Fall 2018 Newsletter

WISDOM FROM ASCENCIÓN

Edited by Jay Scherf, AMLT Program Coordinator

Ascención Solórsano was a Mutsun healer and leader who had extensive knowledge of Mutsun culture, language, plant uses, and customs. In the 1920s and ’30s she shared her knowledge with John P. Harrington, an ethnographer from the Smithsonian Institute. Harrington recorded over 78,000 pages of her wisdom, which are stored at the Smithsonian. In each newsletter, we share a selection from these notes. Here are some of Ascensión’s words:

Reel 61.1, Frame 392

puruuric, California coffeeberry, yerba del oso, Frangula californica

The fruit of the coffeeberry is sweet, but it leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth, and if one manages to eat lots of these little fruits it will turn your stomach. The bears, however, ate lots of these fruits.

The bark makes a good purgative.



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