Fungus ashes and tobacco: The use of Phellinus igniarius by the indigenous people of North America

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Abstract

The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History has unusual boxes which were made by the Inuit of Alaska in the late 1800s to hold the ashes of Phellinus igniarius basidiocarps. The fungus was burned and the ashes mixed with tobacco to give it a 'powerful kick'. Museum collections of P. igniarius indicate that its use by Native Americans as a masticatory or for smoking purposes was widespread across North America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
JournalMycologist
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Keywords

  • Ethnomycology
  • Forest fungi
  • Indian art
  • Native Americans
  • Phellinus igniarius
  • Tobacco

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