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3 Wild Vegetable

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Ainu History and Culture

1●Ainu People
2●Eating Habits
3●Wild Vegetable
10●Religion/"Sending Spirits Back"
11●Life of the Ainu
12●Sacred Dances
13●Oral Literature
15●Ainu Museum

Although the Ainu lived by fishing and hunting, they also considered wild plants important food. The following wild plants were gathered as foods : in spring (March to May), Garlic, Lag-wort, Wormwood, Angelica, Angelica Tree, Hogweed, Anemone, brackens, royal ferns, Hog-Peanut, etc. ; in summer (July to August), Heartleaf Lily, Corydalis, Woodbine, Roses, etc. ; in autumn (September to November), chestnuts, walnuts, Oak, Grape-Vine, Tara vines, Cork-tree, Water-nut, mushrooms, etc. Gathering wild plants was a job for women. They were freely allowed to gather wild plants in the vicinity of their own village.

Tools for gathering wild plants differed from plant to plant. To gather Hog-Peanut and Garic, the Ainu used "shittap," an excavating tool made of deer horn or wood whose top was hook-shaped. To gather Heartleaf Lily, they used a stick called "tureptani" or "itani." To gather Marsh-Marigold, they used "puytaurayni, " a stick with a sharp tip. Besides these tools, table knives and mountain knives were also used to cut stalks and roots.

The Ainu gathered wild plants with these tools and carried them in a "saranip, " a bag made of the bark of Linden or Budozuru.








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