Herbalists and Herbalism: Plant Medicines
among the Stockbridge-Munsee Community

While current medicinal knowledge of the Tribe comes from
many Community members and ancestors, the plant knowledge
represented throughout the exhibit is primarily attributed to the knowledge passed down to Misty Cook starting from her great- 
great-great grandmother, Jeanette “Granny” Gardner. Among many teachings, Misty Cook emphasizes that when caring for patients, her ancestors Granny Garner, Mary Burr, and Ella Besaw never expected payment

for their medicines.



"This is a Native way of learning: We learn about the Medicines from being part of a family, growing up around them, talking about them, picking them with Dave, learning how to dry them and preserve them for use throughout the year, and how much to use at a time to the person who is going to take them. This was all done through conversation and oral tradition."


– Mohican herbalist and author, Misty Cook

Wtakiipakw (Yarrow) growing in the Mohican Miles Medicine Garden

Jeannette “Granny” Gardner learned medicines from her mother Elizabeth, and her Aunt who was an Oneida medicine woman and midwife.

Ella Besaw was Mary’s sister; she learned from Granny Gardner from a young age and was a great teacher of medicines.

Mary Burr would often go with her Granny Gardner on gathering trips, sometimes sleeping overnight.

David Besaw & Misty Cook: David Besaw was Ella’s youngest son. He started gathering medicines with her at age ten. David served as Director of the Health Center. Misty Cook, M. S. of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community is the Tribe’s current expert on plant medicines. Misty continues to pass on traditional knowledge by teaching, giving presentations, and through her book Medicine Generations. Her ancestor David Naunaunnecannuck’s lands were today’s Stockbridge Town Cemetery, right next to this exhibit.

To learn more about the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, please visit Mohican.com or connect through FacebookYouTube, and the Mohican Newsletter.