Uses of River Cane

River cane, called "i-hi" in Cherokee (meaning cane) is used for blowguns, fishing poles, chairs, baskets, pipestems and for shining clay pots.The whole river cane can be hollowed out to make a blow gun.

River cane typically grows around creek banks and swamps, where there is more moisture in the ground. River cane can be gathered at any time of year, but most people prefer the winter because there are no snakes or ticks.

The plant has almost died out and is scarce and hard to find, but Cherokee Nation's Natural Resources Department is making efforts to plant new stands of cane to help revitalize its growth. Livestock grazing, clearing woodland, and fluctuating water levels (which leave the roots to dry) have taken their toll on i-hi over the years.