nodding onion

by underswansea


Wild Onions are found in the valley bottom and in the mountains. They have a strong onion or garlic smell and flavour.

The Ktunaxa people traditionally used it in soups, stews and sauces. It is called ʔa•kuwaⱡ in the Ktunaxa language.

When I was a youngster I use to dig them up and eat them raw. Looking back it makes me think I was hungry.

They are very similar looking to a poisonous plant called Death Camus. I remember a man from the community died having eaten the wrong plant.

Wild onions have purple flowers and Death Camus have white. After the death, my parents told me, if I was going to eat wild onions make sure they have purple flowers. It sounds ridiculous in this day and age that they just didn’t tell me to quit eating them.

What is even more ridiculous is that I was pissed off with my parents command, because I enjoyed eating the onions before they flowered. They were sweeter and more tender.

However, like most important advice, I heeded it, and ate tough onions from that day after.