Mountain Laurel (Mens Culture and History)

Laurel wreath

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Mountain laurel is a small, evergreen tree or shrub, that can grow to 30 feet tall. discovery attests to the importance of these seeds in the ancient culture of the region. owned by men usually belonging to a mescalbean medicine society. White top Mountain Laurel Band - Nation, History, Culture and Languge Said to transform themselves into beautiful women to lure men into their traps.

American laurel, Kalmia latifolia, calico bush, spoonwood. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Ericaceae , the heath family of flowering plants order Ericales , comprising genera and some 4, species.


Mountain laurel is native to the drier regions of the Edwards Plateau and the Trans-Pecos into southeastern New Mexico, and along rocky outcrops in the Rio Grande Plains. In Greek mythology , Apollo is represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head. By contrast, mescalbean is the seed of the mountain laurel, a small tree in the legume or bean family. The Texas Journal of Science 9: Elliptic, alternate, leathery, glossy evergreen leaves to 5" long are dark green above and yellow green beneath and reminiscent to the leaves of rhododendrons. Another discovery attests to the importance of these seeds in the ancient culture of the region.

Ericaceae is made up mostly of shrubs and small trees, and its members are widely distributed, extending into the subarctic and along mountain chains through the tropics. Help us improve this article!

Mountain Laurel, Mescalbean

Contact our editors with your feedback. Mescalbeans are poisonous, yet they were used by native socities for ritual purposes, because of its powerful psychoactive properties. The bright red beans were also used for ornamentation. The common name mescalbean has caused a lot of confusion with mescal, an alcoholic drink distilled from the baked and fermented hearts of agave.

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The best known type of mescal is tequila, which is made from cultivated "blue agave," Agave tequiliana Weber Gentry By contrast, mescalbean is the seed of the mountain laurel, a small tree in the legume or bean family. Unfortunately, the term mescalbean is imbedded in the literature. Therefore during this discussion, I will follow the example set by Merrill and refer to the seed as a mescalbean, but I will refer to the tree as a mountain laurel.

Fruit pods from the mountain laurel and mescalbeans are ubiquitous throughout the dry archeological deposits of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands Dering ; Irving Radiocarbon dates from Hinds Cave, indicate that mescalbeans were brought into the shelters in the Lower Pecos region at least as early as 6, years ago and probably much earlier.

Mescalbeans have been recovered from several rockshelters to the east in Edwards County. Cueva Candelaria, in the southwestern corner of Coahuila, contains necklaces made of bone and unidentified seeds that resemble discolored mescalbean seeds Arroyo de Anda et al. Although most of the mescalbeans and pods occur widely in the midden, or trash deposits of archeological sites in the region of southwestern Texas, they have been noted in more specific contexts. For example, a buckskin loincloth decorated with mescalbeans was recovered from Murrah Cave Holden ; Boyd Another discovery attests to the importance of these seeds in the ancient culture of the region.

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This is illustrated by their presence in a carefully buried bag from Horseshoe Ranch Cave in southern Val Verde County. This bag contained mescalbeans and Mexican buckeye seeds, both poisonous, as well as a flintknapper's tools, jackrabbit mandibles, fiber, sinew, a buckskin thong, and red ochre.

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This kit has been described as a hunter's kit or a healer's kit Butler ; Shafer and Zintgraff ; Boyd and Dering , and given the interwoven nature of religion and subsistence in a hunter-gatherer life, it probably served as both. Mescalbeans contain an abundance of poisonous narcotic quinolizidine alkaloids, including cystine, N-methylcistine, and sparteine. The many physiological effects of mescalbean intoxication include muscle paralysis, nausea, evacuation of the bowels, seeing red, unconsciousness, and death Hatfield et al.

These alkaloids are not, however, hallucinogenic, rather, the mescalbean and its purgative effects, along with many other sensory inputs, helped the vision-seeker reach a culturally defined condition in which to receive visions Merrill Because of its extreme physiological effects, the mountain laurel tree, or at least its seed, was likely viewed as a powerful plant worthy of trade and of decorating ritual clothing.

In the following sections I briefly relate the use of mescalbean in ceremonies and material culture. In Finland , in University of Helsinki a laurel wreath is given during the ceremony of conferral for masters's degree.

Laurel wreath - Wikipedia

Doctors wear special kind of Doctoral hat. The laurel wreath is a common motif in architecture , furniture , and textiles. The laurel wreath is seen carved in the stone and decorative plaster works of Robert Adam , and in Federal , Regency , Directoire , and Beaux-Arts periods of architecture. In decorative arts, especially during the Empire period , the laurel wreath is seen woven in textiles, inlaid in marquetry, and applied to furniture in the form of gilded brass mounts.

Alfa Romeo added a laurel wreath to their logo after they won the inaugural Automobile World Championship in with the P2 racing car. Laurel wreaths are sometimes used in heraldry.

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It may be used as a charge in the shield, around the shield, or on top of it. The "wreath of service" is located on all commissioner position patches in the Boy Scouts of America. This is a symbol for the service rendered to units and the continued partnership between volunteers and professional Scouter. The wreath of service represents commitment to program and unit service.

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