family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
méhneméhno'ėstse (Hart 1981: 7), "water-monster hairy plants"
Nebraska sedge is perennial plant, 25 to 120 cm tall, growing from thick horizontal rhizome. Leaves are glabrous, brownish or slightly redish at the base. Dry leaves of last years remain. Male spike is only one mostly, adjoining, narrowly ovate, 15 to 40 mm long, 3 to 6 mm wide. Female spikes are two to five, erect, adjoining, ovate, 15 to 60 mm long, 5 to 9 mm wide. Nebraska sedge is abundant in wetlands and moist forests, to altitude 2500 m. It ranges from eastern Montana, the Black Hills area, central Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and northeast New Mexico westward; also some sites in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri.
Carex stipata var. stipata
family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
heškóvóvȯtse (Tallbull 1993: 79), "thorny ones" ?
Owlfruit sedge (stalked sedge) is 30 to 100 cm tall. Leaves are 4 to 10 mm wide, to 60 cm long, mostly shorter than spike stem. Spikes are on tops of stems, erect or nearly erect, pointed, bisexual, yellow-brown, 3 to 10 cm long. Flowering May to July, fruiting June to August. It grows in marshes and wet meadows. It ranges from Newfoundland to British Columbia and in all states of the USA, except Arkansas, Texas, and Nevada; on the Plains: the Black Hill area, Bighorn Mountains, Nebraska, foothiils of ranges in Colorado, central Kansas; also Woodward County in Oklahoma.
Cheyennes called the sedge „water-monster plant“ because it grows in large water areas where water monsters (méhneo'o) live. This sedge was used during Sun Dance (hestȯsanestȯtse or hoxéhevȯhomó'hestȯtse) and Crazy Lodge (mȧsėháome) ceremonies. In the Crazy Lodge Ceremony, head of the red (or yellow) wolf mask was stuffed with it. In the Sun Dance Ceremony, it filled nose, eye, and mouth hole of buffalo skull placed on the altar (Hart 1981: 7; Grinnell 1923 II: 232, 235, 300). Sedge leaves was tied together in small bundles, ends of the leaves was bent back and tied to the bundle, after it the bundles was put in the holes of skull. Antropologist G. A. Dorsey (1905: 97, fig.) recorded that a Cheyenne priest put one bundle in tne nostrils of buffalo skull, second in right eye spot, and last in last eye spot. Grinnell wrote that Cheyennes put the sedge in the buffalo skull to express feeding of buffalo symbolically (Hart 1981: 8). According to P. J. Powell (1969: 636), the sedge "represents the earth’s vegetation, especially that which grows near the water. It use continues the prayer that the plants, trees, and grasses will be plentiful, in order to supply the needs of both men and animals."
Cheyenne priests Bull Thigh and White Bull said to G. B. Grinnell if sufficiency of the sedge was not for a ceremony other marsh grass could be added to the sedge to ensure proper size of the grass bundles. Because marsh grasses was used fot it always Grinnell concluded their use on stuffing the buffalo skull is a prayer for abundance of water (Grinnell 1923 II: 235).