Early Ojibwe by Charles Athey


Wild Rice

In Ojibwe Fall is Dagwaagin. The Ojibwe harvest wild rice in Dagwaagin. They harvest while riding in their canoes because wild rice grows on water. They used a stick to hit the wild rice grain into the canoe. And once the canoe was filled with wild rice they headed back to the shore and prepared the rice for their storage.

How the Ojibwe cooked the wild rice.

They had to spread the rice on big sheets of birch bark so it could dry in the sun. Then the Ojibwe roasted it over a fire and poured into a pit lined with a hide. Then the men and children wearing clean moccasins would grind the husks of the grains by stepping lightly on them. Next the rice was poured into trays and tossed lightly in the air so that the wind could blow away the chaff or outer skin that covered the grain. Then they do something called winnowing.