Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/41

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31
FOOD AND FIBER PLANTS OF THE INDIANS.

character, and were open to be made, with a little tact, by every sharp eye and clear head. The English can also furnish us with the model for this participation of unprofessional persons in the observation of Nature. Not only their many colonies, their residencies, and their domains, in the farthest parts of the globe, permit individuals to make numerous new and valuable observations, but there are also in England numbers of wealthy persons who, having no official positions, are animated by a spontaneous scientific enthusiasm, and are able to come forth again and again as patrons of scientific researches. Thus the gap between amateurs and professionals in the sciences is necessarily becoming narrower. The closer relation of the world of students to the public must, on the other side, give heart to the individual — yes, raise up a positive desire in him to make known what he has observed, and inspire him to experiments of his own. Community in work of this kind can already show its results. A perusal of the journal "Nature," in which students and laymen publish their researches and observations from the fields of science in all the five quarters of the globe, wherever Englishmen dwell, will illustrate this in the plainest manner. Inquiry is active, then, and is stimulated by the constant contribution of new facts. The most distinguished men of science are not ashamed to take part in these proceedings; but their communications give the nation opportunity to become immediately acquainted with their researches, to estimate their value, and rejoice over the good that accrues to the nation from them. In Germany such a usage could, in consequence of the closer relations of the different members of society, be made to be of much wider significance than in England. — Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from "Humboldt."


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FOOD AND FIBER PLANTS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS.

By J. S. NEWBERRY.

IT has happened to me to visit nearly forty tribes of the native population of North America, and many of these at a time when they had had little or no intercourse with the whites. As a physician and botanist, ray attention was naturally directed to the use of plants among them for food, and as remedies. I made many notes on these subjects, and, as they have never been published, and contain some items that may be interesting, it has seemed to me worth while to put them on record. Most of the observations to which I have referred were made a quarter of a century ago among the Indians of the Far West, remote from civilization, and where they were living in the "state of nature." The plants, of which the Indians I have visited have made use, are the following: