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Wild Rice and the Ojibway People

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Explores in detail the technology of harvesting and processing the grain, the important place of wild rice in Ojibway ceremony and legend, including the rich social life of the traditional rice camps, and the volatile issues of treaty rights.

Wild rice has always been essential to life in the Upper Midwest and neighboring Canada. In this far-reaching book, Thomas Vennum Jr. uses travelers' narratives, historical and ethnological accounts, scientific data, historical and contemporary photographs and sketches, his own fieldwork, and the words of Native people to examine the importance of this wild food to the Ojibway people. He details the technology of harvesting and processing, from seventeenth-century reports through modern mechanization. He explains the important place of wild rice in the Ojibway ceremony and legend and depicts the rich social life of the traditional rice camps. And he reviews the volatile issues of treaty rights and litigations involving Indian problems in maintaining this traditional resource.

A staple of the Ojibway diet and economy for centuries, wild rice has now become a gourmet food. With twentieth-century agricultural technology and paddy cultivation, white growers have virtually removed this important source of income from Indigenous hands. Nevertheless, the Ojibway continue to harvest and process rice each year. It remains a vital part of their social, cultural, and religious life.

Contributor(s): Vennum Jr, Thomas (Author)
ISBN: 087351226X EAN: 9780873512268
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Pages: 368
Binding: Paperback
Pub Date: July 15, 1988

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