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Ethnobotany of Coniferous Trees in Thompson and Lillooet Interior Salish of British Columbia

Nancy J. Turner
Economic Botany
Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1988), pp. 177-194
Published by: Springer on behalf of New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4255063
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ethnobotany of Coniferous Trees in Thompson and Lillooet Interior Salish of British Columbia
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Abstract

All 17 species of conifers (and one taxad) occurring within the traditional territories of the Thompson and Lillooet Interior Salish of British Columbia are known to these peoples and named by them at a restricted level. Of moderate to high cultural significance, most were used many ways in traditional life. Uses included: food-seeds, inner bark, sugar, pitch (for chewing), and boughs (for making beverages); technology-wood for construction and fuel, bark for construction, fibrous materials for weaving, resins for glue and caulking, and, of prime significance, boughs as scents and cleansing agents; and medicine-primarily as tonics, and as remedies for respiratory ailments, stomach and digestive disorders, eye problems, and dermatological complaints. The use of the boughs as scents and agents for cleanliness also made conifers very important in religious and spiritual rituals. Some were also featured in mythology. Thompson and Lillooet peoples continue to use conifers, but to a more limited extent than in the past.

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