Early in the 20th century, anthropology student Gilbert Wilson made the first of several trips to an Indian reservation in North Dakota to examine agricultural techniques used among the Hidatsa Indians. This intriguing book is the result of his research. More than a survey of primitive agriculture, however, the work sensitively investigates the activities of a unique culture. With the help of Buffalobird-woman, a Hidatsa native, Wilson not only created a poignant biographical study and a classic anthropological document but also presented a Native American woman's interpretation of economics, with views about the land she cultivated, frequently sprinkled with shrewd and humorous observations.
The text covers a broad spectrum of topics, including methods that will be of lasting value to modern organic gardeners and farmers. Subjects range from useful advice on clearing fields, applying fertilizer, and storing crops for winter to such traditional activities as braiding ears of corn, making squash dolls, and harvesting tobacco blossoms.
Of special interest to anyone practicing sustainable agriculture, Native American Gardening will be of value to anthropologists, economic historians, and anyone fascinated by Native American life.
Paperback, 144 pages