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Ahwahnee Village


Manzanita
Archostaphylos viscida ssp. mariposa
'eeye (Southern Miwok)
e'ye (Southern Miwok)

Manzanita
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Manzanita
Manzanita is the hardest wood in the Sierra Nevada, and was preferred for fires used to heat stones for cooking acorn mush, and to heat underground ovens. Manzanita leaves were sometimes sucked by Miwok people to quench thirst, as saliva production was stimulated.

Dried manzanita berries were picked in late summer. They were cleaned and pounded into a coarse meal and placed on a closely woven winnowing basket. Cold water was poured over the meal and the resulting cider was caught in a watertight basket or carved oak bowl. The cider was prepared as a special treat for large gatherings, where it was sucked from a small brush made of grass or Cooper’s hawk tail feathers.

Today, a few people prepare manzanita cider for ceremonial gatherings, and others, using modern techniques, made manzanita-cider jelly and syrup.



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