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The ability to string a bow for hunting, or lashing together materials for transport or shelter, ease in fire making, and the development of plaiting and weaving, all allowed humans to thrive in ways and environments that would otherwise be unavailable. 

Traditionally, dogbane was the cordage fibre plant of choice to the peoples of where I live in Northern California. It has been called Indian Hemp and praised for its strength and luster. From thinner twines to larger

ropes, dogbane and other plants including nettle, wild iris, and tulle depending on the environment, have been tended, harvested, and processed into nets, bags, mats, and lengths for tying or carrying. The process takes time and the harvesting and tending to the plants takes intention and respect. 


Much of what is prevalent around us nowadays is human made or waste products. The same principles of making can apply to leftover plastic bags and the many materials we find ourselves surrounded by today. The plants that are abundant in our gardens and roadsides will also readily make cordage without taxing potentially fragile ecosystems. 


I encourage you to explore. You might find that your hands hold the memory of generations.

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