Viejas Celebrates the Gathering of the Yucca
By Chuck Taylor
For The Alpine Sun
Elder Virginia Christman is the founder and organizer of the gathering which helps to maintain the tradition and “old ways” of tribal life. The event which attracted hundreds of adults and children featured everything from horse shoe tournaments to the Viejas Bird Singers and of course good eating.
Elder Christman explained many of the uses of the Yucca Plant which includes not only food but medicinal qualities, shampoo, dye for the various fabrics which were and still are woven by many tribes including Viejas. Probably the nearest other food that might somewhat resemble Yucca when cooked would be Artichokes. To prepare the Yucca Plant for consumption takes around 6 hours of boiling. It is then added to a stew, often made of beef and other vegetables and seasoning.
A representative from the Navajo Nation was on hand to explain that it was vitally important to Native Americans to learn the ways of their ancestors as Diabetes and obesity plagued many due to the intake of junk and processed foods.