has many medicinal properties that are useful to the Tongva. Amul
has many uses as a skin treatment. The Tongva use amul sap to treat fresh
wounds. The roots can be crushed into a soap and can also be made into a
facial cream. This plant also acts as a refreshing, invigorating
tonic: the large, broad leaves are cut into small pieces and chewed.
Amul is an
important staple for food and trade. The flower buds may be eaten
or left to dry for later use. They are gathered in spring and late
autumn and boiled briefly to remove the bitter taste. Also, buds
may be cooked in earth-ovens for twenty-four hours or more. Cooking the
buds in this way reduces them to a gummy state so they can then be worked into cakes.
These cakes are eaten and in the past were used in trade. The Tongva
often traded acorns and baskets in exchange for amul.
Finally, amul has many uses in daily and ceremonial Tongva life.
Its leaf fiber is used to make baskets. Awls and tattoo needles are
made from the thorn tips, while burned leaves are ground into charcoal for
tattoos. Cordage is made from the leaves for nets, bowstrings,
snares, and netting for the ceremonial eagle skirts.