Snowberry (Waxberry)

berries: peqpeqúqsa7;
plant: st’el’cwécwlltkllp (cf. stq’íwelstc “broken stick”)

Long ago people used to make brooms out of the branches. They tied the branches together in a bunch about 2 feet (60 cm) long. Palmer (1975: 61) noted, “The stem has a soft centre and can be used for a pipestem, called pekilus. Flint or soapstone will be used for the bowl of the pipe     ” A solution of the branches was used to treat broken bones, arthritis and other aches. The berries were used as eye medicine, and to make a bath for pregnant women.

Mary Thomas recalled that this bush was used to whip boys as part of their training to make them tough. “And then right after they finished switching, then they’d run and jump in the water — right in the middle of winter.”