2020 Fall Edition Newsletter

Research Proposal - Expanding local heritage through Culture

Stephen Harrod Buhner’s Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers is extremely thorough but again, that does not include any part of the Great Plains region. These seemingly thorough and in-depth studies do not cov er the greater area in which I live. I want to find out if strains of these bacteria are available through items that have been used in the past. I would like to document these findings. I would like to swab potential sources of local S. Cerevisiae so that a piece of localized culture and history may be add ed to our food and drink. 3. Rationale I want to know if fermented beverages containing alcohol were actually available to the Native population before the interference of European invaders and colonists. The knowledge that may potentially be gained here may serve to deteriorate derogatory and defamatory stereotypes. Was the Native populace in this region once capable of pro ducing a fermented alcoholic beverage or fermented prod ucts in general? The assumption that has been commonly promoted is that of a complete absence of alcohol. That is, until colonization presented itself and these items became available through trade routes or acts of war. If fermented beverages were commonly available before the presence of European invaders, how much bacterial culture might be able to be reclaimed through study and swabbing of various artifacts? How can this potential loss of bacterial cultures from Na tive culture by isolation and propagation - a resurrection of these microbiological organisms be reclaimed? If strains of S. Cerevisiae are found on primarily Native arti facts, it may show a presence of alcohol via either trade or generation through local sources. This data would place the commonly accepted narrative of Native Americans of the Great Plains “never having been exposed to alcohol before the presence of colonists and European invaders” theory into serious question. If I am unable to locate a concentration of S. Cerevisiae in Native artifacts either through swab or plate culture, then the current narrative remains unchallenged. 4. Method and Design Respecting NAGPRA and any Indigenous artifacts involved is a top priority for me if access to any Native or Indigenous artifacts are granted. Ideally, my intention is to collect a series of swabs from items that may hold cultural/historical significance. This would involve wiping the surface area on or inside an ar-

1. Introduction The purpose of this research is to address the lack of Sac charomyces Cerevisiae strains that have originated from points of cultural and historical significance in the Great Plains region of the United States and make them avail able for the user to ferment beverages, breads, and various foodstuffs. The Eastern Hemisphere of our globe touts many strains of well-established microbiota that perform the mundane task of processing our foods for us. These are often and regularly sourced from “common” strains, harvested from the air at their points of origin. These are, more often than not, located on the other side of the globe, and can trace their roots to the belongings of those that came here long before we were born. But what of those that were born here, that place their roots solely in this land? Not only genetic heritage, but a deeper sense of unity might be achieved through adding local, functional entries into our culture’s library of bene ficial bacterial organisms to serve purposes that are often ignored. The common narrative concludes that Native populations were not capable of such things, but Dr. Pat McGovern sug gests that recent archaeological findings provide evidence of fermented corn beverages among the Pueblo tribes dat ing to 800 years ago. “Just go to the store and get a packet of yeast.” Yes, you could do that, and easily so. It’s one of a few strains available. There is so much that we still have left to discover about this region. As both a home brewer and home fermentation enthusiast, I feel that we do not have enough entries in current yeast libraries available for either professional brewery or home use that cite a source in our local area. I am particularly interested in finding sources from historically and culturally relevant points of origin. Dr. Pat McGovern’s Ancient Brews covers South America and the Southwestern Region of the United States, but it does not include any part of the Great Plains region. 2. Background

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