Corylus cornuta
family: Birch (Betulaceae)
oó'xȯseo'o, "thing cracked with mouth"; general Cheyenne word for a nut; a special Cheyenne name for beaked hazelnut not found
Beaked hazelnut is shrub or small tree, up to 4 m tall, with light brown smooth branches. Annual shoots are hairy. Leaves are 5 to 10 long, alternate, with irregular double-serrate margin, ovate or widely ovate, darker above, light green and hairy bellow. Male flowers are grey-brown catkins, 25 mm long. They appear in autumn already. Female flowers are bright red, tiny, with liny to thread-like petals. They appear next year in April and May. Fruit is hard, smooth, round nut, 13 mm in diameter, closed in a leaf receptacle projecting to some horn. The nuts rippen late in August and in September. Seed is edible and palatable. Beaked hazelnut prefers open, dry, and sunny places in the forests and their edges. It ranges from New Foundland to the Appalachian Mountains and from the Great Lakes area to southern Manitoba, southern Saskatchewan, and central Alberta, and from southern British Columbia to central California; also in the Black Hills, and in Colorado on easterm slopes of the Front Range Mountains and along headwaters of the Southern Platte River.
The Cheyenne drummers made and still make the drumsticks from hazelnut wood. They are 30 to 60 cm long usually. The end of drumstick, which beats the drum, is often wrapped with cloth for about 10 cm. The handle is often decorated with various painted designs and some feathers are tied to it. Some drummers use drumsticks made from fiberglass fishing rods today (Hodges 1980: 32).
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