family: True Puffball (Lycoperdaceae)
The common puffball (gem-studded puffball, devil’s snuff-box) is a moderate sized mushroom with a round fruiting body, tapering to a wide stalk. The top cover short, spiny bumps or "jewels." The mature mushroom become brown and a hole in the top opens to release brown spores. The common puffball grows in whole North America and Europe.
In a version of the Motsé'eóeve’s story, the Prophet who brought the four sacred arrows to the Cheyenne changed pieces of unmature puffball to grease and he feeded six hungry boys with it (Grinnell 1908: 315). The spores of puffball were a part of various mixtures and preparations. It served as the powder for babies, applied for rashes mainly (Grinnell 1923 I: 148; Hart 1981: 3). The Cheyenne women powdered the navel cord of newborn baby with mature spores of puffball. Sometimes, whole puffball was set to the navel of baby (Hilger 1946: 63). On infected sores or boils, the puffball spores was placed directly, warmed with hot stone. In Cheyenne belief, it extracted the "poison." The puffball spores, mixed with pulverized root of narrow-leaved purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) and skunk oil, served for curing of furuncles. When the furuncle became mature it was sucked up on the grain, pierced, pus was crushed out, and the remedial mixture was applied (Hart 1981: 3, data from Mrs. Mary Fisher of the Northern Cheyenne community). Puffball helped in attending open wounds. As the healer cleaned up the wound he powdered it with spores and bandaged (Powell 1981: 1165).