in Wisconsin History
Wild Rice Harvesting
Harvested in the early autumn, wild rice was an immensely important commodity to Native Americans, particularly the Ojibwe and Menominee, who lived in the areas where it grew abundantly. The Menominee even took their name from the Indian word for wild rice, manomin, and were often referred to as the Wild Rice People by Europeans.
According to Menominee oral traditions, wild rice was a gift to humans from one of the Underneath Beings. When the rice was mature, the Menominee offered tobacco to this spirit to insure a good harvest. After that, the Underneath spirits and the Thunderbirds could claim... more...