Entry Detail

black walnut tree

Entry Type:  
Scientific Name:  
Common Name:  
black walnut tree
Myaamia Name:  
Harvest Seasons:  
Wet Prairie grasslands with flooding, Conifer Shrubland and Forest

Media not available.
Myaamia Archival Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 No Reference Specified

Lacrosse was played at the funeral of a man who liked lacrosse ("Si le mort aimoit le jeu de la Crosse les parens feroient crosser les Villages l'un cotre l'autre").

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 No Reference Specified

The wood of this species was used to make Lacrosse stick: "They make the [racket] 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" ("ils les font d'un brin de Noyer, d'environ 3. pieds de long qu'ils courbent a moitie, et font venir le bout vis a vis pres d'un pied de l'autre bout, qui leur sert de manche, pour la faire tenir dans cet estat, ils attachent du nerf de Bouef au bout courbe, qu'ils attachent comme j'ay deja dit pres d'un 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 d'une balle de jeu de paume ne passe au travers").

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 No Reference Specified

"The forests are full of walnut-trees [in Myaamia 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 No Reference Specified

"walnuts one can't tell if there are nutmeats inside"

Tippman, D. 1999 No Reference Specified

Nuts were gathered for food. "A lot of hazelnut around [then]" "they don't seem to grow very good any more, the hazelnuts do, likewise with butternuts".

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 No Reference Specified

In the traditional story of Young Thunder William Pekongah 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."

Peoria, Eastern Shawnee, Wyandotte, Seneca-Cayuga, Miami and Ottawa Tribes 2003 No Reference Specified

Nut gatehered and meat eaten.

Bush, L. L 1996 No Reference Specified

Human-charred walnut timbers were recovered from excavations at an early 19th century Myaamia village site (Ehler Site, 1795-1812), Fort Wayne.

Botanical Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Data Comments
Gleason, H.A. and Cronquist, A. 1991 Habitat 

Grows in rich moist soils throughout eastern and western Myaamia lands.

Related Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Data Comments
Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895  

The terms "ayunsaki" or "eyunsaki" mean to stain hands yellow, because walnuts stain the hands yellow when handled.

McPherson, A. and S. 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".

Hockett, C.F. 1985  

ayoonseekaahkwi is a Peoria and Miami term

Hockett, C. 1938  


This term refers to the black walnut fruit (Personal communication, Baldwin 2003). – Michael Gonella
Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006  

Walnut timbers used to construct early sections of the home of Mary Wells Wolcott, built in 1827. This is one of the oldest Myaamia homesteads still standing.

Bush, L. L 1996  

Human-charred black walnut shell fragments were recovered from excavations at an early 19th century Myaamia village site at the forks of the Wabash River (Ft Wayne) 1795-1812 (Ehler Site).

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895  

"mialwa'hki, walnut tree", "ayoonseekaahkwi", called ayunsaki because it stains the hands yellow.

Kerr, J. 1835  

"meuluahke, walnut tree"

Dunn, J.P. ca. 1900  

"walnut, me-al-wak"

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.