Longest Plastic Bag Finger Weaving This Side of the Mississippi

In the paper “The evolution of traditional knowledge: environment shapes medicinal plant use in Nepal”, the authors try to determine how traditional medicinal plant knowledge gets passed on: vertically (group elders pass knowledge down to younger generations), horizontally (knowledge is ‘borrowed’ from another group), and/or as a result of environmental factors.

Woman 1: In our collection, we have a Jamaican chewstick, Gouania lupuloides. People in the caribbean chewed on it to clean their teeth. But in Africa, there’s a different plant used for the exact same purpose. Is this then vertical transmission because they learned the idea from their ancestors or environmental because they choose an available plant for that purpose?

Woman 2: Or is it horizontal because the Native Americans’ showed them which stick to chew?

Woman 1: It’s just an interesting article in terms of the nature of knowledge and where ideas come from.

The Cherokee Heritage Center’s website indicates that finger weaving or Indian braiding “has deep roots in Native practice,” (long period of vertical transmission). In 2016, she learned the classic diagonal pattern finger weaving pattern from The Weaving Illustrator’s YouTube tutorial (horizontal transmission). The week prior, she had learned to make plastic shopping bag cordage from YouTuber 3rdWorldPrepper (also horizontal transmission) because she hoped to do something with the stash of plastic bags sitting in her dining room (environmental influence).

One thing was for certain, soon she would have the longest plastic bag finger weaving this side of the Mississippi.

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