Species Detail

Juglans nigra L.
Black walnut tree


Scientific Name:  
Juglans nigra L.
Common Name:  
Black walnut tree
Myaamia Name:  
ayoonseekaahkwi
Uses:  
Food, Medicinal, Material, Customs, Technology
Harvest Seasons:  
Winter
Habitats:  
Wet Prairie grasslands with flooding, Conifer Shrubland and Forest
Locations:  
Geboe Property
Growth Forms:  
Cultivated

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Juglans nigra L.
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Unknown  "mialwahki; walnut tree"; "ayoonseekaahkwi"; called ayunsaki because it stains the hands yellow.
Hockett, C.F. 1985 Use - Unknown  Peoria and Miami term
Deliette, L. 1702 Use - Material  Translated by Pease: "They make the [racket][ Peases brackets] of a stick of walnut; about three feet long; which they bend half way; making the end come within a foot of the other end which serves them for a handle. To keep it in this shape they fasten a buffalo sinew to the curved end; which; as I have already said; they fasten about a foot from the end which serves as a handle. They lace the interior with more buffalo sinew so that the ball; which is a knot of wood of the size of a tennis ball; cannot pass through." Original record: "ils les font dun brin de Noyer; denviron 3. pieds de long quils courbent a moitie; et font venir le bout vis a vis pres dun pied de lautre bout; qui leur sert de manche; pour la faire tenir dans cet estat; ils attachent du nerf de Bouef au bout courbe; quils attachent comme jay deja dit pres dun pied de ce qui sert de manche; ils lacent le dedans avec encore du nerf en sorte que la Boulle qui est un noeud de Bois de la grosseur dune balle de jeu de paume ne passe au travers."
Pease, Theodore Calvin and Raymond C. Werner 1934 Use - Customs  "Si le mort aimoit le jeu de la Crosse les parens feroient crosser les Villages lun cotre lautre;" translation by Pease: "lacrosse played at the funeral of a man who liked lacrosse"
Kerr, J. 1935 Use - Unknown  "meuluahke; walnut tree"
Tippman, D. 1999, November 11 Use - Food  nuts gathered for food Interview with Jim Strack; Tippman 1999;
Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Food  In the traditional story of Young Thunder William Pecongah; he describes the crops he had growing on his land 160 acres of reserve in central Indiana. "There I planted corn; wheat; potatoes; peas; tobacco; beans; apple trees; pumpkins; watermelons; cucumbers; onions; hay; straw; gooseberries; raspberries; blackberries; currants; turnips; tomatoes; pawpaws; cherries; strawberries; plums; blackhaws; peaches; walnut trees; pecans; hickory nuts; barley and rye."
Report made by the Peoria, Eastern Shawnee, Wyandotte, Seneca-Cayuga, Miami and Ottawa Tribes. 2003, September 2 Use - Food  nut meat eaten
Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Technology  "The forests are full of walnut-trees [in Miami country]; resembling those of Canada; and their roots have several properties not observed in the others. They are very soft; and their bark affords a black dye; but their principal use consists in medicine. They stop a looseness; and furnish an excellent emetick"
Charlevoix, P. 1923 Use - Medicinal  "The forests are full of walnut-trees [in Miami country]; resembling those of Canada; and their roots have several properties not observed in the others. They are very soft; and their bark affords a black dye; but their principal use consists in medicine. They stop a looseness; and furnish an excellent emetick"
Gravier, J. ca. 1700 Use - Food  "walnuts one cant tell if there are nutmeats inside"
Botanical Sources  
Juglans nigra L.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
Gleason, H.A. & Cronquist, A. 1991   Rich; moist soil throughout eastern and western Miami lands.
Tippman, D. 1999, November 11   Jim Strack mentions the declining abundance of hazelnut and butternut trees. "A lot of hazelnut around [then]" "they dont seem to grow very good any more; the hazelnuts do; likewise with butternuts"
Related Sources  
Juglans nigra L.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
Bush, L. L 1996   Human-charred black walnut material recovered from excavations at an early 19th century Miami village site at the forks of the Wabash River (Ft Wayne) 1795-1812 (Ehler Site).
Hockett, C.F. 1985   The Miami-Illinois term for black walnut is aayoonsee-" This term refers to the walnut tree fruit – Michael Gonella
Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895   The terms "ayunsaki" or "eyunsaki" means 'to stain hands yellow' when handled.
Bush, L. L 1996   Human-charred butternut/walnut timbers were recovered from an early 19th century Miami village site at the forks of the Wabash River
N/A 1998-2006   Walnut timbers used to construct early sections of home of Mary Wells Wolcott; in 1827--one of the oldest Miami homesteads still standing
McPherson, Alan and Sue McPherson. 1977   "The Indians [undescribed tribe] boiled the walnut kernels in water and skimmed off the oil to use as a sweet-flavored cooking oil. Both Indians and pioneers used the husks around the shells along with the bark to produce a brown dye"
Bush, L. L 1996   Archaeological studies have demonstrated that nuts preserved as nutshell; which represent walnut; hickory and hazelnut species were an important wild food resource utilized by Late Woodland prior to 700 A.D. through approximately 1450 A.D. indigenous peoples of central and southern Indiana. Results of these studies indicate that nut use declined over the Late Woodland period prior to 700 A.D. to 1450 A.D.; probably due to increased cultivation of fall-maturing crops; like corn; and conflicts with gathering nuts during this same time period.