Species Detail

Juniperus virginiana L.
Eastern red cedar

Scientific Name:  
Juniperus virginiana L.
Common Name:  
Eastern red cedar
Myaamia Name:  
Medicinal, Customs, Technology
Harvest Seasons:  
Wet Prairie grasslands with flooding, Conifer Shrubland and Forest, Conifer Swamp some deciduous domts.
Liebert Property
Growth Forms:  

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Juniperus virginiana L.
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
No Reference Specified Customs  Cedar is women's medicine. Cedar is put into graves, being a women's medicine it is an offering to Mother Earth.
Dunn, J.P. Circa 1900 Use - Technology  red cedar; black locust and mulberry tree wood used for shorter war bows
Dunn, J.P. 1919 Use - Customs  prior to the body being taken to the cemetary; an elder or the Chief goes to the cemetery to smoke the ground with cedar and tobacco. The cedar is evergreen; and signifies continuing life and the tobacco helps prayers ascend to the Great Spirit
N/A 1998-2006 Use - Customs  funeral--if the ceremony is performed at the gravesite then the leader will cast cedar to the four directions and into the grave and over the coffin. After the ceremony friends and family gather at a relatives house. If the deceased smoked cigarettes; relatives will place cigarettes in containers around the area and each person should smoke one of the cigarettes as an honoring. Accompanying this is a smoking ceremony where cedar cedar and tobacco are placed in a receptable and left to smolder. The smoke is fanned over a person in a manner similar to washing; the purpose being to cleanse away the spirit of death
Kohn, R.W; Lynwood, M.R; Edmunds, D; Mannering, M.; 1997 Use - Customs  used at a funeral
No Reference Specified Use - Customs  chiefs medicine bag; used for blessing a grave or new building; contained tobacco and cedar.
No Reference Specified Use - Customs/Medicinal  the chief smokes a sick person for healing and the deceased.
No Reference Specified Use - Customs  chief smokes a funeral casket with cedar.
Carlson. K 1996, June 15 Use - Customs  component of a medicine bag.
Shoemaker, G. 2004, May 28 Use - Customs  used when leaving the Nation drum; Gary’s personal habit to honor drum
Olds, Julie, Olds, Dustin and Dani Tippman 1999 Use - Customs  cedar used to smoke family members to protect them from harmful spirits. Freeman Walker; Mildred Walkers late husband; smoked his house and kids a lot; to protect them from spirits like the one that came from an Indian woman who changed into a wolf and planted a moth egg in his fathers back when he was 18. He would put it in a little black; cast iron pot and set it on the floor in the middle of the room; and the carried it into the other rooms including the bedrooms. He smoked more often in the fall; when the cedar burned easy
No Reference Specified Use - Medicinal  smoke from a pipe blown into a childs ear that was infected.
Gravier, J. ca. 1700 Use - Unknown 
Dunn, J.P. Circa 1900 Use - Unknown 
Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Unknown 
No Reference Specified Use - Unknown 
No Reference Specified Use - Unknown 
No Reference Specified Use - Unknown 
Baldwin, D 2003-2005 Horticultural Info  The Eastern red cedar is dioecious; having separate male and female trees. It is customary for Miami men to gather only from the male trees and Miami women to gather only from the female trees
Botanical Sources  
Juniperus virginiana L.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
Gleason, H.A. & Cronquist, A. 1991   Occurs on dry; especially calcareous; and other soils throughout the eastern and western Miami lands
Related Sources  
Juniperus virginiana L.
Reference Source Notes Data Comments
Whitford, A. C. 1941   Red cedar fibers were found in on specimen from a bag made by the Potawatomi
Kohn, R.W; Lynwood, M.R; Edmunds, D; Mannering, M.; 1997   Contemporary Catholic masses in Oklahoma have adopted some traditional ways of the Ottawa; and use a mixture of cedar and sweet grass over coals for incense; just like the Ottawa way. They also use a cedar sprig to spray Holy Water out; instead of the catholic bulb-shaped tool for the same purpose
Coulter, S 1932   A volative oil derived from the dried ripe fruits of Juniperus communis; in small doses 0.1 cc is a gentle stimulant to the kidneys and act as a diuretc. In too high of a dose it may suppress urinary flow
Gonella, M.P. 2003-2005   Only two plants; wild tobacco and red cedar; were used traditionally as ceremonial plants by the Miami. Contemporary uses of other plants in ceremonies; including white sage Salvia apiana; from western U.S. and sweetgrass Hierochloe odorata have been acquired often from the pan-Indian movement of modern times