Tuesday, August 10, 2010

my wild rice

History & Folklore of Wild RiceThe Ojibwa and Sioux Indians of Minnesota call it "Mahnomem". The early French explorers in Minnesota and Canada called it Folles Avoines (wild oats). Ironically, wild rice isn't really a rice at all. It is an aquatic cereal grain with a biological technical name of Zizania Aquatica. Manominikegississ is their August Moon, aka rice-harvesting time.Wild rice harvesting is one process that modern technology sitll hasn't touched. The rice is still harvested the same way today as it was years before. It is usually done in a canoe or low-sided wooded boat. One person "poles the boat" through the rice bed while another person in the boat knocks the rice kernels off the stocks and into the boat. How? It's done with two long sticks and with one hand you bend the plants over into the boat and while holding it down, you beat the kernels off into the boat. Needless to say, this person has to be co-ordinated, and also skilled as to not tip the boat over or your entire harvest is all gone.The rice is then taken to the location where it is processed, namely the hulls are removed, cleaned debris, dried and ready for bagging and selling.Only a native American in Minnesota is allowed to harvest wild rice, and so it is usually sold by the Chippewa Indians in the Northern Minnesota area. This might be changed.This article can be found at http://www.brownielocks.com/wildrice.html

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