Quids with Wild Tobacco (Nicotiana) Flowering Stems Inside

Author(s): Karen Adams

Year: 2015


Unburned yucca (Yucca) quids with wild tobacco (Nicotiana) contents have preserved within Antelope Cave in northwestern Arizona. Although the cave was visited during the Archaic, Southern Paiute, and Euro-American periods, material culture remains and radiocarbon dates indicate heaviest use by the Virgin Anasazi (A.D. 1 - 1000). Quids are wads of fiber twisted or knotted into a ball for insertion into the mouth. Ten of the quids examined were clearly made from the fibers of Yucca plants, based on molecular analysis and comparison to the DNA of Yucca, Agave, and Nolina plants known from the surrounding region. Twenty-eight of thirty quids examined were wrapped around a range of wild tobacco (Nicotiana) flowering stalk plant fragments (capsule, seed, calyx, pedicel, main stem, leaf). Quids have been interpreted as serving a range of needs (food, ceremonial/ritual, other). The inclusion of tobacco and the scattered contexts of recovery of quids within Antelope Cave suggest these provided occupants with a personal narcotic experience.

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Cite this Record

Quids with Wild Tobacco (Nicotiana) Flowering Stems Inside. Karen Adams. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394879)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;