Well, as promised from the last Tipi Talk, Let’s chat about wasna. I remember being a kid and my Mother making wasna, it is the best, OMG, I could go on and on, but we will never get anywhere. So, let me first explain what wasna actually is, and the history behind it.
Wasna, is a Lakota word for dried ground meat with additives like berries or maze. My ancestors, for thousands of years, were nomadic and food was not always plentiful, so it was important to be able to store food for later use.
During the buffalo hunt, a buffalo was caught and the meat would be cut into strips and dried. This dried meat was then stored and carried in a pouch when the Lakota would move camp. From July – August, the Chokecherry season was in full swing and like my ancestors, my mother would pick them…. They could either be made into a type of jam, or added to the dried meat. This would be done by grounding up the buffalo meat, bone marrow and chokecherry and mixing it together. This made a sweet high protein, high energy snack that was low in cholesterol and would be enjoyed by all. Because wasna was considered more than a food (it would also be used to heal the sick), it was sacred to the Lakota and also used in ceremonies.
Next month I will tell you about Wojape (Wo-zha-pee), a berry pudding with Native Fried Bread.
Until next time, have a great day kola (friend)