tobacco seed bank

joseph c winter jwinter at
Tue Jan 23 08:54:01 EST 1996

(Due to the very positive response to this message, it will be reposted 
each week, as long as there is sufficient interest)

We run a seed bank and education program at the University of New Mexico 
that specializes in the collection, preservation, growth, and 
distribution of traditional Native American tobacco seeds  -- i.e., seeds 
of the different types of Nicotiana that are used by American Indians for 
ceremonies, rituals, prayers, and related purposes (and NOT for habitual 
or recreational smoking). Seeds will be sent at no cost to any Native 
American requesting them, as long as they agree to use the resulting 
tobacco only for traditional purposes. We also provide smoking-cessation 
programs, anti-commercial tobacco education, presentations explaining the 
natural and cultural history of tobacco and the beliefs and ceremonies 
associated with it, and other tobacco education programs.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you are Native American and you would 
like some seeds of the tobacco type grown or collected by your tribe. 
Equally important, if you have seeds (or know someone who has them), 
please send us some, so that we can add them to the bank, grow them, and 
provide fresh seeds to other tribal members. Finally, please keep in mind 
our education program, and remember --- tobacco is an extremely powerful, 
sacred, and dangerous plant. When used properly, in small amounts in 
traditional contexts, it is a source of power. When used improperly, such 
as in cigarettes and other commercial products, it leads to illness and 

Thank you.

Joe Winter and Lawrence Shorty
Dept. of Anthropology
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

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