SOAR

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The Tongva use soar for limited medicinal purposes, but also take advantage of the reed for other uses. An infusion of the roots and leaves produces an effective emetic. A thick tea from the roots and leaves will produce a diuretic. Additionally, the combination of roots and leaves provides a mixture that is used to wash the entire body.

The Tongva make good use of soar's firm stalks and stems. Soar is used in basketry. The Tongva create many different types of mats from soar. One type of soar mat is used for the leaching acorn meal, while Shamans use another mat, made from the stalks and stems, to store their ceremonial bundles. Soar stems provide the brown and sometimes yellow-green dyes that color the basketry.

Finally, the Tongva eat the soar shoots raw, cooked in ashes, or boiled.

One legend speaks about Coyote making a "mourning figure" of Weywot when Weywot died. Coyote searched for the right plant to use. He found seaweed, brought it to the Lake Big Bear where Weywot lay. By the time Coyote had arrived, the seaweed had hardened into soar, and thus the "mourning figures" carried in procession on the Winter solstice ceremony are partly made of soar.


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Juncus textilis

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  Mario Incayawar, M.D., 2010

Disclaimer: All material provided here is for educational purposes only. Consult your own physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.