Nokomis Learning Center Hosts Sweetgrass Braiding Event

Nokomis Learning Center Hosts Sweetgrass Braiding Event

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Nokomis Learning Center held a sweetgrass braiding event yesterday from 1pm to 4pm.

The event was sponsored by the Sweetgrass Sisters and the Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center. The sweetgrass was provided for the attendants but a $10 donation was asked to help cover the cost of materials. The attendants got to keep the braids they made.

The sweetgrass used was harvested last year. It was hung upside down to dry in order to keep its green color.

In an interview, Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center Board Member, Kathy Yates, discussed the symbolic importance of the sweetgrass.

“Sweetgrass is considered one of the four sacred plants by the indigenous people here in this area,” she said. “It’s considered the hair of mother earth. And so, traditionally its braided.”

Yates also mentioned that sweetgrass is a symbol of peace and harmony

This is the first time this particular event has been held. In the past, they did also hold events where they dug up sweetgrass plugs and gave them to people to plant in exchange for a donation.

Yates also explained that sweetgrass holds many uses. It can be used to make a tea that is supposed to help with sore throats and coughs. However, Yates warns that it can be toxic in high doses due to the coumarin sweetgrass contains. Sweetgrass can also be used as an organic mosquito repellent. This is due to the sweet smell sweetgrass has, which is where it gets its name. It works on some biting flies as well.

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