AERA looks at indigenous food as medicine<br>

In seeking a theme for this year’s annual ethnobotany conference, Hogan and her associates looked to traditional and natural foods—knowing that we are what we eat, and that food is our first and most important medicine.

“We wanted to consider the concept of food as vibrational energy.”

Traditional people spent a great deal of time honoring their food; food was given prayer offerings. Utensils such as mush sticks were held close to the women’s hearts while they prayed for the health and welfare of their families, Hogan said. Food was prepared slowly, chewed and eaten slowly, and given honoring the home.

It is important to maintain a powerful acid/alkaline balance in our bodies, Hogan said.

Michael Sockyma, Theodora Home-wytewa and their daughter Michelle Sockyma were presenters at the conference, sharing traditional Hopi plant knowledge and arts and crafts.

Theodora Homewytewa, of the Hopi Bear Clan, said that as the only daughter of her family, the role of herbal knowledge fell to her, rather than a male.

“We grew up with medicinal and edible plants. These were picked in season, so as we grew up we had the craving for certain plants at certain times of the year,” Homewytewa said. These include plants she knows as spinaches, a type of wild carrot, and others that are used by the Hopi in gravies.

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