Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis syn. Juncus balticus
family: Rush (Juncaceae)
hoomávéšeméenó'ėstovėstse, "plants for robe quilling" (see Hart 1981: 12)
The root -méen-, which has the meaning „to decorate, to patch“ today, surely comes from the Cheyenne word for feather (Leman 1980: 9) and is a reminiscence of decorating with flatted bird quills. This ancient technique was widespread among American Indians formerly. Mentioned radix appears in name of a Cheyenne women’s society or guild which kept techniques, designs, ceremonies, and traditions related to quilling with porcupine quills or other decorative materials — méenó'ėstse (Grinnell 1923 I: 160). It is known as the Selected Women too.
Mountain rush (Baltic rush) is perennial plant, up to 70 cm tall, glaucous, mostly without unflowering stems. Stem is erect, stiff, with glossy yellow-brown sheaths at the base. Inflorescence is lateral and formed with many flowers, 2 to 20 cm long. It blossoms from June to August. It grows on riparian meadows, in moist valleys, and moorlands, from lowlands to altitude 2700 m. It ranges throughout the northern temperate belt and in South America too; in whole Northern America, excepting the Southeast and the southernmost areas of the Great Plains. In Europe, it ranges along the Baltic Sea especially.
Cheyennes used mountain rush stems to weaving baskets and scuttles formerly. Tenuous roots was used to quilling buffalo robes or other leather things as well as porcupine quills (Grinnell 1923 II: 171).
> literature