Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Shot Olallie

Shot Olallie

[shot O-lal’-lie] or [shat U-lal-i] — noun.

Meaning: huckleberry

Origin: English shot “bullet; lead” + Heiltsuk, olallie “salmon berry”; Chinook, ulali, “berry”

The Red Huckleberry (vaccinium parvifolium) is a species native to western North America, where it is common in forests of Cascadia. In the Oregon Coast Range, it is the most common variety, occurring mostly at low to middle elevations in soil enriched by decaying wood and on rotten logs, from sea level up to 1,820-meter (6,000 ft).

The First Nations of Cascadia found the plant and its small, shot-sized fruit very useful; the bright red, acidic berries were used extensively for food throughout the year. Fresh berries were eaten in large quantities, or used for fish bait because of the slight resemblance to salmon eggs. Berries were also dried and often into brick-like cakes for later use. Dried berries were stewed and made into sauces, or mixed with salmon roe and oil to eat at winter feasts.

The bark or leaves of the plant were brewed for a bitter cold remedy, made as tea or smoked.[2] The branches were used as brooms, and the twigs were used to fasten western skunk cabbage leaves into berry baskets.


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