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Ha:sañ Bak: The Saguaro Harvest

Pole pulling fruit

Photograph of Regina Siquerios harvesting fruit

A rain song is sung before the harvest.

The height of the saguaro and its sharp spines make harvesting fruits particularly challenging. When the ripest fruit falls, the meat often pops out of the fleshy shell. If it does not, the harvester can use the stem of the fruit as a knife to open closed fruit. The meat is placed is a bucket. (Traditionally, the fruits were placed in baskets.) The meat is two to three inches in length and tastes sweet.

Saguaro meat


Meat in bucket

It takes a considerable amount of time to fill a bucket!

Harvesters collect the juñ, fruit which is beginning to dry out. It can be re-hydrated, or it can be eaten as candy. This bucket contains juñ, "saguaro candy," as well as fresh fruit. (Left)

Water is added to the fruit before cooking it. (Right)

Pouring water into meat

Fruit Cooking

Syrup Making


Sing Down the Rain Teachers' Menu

Sing Down the Rain Students' Menu