Saguaro National Park Humans and Saguaros

Do humans use the saguaro?

Archeological evidence indicates that the Hohokam used the saguaro in their daily life. The strong, woody ribs were gathered to construct the framework for the walls of their homes.

Additionally, saguaro ribs were used to collect saguaro fruits, which grow high up on the plant. Several ribs were tied together with a cross piece at the end. These long poles were used to knock ripe fruit down from the top of the plants. It would then be gathered to eat.

The Tohono O'odham continue to gather saguaro fruit in this manner. They use the sweet fruits to make ceremonial wine, jelly and candies. They also use the seeds as chicken feed.

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