet apart, and squashes and sunflowers grow in their own patches There is no mention of companion or successional planting, just a two year fallow period if yields start to get too low What s most surprising is how monotonous the Hidatsa diet sounds Aside from roast meat and green corn, everything is a stew Stews are made from corn one of 9 varieties , beans one of 5 varieties , and squash only one kind , green or ripe, seasoned with some bison fat and alkali salts obtained from springs or wood cob ash Compared to Sophie Coe s description of pre Columbian Aztec cuisine in America s First Cuisines, the Hidatsa sound dreadfully dull The only thing approaching greens mentioned in the book are dried squash blossoms The thing that Carol Deppe took away from the book is the technique of drying summer squash It seems that the single Hidatsa variety of squash was not suitable for winter storage, so instead they dried slices of summer squash In both squash and corn, it s clear that the Hidatsa had nary an inkling of pollination they knew that male squash blossoms didn t form fruits, but had not idea why the plant made them, nor did they know why corn fields next to each other contaminated each other with their variety.While the agriculture and cuisine in the book aren t particularly useful I suppose they re interesting from a historical point of view, but less so for a practitioner , the way the Hidatsa use organic implements for every need is incredible impressive For tools, they used bison scapula hoes, rib hoes, antler rakes, bone knives, spoons made from squash stems , and everything else made from cottonwood or ash or willow staves lashed together with rawhide and covered in hides Food is stored in root cellars lined with a species of grass that doesn t mold over the winter, held in the sides by willow stakes What s brilliant about this system is that you can always choose branches that are the appropriate shape and size for the job you re doing Braided grass twine holds dried squash rings together

  5. says:

    It is harvest time.This is an amusing example of someone s PhD dissertation from the turn of the century, bound with a pretty cover and sold in the gift shops of historical sites all over the Midwest Parts of it make very indifferent reading for most people, but overall the appeal is substantial You can tell when Wilson presses Buffalo Bird Woman for details, but it s evident that she supplies many of them without prompting She likes talking about the way she used to live The way old folks d It is harvest time.This is an amusing example of someone s PhD dissertation from the turn of the century, bound with a pretty cover and sold in the gift shops of historical sites all over the Midwest Parts of it make very indifferent reading for most people, but overall the appeal is substantial You can tell when Wilson presses Buffalo Bird Woman for details, but it s evident that she supplies many of them without prompting She likes talking about the way she used to live The way old folks do sometimes.The bits that stick with me from books like this are always surprising I love that they keep pieces of hide around the house for miscellaneous uses, uncannily like tea towels And there is one part where she describes standing in a storage pit that is so deep she has to have someone help her out There is not much description, but the image I get is so strong the sound of her voice, feigning pitiful, to ask for help, the feel of her mother s hands when she grabs her by the wrists, the sun on the crown of her hair, wind sounds in the trees by the river, dirt crumbling off the lip of the pit, the balance of weight when she pulls her up Maybe that s why I like these spare, detailed ethnographies My imagination reacts like a dog that hasn t been walked in a while

  6. says:

    Such an in depth look at Buffalo Bird Woman s gardening and preserving techniques I loved this book I loved reading about Native ways and the fact that farming was the woman s job in her culture I loved Buffalo Bird Woman herself She gave detailed accounts of everything she did, some of which I will incorporate into my own gardening activities So sad that this way of life was considered backward and was destroyed She had so much information to offer.

  7. says:

    Anthropologist Gilbert L Wilson transcribed conversations with Buffalo Bird Woman, a Hidatsa American Indian woman from North Dakota She was born around 1839, and the account was published in 1917 It is a lovely and descriptive account of Buffalo Bird Woman s culture, food, family, dwellings, and gardens A nice view of life culture from the female perspective Very readable.

  8. says:

    Reading this book was like being at a retreat I loved having all these experiences with a way of life that includes communal tending, watching and singing to my garden and using tools that come from a deep way of interacting with animals and trees.I was surprised about the way animal poop was not seen as helpful to the garden fertility camefrom having a relationship with each garden, choosing the location near the Missouri River tributary , burning the weeds, and by allowing the land to Reading this book was like being at a retreat I loved having all these experiences with a way of life that includes communal tending, watching and singing to my garden and using tools that come from a deep way of interacting with animals and trees.I was surprised about the way animal poop was not seen as helpful to the garden fertility camefrom having a relationship with each garden, choosing the location near the Missouri River tributary , burning the weeds, and by allowing the land to lie fallow every 2 or 3 years.I was slightly disappointed to find womens ways of working in the garden were not universally respected by men and that boys were among the pests that might harm a garden.I wanted to taste the difference between strings of dried squash and corn and fat cooked in iron or copper kettles compared with food cooked in clay pots, and I wanted to be there singing to the plants and watching.I am especially fascinated by the cache pit details, shaped somewhat like a jug, with a narrow neck at the top,the size of a bull boat at the bottom Still not sure what a bull boat is was But I get that you had to descend into the pit with a ladder I especially enjoyed the trip to get bundles, 100 s of them, of grass to line the pit Long established use made us able to make the bundles about alike in weight, though of course we had no scales to weigh them in those days To know and use the particular bones, parts and skin of particular animals is amazing I especially love the description of the use of the scrotum of a buffalo bull, used for picking certain berries and for harvesting tobacco blossoms The fresh scrotum was rimmed with choke cherry wood, bound with a thong, dried in the sun upon the drying stage or at the entrance to the earth lodge in the sun, then dried further filled with sand until dry.Oh how familiar this all feels maybe I did something like this in a past life

  9. says:

    A mildly interesting book of historic significance I don t garden, so the detailed horticultural methods were of little interest to me More interesting to me were the beliefs around growing techniques and the changes that occurred after contact with whites I was also struck by the description of tobacco use and cultivation, the many different types of corn each with its own use , and the practice of drying squash for the winter I was intrigued by the occasions when Buffalo Bird Woman found A mildly interesting book of historic significance I don t garden, so the detailed horticultural methods were of little interest to me More interesting to me were the beliefs around growing techniques and the changes that occurred after contact with whites I was also struck by the description of tobacco use and cultivation, the many different types of corn each with its own use , and the practice of drying squash for the winter I was intrigued by the occasions when Buffalo Bird Woman found reason to chuckle, revealing her deeply held cultural beliefs A book that gardeners, farmers, anthropologists and students of Native American culture and heritage will find interesting

  10. says:

    This was an incredibly thorough account of traditional agricultural practices and tools used by the Hadatsa tribe in North Dakota This is her account of tribal agricultural practices before and after relocation and it was interesting reading a detailed book of Buffalo Bird Woman s ecologically sound methods is gardening, cultivating and harvesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *