This is a list of references related to ethnobotany — the study of the relationships that exist between peoples and plants. These are relevant, in particular, when looking at the issues of Proto-Flutes and Yucca stalks.
The references on this page are a sub-set of the complete list of Flutopedia references.
For information on the format and other details of these citations, see the main references page.
Willis H. Bell and Edward F. Castetter.
The Utilization of Yucca, Sotol, and Beargrass by the Aborigines in the American Southwest,
Ethnobiological Studies in the American Southwest, Volume 7, The University of New Mexico Bulletin, Number 372, published by the University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 1, 1941.
Introduction: The various species of the genus Yucca inhabit large areas of the arid Southwest and southward far into Mexico, the Rocky Mountain region and the Great Plains as far north as the Dakotas, as well as xerophytic sites in the more humid southeastern states. Within the Southwest, yucca ranked foremost among the numerous wild plants entering into the economy of the aborigines, and had almost as great utility among certain tribes bordering on this area. It owed its importance to the great diversity of uses to which it was adaptable as well as to its naturally widespread occurrence.
David J. Bogler, J. Chris Pires, and Javier Francisco-Ortega.
“Phylogeny of Agavaceae Based on ndhF, rbcL, and its Sequences: Implications of Molecular Data for Classification”,
Aliso, Volume 22, Number 1, 2005, pages 311–326.
Abstract: Great advances have been made in our understanding of the phylogeny and classification of Agavaceae in the last 20 years. In older systems Agavaceae were paraphyletic due to overemphasis of ovary position or habit. Discovery of a unique bimodal karyotype in Agave and Yucca eventually led to a reexamination of concepts and relationships in all the lilioid monocots, which continues to the present day.
Developments in cytogenetics, microscopy, phylogenetic systematics, and most recently DNA technology have led to remarkable new insights. Large-scale rbcL sequence studies placed Agavaceae with the core Asparagales and identified closely related taxa. Analysis of cpDNA restriction sites, rbcL, and ITS nrDNA sequences all supported removal of Dracaenaceae, Nolinaceae, and clarified relationships. Agavaceae s.s. presently consists of Agave, Beschorneria, Furcraea, Hesperaloe, Hesperoyucca, Manfreda, Polianthes, Prochnyanthes, and Yucca. In this paper we analyze recently obtained ndhF sequence data from Agavaceae and Asparagales and discuss the implications for classification. Parsimony analysis of ndhF data alone resolves most genera of Agavaceae and supports the inclusion of Camassia, Chlorogalum, Hesperocallis, and Hosta within Agavaceae s.l. Analysis of combined ndhF and rbcL data sets of selected Asparagales results in better resolution and stronger bootstrap support for many relationships. Combination of all available ndhF, rbcL, and ITS data in a single analysis results in the best resolution currently available for Agavaceae s.l. Implications for classification schemes past and present are discussed.
Edward F. Castetter, Willis H. Bell, and Alvin R. Grove.
“The Early Utilization and the Distribution of Agave in the American Southwest”,
Ethnobiological Studies In The American Southwest, The University Of New Mexico Bulletin, December 1, 1938.
Proto-Flutes and Yucca Stalks
Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 90, published by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1929, 272 pages.
Reissued in [Densmore 2006c].
Publication bulletin901929smit on Archive.org (open access).
Contains 169 songs.
Ethnographic Flute Recordings of North America - Organized Chronologically (3),
Flutopedia Image Detail: Yuma Flutes,
The Flute and Flute Music of the North American Indians (3),
Ethnographic Flute Recordings of North America - Organized by Culture (3)
Jeffrey S. Fehmi, Shelley Danzer, and Joanne Roberts.
Agave palmeri Inflorescence Production on Fort Huachuca, Arizona,
Convervation Assistance Program, published by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), September 2004, 34 pages.
Abstract: Agave (Agave palmeri) is important to Fort Huachuca because of its status as a critical resource for the lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae). The bat depends on agave flower nectar as a primary food source in late summer and early fall. Fort Huachuca contains some of the few remaining roosting sites for this bat in the southwestern United States, and also has abundant agave stands, which are distributed throughout the grasslands. Plant density data were obtained from 29 randomly chosen flowering plants. Density ranged from 700 to 2200 plants per hectare with approximately 10 percent flowering stalks. Analysis of the density data indicated that agave plants were significantly and substantially clustered around flowering plants. Individual plants seem to flower based on several criteria including basal diameter and presence of neighbors. The closer and larger the neighboring agave were, the more likely a particular plant was to flower. Ungulate herbivory affected 50 percent of the agave inflorescences. Given the lack of predators and minimal hunting, herbivore numbers seem likely to increase, putting greater pressure on inflorescence numbers especially in years when fewer plants flower. Other than the loss of inflorescences, the agave population at Fort Huachuca appears robust and self-sustaining.
J. Walter Fewkes.
“A Contribution to Ethnobotany”,
American Anthropologist, Volume 9, Number 1, January 1896, pages 14–21.
Publication 658267 on JSTOR (subscription access).
Flutopedia Revision History
Victor Gibbs (principal investigator).
A Cultural Resources Overview of the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico,
March 2003, 111 pages.
Proto-Flutes and Yucca Stalks
Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Ann Cordy Deegan, and Elizabeth Ann Morris.
Prehistoric Sandals from Northeastern Arizona: The Earl H. Morris and Ann Axtell Morris Research,
Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona, paper #62, published by the University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, Arizona, 1998, 150 pages, ISBN 0-8165-1801-7 (978-0-8165-1801-2).
Anasazi Flutes from the Broken Flute Cave
Publisher's description: During the late 1920s and early 1930s, archaeologists Earl and Ann Axtell Morris discovered an abundance of sandals from the Basketmaker II and III through Pueblo III periods while excavating rockshelters in northeastern Arizona. These densely twined sandals made of yucca yarn were intricately crafted and elaborately decorated, and Earl Morris spent the next 25 years overseeing their analysis, description, and illustration. This is the first full published report on this unusual find, which remains one of the largest collections of sandals in Southwestern archaeology. This monograph offers an integrated archaeological and technical study of the footwear, providing for the first time a full-scale analysis of the complicated weave structures they represent. Following an account by anthropologist Elizabeth Ann Morris of her parents' research, textile authority Ann Cordy Deegan gives an overview of prehistoric Puebloan sandal types and of twined sandal construction techniques, revealing the subtleties distinguishing Basketmaker sandals of different time periods. Anthropologist Kelley Ann Hays-Gilpin then discusses the decoration of twined sandals and speculates on the purpose of such embellishment.
“The Hopi in Relation to Their Plant Environment”,
American Anthropologist, Volume 10, Number 2, February 1897, pages 33–44.
Publication 658916 on JSTOR (subscription access).
Proto-Flutes and Yucca Stalks
Antiquities of the Upper Gila and Salt River Valleys in Arizona and New Mexico,
Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 35, published by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1907, 96 pages, retrieved March 18, 2010.
Publications bulletin351907smit, antiquitiesuppe01houggoog, and antiquitiesuppe03houggoog on Archive.org (open access).
Proto-Flutes and Yucca Stalks
Introduction: The area in which are found the archeological remains treated in this bulletin forms part of southwestern New Mexico (western Socorro, Grant, and Luna counties) and southeastern Arizona (Apache, Navajo. Gila, Pinal, Graham, and Cochise counties). It is bounded on the northeast by the great ridge lying between the Gila-Salt and Little Colorado. rivers; on the west and northwest by the Tonto basin; on the south by the states of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico, and on the southeast by the San Agustin plains. Approximately it extends 170 miles east and west and 200 miles north and south. Much of this area is covered by the Black Mesa, Mount Graham, and Chiricahua forest reserves in Arizona and the Gila River forest reserve in New Mexico.
“Yuccas, Butterflies, and Flute Players: The Significance of San Juan Basketmaker Rock Art in the Flower World Image Complex”,
Thirty Third Annual Symposium of the Utah Rock Art Research Association (URARA), Moab, Utah, October 11–14, 2013, 2013, pages 15–71.
Introduction: The “Flower World” is the name of a complex of verbal and visual imagery that may have been used by ancient and historical Puebloan peoples to portray their daily lives and their place in the cosmos. For fifteen years researchers have identified its characteristic elements and discussed its importance for understanding the Puebloan people. The results have been greater understanding of its possible Mayan and Aztec antecedents and recognition of its influence upon such Puebloan cultural productions as songs, ceremonies, pottery, kiva murals, and rock art.
Yuccas, Agaves, Butterflies and Flute Players: The Significance of San Juan Basketmaker Rock Art in the Flower World Image Complex,
Presented to the Dixie Archaeology Society, January 8, 2014, 77 pages.
See the Utah Rock Art web site
Proto-Flutes and Yucca Stalks (5)
Christopher Irwin Smith, Olle Pellmyr, David M. Althoff, Manuel Balcázar-Lara, James Leebens-Mack and Kari A. Segraves.
“Pattern and Timing of Diversification in Yucca (Agavaceae): Specialized Pollination Does Not Escalate Rates of Diversification”,
Proceedings: Biological Sciences, Volume 275, Number 1632, published by The Royal Society, February 7, 2008, pages 249–258.
Publication 25249498 on JSTOR (subscription access).
Abstract: The yucca-yucca moth interaction is one of the most well-known and remarkable obligate pollination mutualisms, and is an important study system for understanding coevolution. Previous research suggests that specialist pollinators can promote rapid diversification in plants, and theoretical work has predicted that obligate pollination mutualism promotes cospeciation between plants and their pollinators, resulting in contemporaneous, parallel diversification. However, a lack of information about the age of Yucca has impeded efforts to test these hypotheses. We used analyses of 4322 AFLP markers and cpDNA sequence data representing six non-protein-coding regions (trnT-trnL, trnL, trnL intron, trnL-trnF, rpsl6 and clpP intron 2) from all 34 species to recover a consensus organismal phylogeny, and used penalized likelihood to estimate divergence times and speciation rates in Yucca. The results indicate that the pollination mutualism did not accelerate diversification, as Yucca diversity (34 species) is not significantly greater than that of its non-moth-pollinated sister group, Agave sensu latissimus (240 species). The new phylogenetic estimates also corroborate the suggestion that the plant-moth pollination mutualism has at least two origins within the Agavaceae. Finally, age estimates show significant discord between the age of Yucca (ca 6-10 Myr) and the current best estimates for the age of their pollinators (32-40 Myr).
Native Yucca Stalk Flute Making Manual,
2012, 86 pages.
See the CherryCows web site
Proto-Flutes and Yucca Stalks,
Glossary of Native American Flute Terms
Connie L. Stone.
People of the Desert, Canyons and Pines: Prehistory of the Patayan Country in West Central Arizona,
Cultural Resource Series, Monograph Number 5, published by the Arizona State Office of the Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix, Arizona, September 1987, 97 pages.
Introduction: This book describes the prehistory and Native American peoples ofthe Patayan country, an area of western Arizona that can also be called the Kingman region in reference to its central town. If one were to draw a box around this portion ofwest central Arizona, its corners clockwise from the northeast would be the lower Grand Canyon, an unparalleled natural wonder; the town of Prescott, Victorian homes nestled in the piney woods of the first territorial capital; Lake Havasu along the Colorado River, home of theimported London Bridge; and Hoover Dam, a wonder of engineering.