Living off the land

Native plants are not just interesting to see; they also have special names and play important roles in the lives of desert people. Beargrass ("moe-hoe"), yucca ("tock-way"), devil's claw ("ee-hook"), banana yucca root ("o-ee-toctk"), and willow ("chay-ult") provide the raw materials for the creative artistry found in Tohono O'Odham baskets. In the old days, mesquite and iron-wood were used to carve wooden bowls and cactus fiber was crafted into rope. Even today, mesquite sap is used in decorating native-clay pottery. Hungry? Prickly pear cacti fruits, cholla cacti buds, mesquite and palo verde beans all are edible; however, it's best to consult well-respected references on how to prepare desert dishes because some ingredients can bite back!

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

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