Hold out your hands and let me lay upon them a sheet of freshly picked sweetgrass, loose and flowing, like newly washed hair. Hold the bundle up to your nose. Find the fragrance of honey vanilla over the scent of river water and black earth and you understand it’s scientific name: Hierochloe odorata, meaning the fragrant holy grass. In Ojibwe it is called wiingaashk, the sweet-smelling hair of Mother Earth.
Will you hold the end of the bundle while I braid? Hands joined by grass, can we bend our heads together and make a braid to honor the earth? And then I’ll hold it for you while you braid, too.
— Robin Wall Kimmerer in her book Braiding Sweetgrass