Native Agriculture

Native Agriculture

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Waffle Pattern

Waffle Pattern

Native Crops

Native Crops

Southern Cardinal Direction Marker

Southern Cardinal Direction Marker

About

Learn the role Native people played in cultivating certain staple crops.

Waffle Pattern

An Audio Transcript

Depending on the season, you may be able to spot the grid pattern in the soil.

Shirley Cloud Lane is Southern Ute.

"You know how the waffle has these little square ridges on them? That's the way the people would plant. They'd put the plant right in the middle of these little squares. They'd build up the sides… and so when it rained it would collect the water and it would have like a little pool of water right there and then even in the southwest the rains come and go really quickly and so it would keep the water pooled right there so once the rain went away and the sun comes out and it gets hot again, it's still continuing to moisten the plant."

Native Crops

An Audio Transcript

Native people were the first to cultivate certain staple crops that we all know today.

Museum Director Kevin Gover.

"A great deal of the food that people throughout the world eat today was developed in the Americas, everything from corn to potatoes to peanuts…I think…there's a misperception that Indians were simply using what was already available. It was one of their great accomplishments that they were also creating new species of food. And probably the most important accomplishment was the development of corn. The scientists still struggle to understand where that came from, which weed it was that Indians began to cultivate in order to result in the development of the corn that we eat today.
In many native languages, the word for Corn means "Our Mother" or "Our Life".

Shirley Cloud Lane.

"Corn to the Navajo is very very important. when the corn reaches a certain height we go out and get the corn pollen and in out language it's called tradadin. And this is what we use to bless things. So we thank creator for all life for all things for the khe and the hodjo which means walking in beauty or walking in balance and harmony."

Southern Cardinal Direction Marker

All of the stones had journeys but this rock
traveled the farthest to be here: 18,000 miles. It comes from the Yagan people
from Tierra del Fuego in Southern Chile.

Chilean Ambassador Andres Bianchi.

"The Yaganis are the southern most indigenous living people in the Americas, The southern marker, …
came all the way from Tierra del Fuego to stand in very good company with its
siblings from the north, the east, and the west… a Yagan elder confided to one of
the Museum representatives, "It is sad because the boulder is leaving us. I
used to play on it when I was a child. But it is also happy because we know
that the rock will have a new home in an important place and will be surrounded
again by many people."