What: These were various products made or collected from the yucca plant. String and rope could be made from the fibers of the leaves. The outside coating was stripped off, leaving the underneath fibers. These fibers were then twisted together in a special way. The thickness or thinness of the rope depended on how many fibers were used.
The handdrills could be made from the flower stalks to use in primitive fire making. The spindle is twirled between the hands with a downward pressure into the hearthboard or fireboard. Wood powder is ground from the two wood surfaces, generating heat and eventually a hot coal.
The fruit of many different kinds of yucca were collected for food. Even some blossoms were eaten.
The root of the yucca could be used for soap. The outside of the root was peeled off. A small piece of the root was then pounded with a stone or something hard. The fiberous piece could then be lathered like a bar of soap.
Who: The yucca plant was important to the American Indian tribes living where it grew. The Kaibab Paiute used yucca for making baskets and clothing in addition to the items in the picture.
Last updated: February 24, 2015