This course explores over thirty different common herbs and plants that were used traditionally by Lakota households for general health and healing purposes. Students will do local field studies and will be required to gather and identify the different plants and learn the importance of them according to cultural beliefs, tradition, and song. Prerequisites: 100 level science course and Engl 113.
Lakota people relied on the natural resources that have surrounded them since the beginning of time. These resources provided subsistence, health remedies, tools, religious aides, and materials for many other applications. The knowledge of these resources and how to use them was central to being Lakota and for existing in this environment. This course is an introductory overview of the knowledge of Lakota foods, plants, and herbs that were collected and used traditionally in the pre-reservation era.
This course is divided into two main parts. The first part concentrated on traditional Lakota food. This part centers on what foods were used, how they were obtained, how the food was prepared, the different types and uses of food, and its storage. Students will be required to prepare different traditional meals using a variety of meat and plant dishes.
• Students are responsible for bringing a traditional home cooked Lakota food to share with the class. All cost of the food preparation is at the students expense.
The second part of the course is about traditional Lakota plants and herbs. We will investigate and collect local plants and study their uses as food, medicine, and other practical uses. Many of the plants have songs, stories, and folklore associated with them and learning these will also be an important part of the course. Two to three field trips will be required to identify, gather, and observe plants in their natural habitat.