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Gathering Wild Rice

Watercolor

"Wild rice is a favorite and valuable article of food with the Indians of Minesota and Wisconsin. It is of a darker color than the rice growing in our Southern country, and when prepared has a sweet and slightly burned taste. It is very nutritious, and its gathering and preparation are important items in the education of an Indian woman.

The girls of an Indian village make quite a frolic of gathering it. They paddle about the lake, calling to each other from their various canoes, and playing with the waters. They then push up to the shore, and gather in their hands a bundle of stalks, bend them over the canoe, and, with a short club, beat out the kernels, that fall into the canoe. This is continued until the canoe is quite full. The season is delightful, the gay, rich livery of October on hill and tree, the weather clear and cool; so that the time of gathering wild rice is quite a festival among them." - Mary Eastman, wife


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