Birch bark texture.

Ahtna Kanas Fall 2020

Ahtna Plants: Berries

Dahts’ene’egge’, Raspberry

  • Gather shoots in spring, leaves in summer, roots in spring and fall, fruit in the summer
  • Jams, syrup, sauce, juice and muffins are favorite uses
  • High in Vitamins B and C and minerals
  • Tea made with leaves was used to ease pregnancy morning sickness and labor pains
  • Tea is good for relaxing in the evening and for children’s upset stomach

Tsanłtsaey, Highbush Cranberry

  • Gather in late summer/early fall time
  • Eat raw, or store in birch bark baskets in underground caches
  • Used for sore throats, colds, cuts, scrapes, stomach trouble
  • Infusion/decoction: boil the fruit mixed with sugar and use as a cough syrup (make gummy)
  • Can make jelly
  • A favorite way to prepare is to make cooked berries, or c’encaes: simmer berries with sugar and a thickener (like flour or cornstarch). Seeds are not removed from berries but can be with some labor.

Xay gige’, Lowbush Cranberry

  • Gather after first frost in the fall
  • Eat with salmon oil poured over them
  • Store in birch bark baskets in cache for winter if not eating fresh
  • Make k’uun’ c’encaes with other berries using fish eggs, flour, and sugar mixed and simmered together
  • Raw berries eaten as medicine for sore throats and colds, kidney trouble, measles, tonsillitis, headache, infections/inflammation
  • Makes many recipes and can be used the same as store-bought cranberries
  • Used to assist with tuberculosis

Photo by Ahtna Special Forces Member Angel Edwin

TsGigi gheli, Blueberry or Huckleberry

  • Gather early to late summer
  • Jams, syrup, sauce, juice, muffins, pancakes and c’encaes are favorite uses
  • Can be used as a dye for linen and wool
  • Can be used as medicine for sore throats and colds
  • Can be dried, preserved in oil, or made into various recipes
  • Leaves and bark can be used in teas and tinctures – harvest early spring