Rose, field notes, Mexico

ID: SIA Acc. 12-052

Creator: Rose, J. N. (Joseph Nelson), 1862-1928

Form/Genre: Fieldbook record

Date: 1887-1897

Citation: Joseph Nelson Rose field notes from the Department of Botany

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This small notebook was kept by Rose in approximately 1887-1897 and used for informal field notes in Mexico, and possibly Brazil. Lists of plants observed are included. Some entries list observations of local cultures. Some Spanish words and phrases can be found throughout, along with their English equivalents. Some references are made to encounters with natives, including Huichole and Coro Indians.

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Access Information

At least 24 hours advance notice is recommended to consult this collection. Contact the Department of Botany at 202-633-0920 to make an appointment.


  • Plants
  • Botany


  • Brazil
  • Mexico


  • Fieldbook record
  • Field notes

Accession #

SIA Acc. 12-052

Collection name

Joseph Nelson Rose field notes from the Department of Botany

Physical Description

1 field book

Physical Location

National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Main Library


Box 1 Folder 1

[[image - cover of pocket-size notebook printed "Royal Note Book No. 69 Trade Mark"]] ^[[J. N. Rose]]
Ceiba (No 1887) The cotton used for pillows Specimens (No 1) obtained at Concepcion July 29 1897
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Palm (No 1528.) The specimen (No 2) used for a fly brush was obtained at Concepcion July 29/97 The specimen (No 3) used for a brush was obtained in the market at Acaponela - price .03 Sent to Dr Hough
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Aguacate
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Agua de cebada - Water of Barley - This is made by adding to water barley flour or more commonly [[strikethrough]] the [[/strikethrough]] softened barley ground on a "Matale" [[strikethrough]] [ [[/strikethrough]], sugar, cinnamon bark, and "ajonjoli." The mixture is a muddy gray color and of a sweetish starchy taste. It is carried about the streets in earthen jars and sold for one cent a glass.
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] "Ajonjoli" - Sesame The seed used in making the drink "agua de cebada"
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] "Pipitoria" A candy resembling our peanut candy is made from ground seeds & brown sugar. Sold on the streets of Acaponeta for one cent a "dot"
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Puaocecillia.-No 1415-Randia The wood of this shrub is used in making shoe pegs. The specimens (No 4) were bought at Acaponeta Aug 1 1897. price .07
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Agava fiber. Today (Aug 8) I saw the Coro Indians making rope out of Agave fiber: The Agave used is a shortleaved ^[[insertion]] entire [[/insertion]] species (near A filefera) which grows in the mountains here. The fiber is nearly a foot long strait and fine and nearly white in color. The spinning of the thread into a cord is performed by two persons. one of whom feed the thread and the other twist the cord. The instrument used in twisting is composed of two parts. One is flattened and about 1 ft long with a
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] hole near the top and above this whole there is a notch. The second piece is a-bout 1 ft long [[insertion]] also [[/insertion]] and round [[strikethrough]] with a small [[/strikethrough]] and small enough to work freely in the whole of the 1st piece. At one end is a nob which prevents the slick being pulled throug the whole of the first. In making the cord as well as in spinning the thread the cord is fastened on the notch of the first piece which is then rapidly revolved by the person who is doing the twisting
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] As the cord lengthen the person who is twisting gradually receeds until a cord 40 to 60 ft perhaps long had been spun. Then this small cord is doubled and the twirling continued sometimes both persons using an instrument but twisting in opposite direction The cord is the doubled again & the same process continued These instruments are made of various material. One which I purchased at San Blaseto was made of One seen at Santa Theresa
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] was made of Bamboo - which they call "Otate" At Santa Teresa a different instrument was seen for spinning the thread. A stick perhaps 1 ft long with a notch as in the above near the end; below the middle is [[strikethrough]] was [[/strikethrough]] a small wheel 8 in in diameter [[insertion]] & [[/insertion]] with toothed maigin; this is made to revolve rabidly by striking the wheel with a bow [[image: pencil sketch of a bow]] A wheel mounted on two upright pieces is used is twisting the cords; these are fastened at the end of the axis outside of
about 2 ft apart These are joined together by a horizontal piece which passes through a hole at their top. At the center of this horizontal piece is a small wheel 9in in diameter. At the end of this piece is a small pin 2in long to which the fiber is fastened. The [[strikethrough]] whel [[/strikethrough]] wheel & its axis is made to revolve rapidly by a string which twists the fibers. This is fed by the feeder who gradually receeds as the the cord lengthens. A small boy 7 yrs old was revolving the wheel. [[end page]] [[start page]] the upright pieces. The wheel and its axis is then revolved rapidly and the cord is this twisted No 5 The instruments No 6 the leaves from which the fibers is made -price .07 No 7 The fiber as it is spun No 8 The rope compleat = price .12 All these were obtained from the Coro Indians No 5 at San Blaseto No 6,7, [[insertion]] & [[/insertion]] 8 at San Teresa At Plateado (Sept 2) I saw them making soap out of Lechuguilla. Two upright post about 2 ft high are set in the ground (above)
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Papa = 2134 - Potato The wild potato is common about Santa Teresa and is gathered and eaten by the Coro Indians
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] [[strikethrough]] No 9 [[/strikethrough]] Grass. - No 9 This is a specimen of the grass used in covering the huts of the Indians & Mountaineers. Specimen taken from a hut a Pedro Paulo Aug. 4/97
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Agave No 10 [[Specps?]] of the wild Agave used at Colomos for tying up packages of Sugar. - No 11. Leaves of Agave gaminiflora used by Coro Indians for making a fine fiber which is spun into bags etc No 12 This fiber, price .06 No 13 A bag specm from above fiber called
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Agave Today [[insertion]] (Aug 22) [[/insertion]] I obtained of an Indian a spinner and reel combined. The object of having this combination is then one person can both feed & spin the thread. The fiber used the long leaved Agave so common here. [[line pointing to bottom of page]] Sent to Dr Hough [[/line]] No 14 straight fiber No 15 mixed for spinning No 16 The thread No 17 The reel No 18 the nedle used in workin it; No [[insertion]] 19 [[/insertion]] the bag
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] No 20. A gourd used for a water bottle at Huejuquilla price .06 No 21 & 22 [[hairbruses?]] made from the fiber of Agave filifera and sold at Colotlan. price 2 for .03 No 23 Shoe lash made from Willow - Colotlan. price .06 No 24 - Yerba Nil Tea taken for fever & ague Also for Scorpion bites Bought at Colotlan
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] No 25 Yerba de Coyote [[insertion]] = coyote herb [[/insertion]] The tea is taken for Rheumatic pains. bought at Colotlan No 26 - Yerba del Cancer [[insertion]] = cancer herb [[/insertion]] - Acalypha Tea taken for itch and for sores. Powder applied directly [[checkmark]] No 27 - Lengua de [[Curoo?]] Taken for itch (as tea) No 28 - Ifazote del zorillo [[insertion]] = [[shink?]] [[2 page 4?]] [[/insertion]] pigweed Taken as a tea for colic Eolostem Also used for pneumonia as a tea (Plaleado) No 29 - Cilantrillo de ojo de Agua for retention of Mensis - Taken as a tea
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] No 30 = No 2680 = Lechugilla [[insertion]] = Lettuce like [[/insertion]] for sores & skin diseases; used as an infusion for a wash also powder. No 38 A rude soap made from leave of the [[Goyate?]] (Dasylerion) Obtained at Plateado Sept. 3 1897
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Today (Aug 30) I saw them making palm hats. These were made from palm leaves brougth from Tapesco a small town near Tequila The leave are cut dried & bleached and brought to the hat maker (I obtained one of those leaves No 31) The various segments of the leaf being cut down to the base. When ready for use these segment are cut with a pin into [[round?]] threads 1/16 of an in wide 1 1/2 ft long. These strips are then broken of and tied into large bundles (see No 32) Some 8 of these strips are
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] then taken and worked into a very close brade 1/8 in wide. (No 33) These strips are repeatedly moistened to make them more pliable. No 34 represent the brade after its has been trimmed & as it is being worked into a hat. These hats sell for 10.00 They are fitted upon a tall wooden form. The brade is sewed together with thread made from Agave fiber (pulque meguy) This thread is made by the workman as needed. He keeps a large skein
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] of fiber at his side (see 35) and as he needs a new thread withdraws several fibers which he draws through his mouth and then rubs them with his hand over the upper part of this leg then he draws it through his mouth again & repeats the process until the thread is complete (No 36) price of 31 to 36 .50 bought at Colotlan Mex Aug 30/97
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Toloachi = Datura No 37. See note book no p. "Manzanilla"= no 2805 see notebook p. Solol & Sojate See Note Book p. 48 No 38 to 42 Sotol - no 43 An distilled drink bought at Colotlan Sept 6. p.18 No 44 - [[Ablown?]] made from the leaves of the Solol bought at Hueguquilla p.01
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] [[checkmark]] Agave The pulque maguey used at Plateado for water spouts. [[checkmark]] Agave filifera used for white wash brushes at Colotlan. "Huila" is the name of a maguey and a distilled drink made from it. A small patch of the Agave is grown across the river from Bolanos. The drink is made by the Mexicans at the little town Huela Colatlan a few miles above Bolanos. This is sold in the stores at one cent a glass.
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] The plant is probably the same as the Tequila plant It is sometimes called the Bastart Tequila [[strike]] To [[/strike]] 45 strip of the leaf Fiber is made from the leaves. It is very [[?]] + still and used for making soaps. It is cleaned in the following manner. A board some 8 m wich is set up at an angle of about \\45[[degree symbol]] the upper and reaching a mans waist. The marginal prickles are cut off and the leaf them placed upon the board. It is then scraped with a rude knife fresh from one end + then from the other
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Then it is turned over + the same process is repeated. The leaf is held in place by having one end turned down + held [[insert]] fast [[/insert]] by the operator of the knife. No 46 The partial cleaned fiber No 47 " cleaned fiber No 48 " fiber ready for spinning Saddle sweater called "Suadaderos" are made at the ^[[insert]] Tepec [[/insert]] little suburb of Bolonos of this same fiber- frdr W.H.Horning "Cinehas" are also made of this fiber as well as fiber made from [[underline]] A. filifera [[/underline]]
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] Beans- Frijoles No--- Frijol Lortelano A small buff bean sold at Colollan Aug 29/97 No 49 Frijol apaste^[[insert]] a [[/insert]] do A small purplish ^[[insert]] bean [[/insert]] somewhat mottled with buff bought at Bolano Sept 12/97 price.07 No 50 A small roundish pinkish bean bought at Bolanos Sept 12/97 price .07
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] No 37=Agave Leaves (bases only) of the wild Agave sold in the Plaza at Bolano for brushes - 3 for .01. Thismaguay is called Tapemete both a Bolanos and at San Juan Capustrano. It fiber is softer and stronger then the "Huala" fiber No 52 Mats made from green sotol leaves: bought at Bolanos Sept 14 1894 price.05
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] No 53 6 arrows belonging to the Huicholes Indians given to me by Mr. Hoeing [[checkmark]] No 54 Broken Huichole arrow used in making the upright part of the cotton spinner. [[checkmark]] No 55 Cotton spinner-"trompa" Upright part [[insert]] (spindle) [[/insert]] made of Brazil wood; the whole of iron wood. [[checkmark]] No 56 Thread + cotton [[checkmark]] No 57 - Cotton with seed. [[checkmark]] No 58 Cotton balls
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] No 59 Huila obtained at Bolanos Sept. 18/97 No 60 Huila fiber used for dish cloth obtained at Bolanos No 61 A mole- Bought at Bolanos Sept 18/97 Used by all families at Bolanos. Collecting this root is the chief occupation of many Huichole indians who bring loads of the roots to Bolanos. Colotlan etc ans sell it for very cheap.
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] No 62 Mt. grass used in trapping [[strike]] si [[/strike]] pack saddles, covering huts etc. Obtained [[?]] west of Bolanos. Sept 17/97 No 63- Lanveil Used for cold- taken as a tea-; Also used to flavor roasted meat.
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] No. 64 - Tejocote Craetegus Sold in the market at Guadalajara strand on Agave fiber (No65): About 20 m each strand. price .07 Sept 24/97 No 65=Agave fiber= fiber called, Isote used in spinning Tejocote No. 66 Isote fiber ready for use No 67 The same but not cut into threads No 68 The Isote leaf No 69 Chocolate stick made out of medrono(?) wood
[[blank]] [[end page]] [[start page]] 70- Grass Broom sold at Guadalajara [[strike]] 71 [[/strike]] No 71 Agave fiber used on tying brooms No 72 -Amole Agave roots sold at Guadalajara market 73-Acacia Thorns used to decorate quivers of Cora Indians
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] 74- broom=Cryps stick Grass root made into brooms and sold at Guadalajara pric .03 75 Cayaponia dubia Rose (=no 1481) Soap plant [[checkmark]] 76 Covillea mexicana [[strike]] #no [[/strike]] "Gobernadora" used as a medicine [[checkmark]] 77 Switenia =Venodillo [[checkmark]] 78 Yerba de Torro = Linnia linearis Berth (3079)
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] 79 [[preprinted]] SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM. [[LINE]] MEMORANDUM. [[/preprinted]] 80 [[underlined]] 1040 [[/underlined]] [[strikethrough]] 120 [[/strikethrough]] 130 - 124 108 124 109 125 [[strikethrough]] 110 [[/strikethrough]] 127 [[strikethrough]] 111 [[/strikethrough]] 128 palm oil 113 129 " [[Ditto for: palm]] soap 114 [[strikethrough]] 115 [[/strikethrough]] 130 [[strikethrough]] 116 [[/strikethrough]] [[line]] [[strikethrough]] 117 [[/strikethrough]] 116 } [[strikethrough]] 118 [[/strikethrough]] 107 } 108} [[circled]] for [[underlined]] Dr Hr [[/underlined]] Teconeta [[/circled]] [[line]] [[strikethrough]] 119 [[/strikethrough]] [[check mark]] 81 [[check mark]] 82 83 84 Huromuchil - Pithecolobium dulce
[[preprinted]] SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM. [[LINE]] MEMORANDUM. [[/preprinted]] [[underlined]] 104 [[/underlined]] [[strikethrough]] 120 [[/strikethrough]] 130 - 124 108 125 109 [[strikethrough]] 110 [[/strikethrough]] 127 [[strikethrough]] 111 [[/strikethrough]] 128 palm oil 113 129 " [[Ditto for: palm]] soap 114 [[strikethrough]] 115 [[/strikethrough]] 130 [[strikethrough]] 116 [[/strikethrough]] [[line]] [[strikethrough]] 117 [[/strikethrough]] 116 } [[strikethrough]] 118 [[/strikethrough]] 107 } 108} [[circled]] for [[underlined]] Dr Hr [[/underlined]] Teconeta [[/circled]] [[line]] [[strikethrough]] 119 [[/strikethrough]]
[[blank page, partially cut off and illegible word along left edge]]
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] 79 Agave brush. 80 [[check mark]] 81 [[check mark]] 82 83 84. Huromuchil - Pithecolobium dulce
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] 108-113 [[Ceruelle frenbelt?]] 115 " [[Ditto for: [[Ceruelle frenbelt?]] ]]
[[blank page]] [[end page]] [[start page]] [[blank back cover]]
[[blank back cover]]