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Video: Wild Onions . . . Tafaumpuche

Video: Wild Onions . . .  Tafaumpuche

New video from the Muskogee-Creek Nation

In the Southeast the term “wild onions” is a misnomer.  They really should be called “feral indigenous onions.”  LOL  That is why they mainly grow on the edges of gardens and in yards.  They were a cultivated plant of the Southeastern Indians.  

In this charming video, Creek elders take you for a walk out into the woods to their tafvmpuce (tafaupuche) patch to pick wild onions for a spring feast.  They will tell you which onions to pick and how to cook them. 

In 2010 and 2011, when I was living in the wild, I often cooked a dish of skillet potatoes with chopped wild onions.  It was filling and put a little variety into the otherwise limited cuisine of campsite home. 

Hope you enjoy this walk with our elders.


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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Got any gardeners out there? Are these onions cold hardy? Recently moved to rural property in northwest Nebraska. I am trying to get wild edibles edibles established on my place. These sound like they would work if they can take the winters here. It will get down to minus 20 once or twice a winter. If they are hardy, I will then need to find a source for the onions.

    • I think wild onions will grow in Nebraska. They are indigenous in Oklahoma.


    nice video!


    it looks like these are not ramps, which grow in the Northeast down at least as far as the Smokies. They are onions, but have a wide leaf. Also called wild leek. Lots of ham and leek festivals around here, and I think they are being over-collected.


    I had no idea those were onions!


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