Early Ojibwe by: Alming Siv


Wild Rice

Wild rice grows on water so you have they have to collect rice by canoes. There is two people in a canoe. The person in the back pushed the canoe through the rice fields using a long pole.The person in the front bent the grain heads and tapped the grin head with the stick and let the rice fall in the canoe. After hours of work the grain heads heaped up in the bottom. The children often help harvest, learning fro the elders how to gather rice properly. Once the rice was harvested it was time to head back to shore and prepare the rice for storage. First the rice was spread across a big sheet of bark so i could be dried in the sun. Then it was roasted over a fire and poured into the pit lined with a hide. Then men a children wearing clean moccasins would step on them lightly. Finally the rice was poured into trays and tossed into the air so the wind could blow away the chaff, or outer skin that covered the grain. This last step is called winnowing.

Collecting food

The children collected late-season berries and dried them for the use of the use during winter. Men hunted the ducks and geese that flocked to the rice marshes during the fall. Men and women caught fish and preserved them for the coming winter.