The Eskimo Potato is found on the river bars of
the creeks surrounding Golovin. I found the plant at Kachavik Creek and
dug up the root. The leaves are similar to peas and beans as they are in
the same legume family. The flowers are purplish and grow in a linear row
about 5-6 inches long. The roots are thick, about 2 inches in diameter,
and grow about 5-6 inches deep in the ground.
Machu is an important plant that most people in Golovin
use and collect every fall or early spring. The root of the plant is dug
up and eaten raw with seal oil or cooked like potatoes. Maggie Olson said
that her mama would use machu in soup if they did not have any
potatoes. I dug some up and chewed them. They were quite tasty and I plan
to use them at my home near Manley Hot Springs, Alaska.
Hulten cites the use of
by the Native people
of Alaska, as well as the bears and mice. (Hulten, p.
Machu growing on the banks of Kachavik creek.
knife in the middle helps to show the relative height of the