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Ahwahnee Village


Acorn Granary
chakka (Southern and Central Miwok)

Acorn granary
[click to enlarge]

Acorn granary
Black oak acorns were a substantial part of the diet of California Indian people. When stored properly, acorns will keep indefinitely, so an effective storage house was developed.

The granaries were raised above the ground on a stump or large rock, and consisted of a nest-like container made from grapevines and buckbrush built between four upright poles. The cavity was lined with wormwood and then filled with acorns. The entire granary was then shingled with conifer boughs and capped at the top with layers of more boughs, cedar bark, and after the coming of non-Indians, canvas.

Acorn granaries were common until the turn of the century, but their use had died out by the 1920s. Today, Indian people store acorns in gunny sacks or boxes which are kept in their homes, garages or outbuildings.



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