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Virtual Exhibit - Heritage Project

Calabazilla / hamechaa - Listen to Audio
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Object ID:            2013.090.018

Title:                     Calabazilla

'Iipay Aa Name:  hamechaa

Habitat:                North America

Description:         Calabazilla is a xerophyte plant from the family Cucurbitaceae. It is native to California, yellow in color, and first forms as a flower and then turns into a gourd. Its common name is buffalo gourd. The scientific name is Cucurbita foetidissima. The plant was used for many things. Here are some examples: when it's fresh, the gourd can be eaten like a squash. When it is mature, it's not edible anymore due to bitter compounds. Some Native Americans used the other parts of the Calabazilla to make soap as well. According to the research of Elizabeth Windsong, the gourd and root make a "cleansing lather when crushed in water." The poultice of the plant was used to treat skin sores. The Kumeyaay word for calabazilla is hamechaa.

Dimensions:        H—12.7 W—20.32 cm

Kingdom:             Plantae (Plants)

Phylum:                Anthophyta (Flowering Plants)

Family:                  Cucurbitaceae

Genus:                  Cucurbita

Species:                 foetidissima

Collector:              Windsong, Elizabeth

Identified by:        Windsong, Elizabeth

Preparator:           Lopez, Adrian

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