Osage Yonkopin

By Andrea Hunter, Osage Tribal Historic Preservation Officer



The roots look like long sweet potatoes and the seeds like small round chestnuts. Large quantities of yonkopin roots are pulled up in the fall and eaten raw or boiled if they have been dried. The yonkopin seeds are collected and eaten raw or dried and stored for later use.

To process the roots for storage, scrape the outer skin off the long root. The bare root is then cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces and strung together by thongs in 30 piece strands. The strands of yonkopin roots are then hung up outside to dry on wooden frames like those used for jerking meat. To prepare the dried root, boil until tender and add salt.