Archive | September, 2009

The Story of Manoomin (Wild Rice)

30 Sep

What is Manoomin?

     The Anishinabek were given Seven Prophecies, the first of which instructed the Anishinabek to leave their home on the Northeast Coast of North America and follow the direction of the setting sun. The First Prophecy says that the Anishinabek would find their new home “where food grows on the water.” When our ancestors came to the Great Lakes region they found manoomin (wild rice) growing on inland lakes. Manoomin was the food that grows on water and has ever since been very sacred to our people. It became one of our most important food sources because it could be stored for a very long time and it had a very high nutritional value.

The story of Nanaboozhoo and how he was introduced to manoomin-  

…One evening Nanaboozhoo returned from hunting, but he had no game…As he came towards his fire, there was a duck sitting on the edge of his kettle of boiling water. After the duck flew away, Nanaboozhoo looked into the kettle and found wild rice floating upon the water, but he did not know what it was. He ate his supper from the kettle, and it was the best soup he had ever tasted. Later, he followed in the direction the duck had taken, and came to a lake full of manoomin: wild rice. He saw all kinds of ducks and geese and mud hens, and all the other water birds eating the grain. After that, when Nanaboozhoo did not kill a deer, he knew where to find food to eat….

   Manoomin is the word used for wild rice in Anishinabemowin, or the Ojibwe language. The -min part of the word means seed or berry. The first part of the word is a contraction of Manido, spirit-giver of this traditionally important and sacred food grain. Manoomin gave its name to the moon (month) of harvest, typically the end of September early October.

    Several American Indian cultures consider wild rice to be a sacred component in their culture. The rice is harvested with a canoe: one person knocks rice into the canoe with a two small poles (called “knockers” or flails) while the other paddles slowly or uses a push pole. This harvest is an important cultural event- a celebration and thanks for the fruits of the harvest very similar to the American Thanksgiving.

 Did you know?

 Manoomin has more overall nutrition than any other food once available to the native diet.

 Gluten free and low in fat, manoomin is also a good source of minerals.

 Traditional methods used by the Ojibwe people to harvest manoomin are still used today.

 The feast of wild rice is similar to Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 LaDuke, Winona. “The Wild Rice Moon.”
    Whole Earth.com. Winter 1999.
   http://wholeearth.com/issue/2099/article/174/the.wild.rice.moon(September 30, 2009).

Manoomin- The Sacred Food

30 Sep

What is Manoomin? 

   The Anishinabek were given Seven Prophecies, the first of which instructed the Anishinabek to leave their home on the Northeast Coast of North America and follow the direction of the setting sun. The First Prophecy says that the Anishinabek would find their new home “where food grows on the water.” When our ancestors came to the Great Lakes region they found manoomin (wild rice) growing on inland lakes. Manoomin was the food that grows on water and has ever since been very sacred to our people. It became one of our most important food sources because it could be stored for a very long time and it had a very high nutritional value.

 Miigwetch (Thank You) Manoomin

    On the first day of the manoomin harvest the Anishinabek would prepare a feast to celebrate and give thanks to Gitche Manido (Creator or Great Mystery). Large amounts of manoomin were prepared with wild bird meat, fish, and berries. The celebration was a thanksgiving for this sacred food that was given to our people through the First Prophecy.

    Wild rice is part of the Anishinabek migration stories and prophecies. It continues to define what it means to be Anishinabek meaning Original-People and is still used today as a nutritional staple in diets and in many feasts.

 Here’s a great soup recipe for the upcoming fall months:

 Creamy Wild Rice Soup

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

6 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups cooked wild rice

1/2 cup grated carrots

1 cup cooked, cubed chicken or turkey breast

3 Tbsp. slivered almonds

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup half & half

2 Tbsp. dry sherry

 In a large saucepan, begin to sauté onion in butter. Add flour, stirring until bubbly; gradually stir in broth. Add wild rice, carrots, chicken, almonds and salt; simmer 5 minutes. Add half & half and sherry; heat through.

Serves 6.

 Let us know your favorite wild rice recipes. Please feel free to submit them in posts. Miigwetch!

Monarch Butterfly Celebration A Success

22 Sep

The Monarch Butterfly Celebration on Saturday, September 12 was a great success.   With almost 100 attendees, the day started off with the Little Miss Butterfly Pageant then continued into the Fancy Shawl Dance Presentations and Butterfly Adoption & Release.

The Monarch Butterfly Celebration began as a collaboration between the Mount Pleasant Schools and the community. Now in its third year, the celebration has seemed to take flight in representing and appreciating the symbol of change and rebirth the butterfly portrays. Volunteers and attendees were able to partake in several activities such as storytelling, the painting of a butterfly mural, and face painting, as well as the educational side behind the Monarch’s life cycle and journey. Overall, 28 monarchs were released with 15 chrysalis’ still waiting to be hatched, tagged, and released. Adopters can track their butterfly’s journey at MonarchWatch.org.  

Miigwetch to all the volunteers, staff, and guests for helping to make this event a great success!

Autumn Equinox

22 Sep

Hey kids!

Have you noticed that the weather is getting colder, the leaves are starting to change color, and it’s getting dark earlier in the evening? What is happening?

The seasons are changing from summer to fall but it’s also called an equinox.

What’s an equinox?

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the Sun crosses the equator and the day and nights are of approximately equal length. The name “equinox” is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). The Sun with the tilt of the Earth’s axis, is vertically above a point on the Equator creating equal day and night.

Enter into a new season and join the Ziibiwing Center for the Autumn Equinox Anishinabemowin Immersion Cultural Teaching & Feast on September 22, 2009 from 6pm – 8pm.

Let’s celebrate the bounty that Mother Earth has provided for all living things. Songs will be sung in the beautiful Anishinabe language by special guests, Helen Roy and Tatiana Howard (a Lil Language Warriors Club attendee).

The Autumn Equinox is free and open to the public. We ask that women wear long skirts as it is a feast tradition. All ages are welcome and the feast will be provided.

Hope to see you there!

Autumn Equinox Feast

16 Sep

Join the Ziibiwing Center for the Autumn Equinox Anishinabemowin Immersion Cultural Teaching & Feast on September 22, 2009 from 6pm–8pm.

Let’s celebrate the bounty that Mother Earth has provided for all living things. Autumnal stories will be shared in the beautiful Anishinabe language with interaction and translations from fluent speakers. Helen Roy, an Ojibwe Language Teacher at Michigan State University will be our guest singer sharing a variety of personal and popular songs used for language revitalization. Helen will also be joined later in the program by a member of the Lil’ Language Warriors Club for additional teachings. A sharing segment will happen after the feast and there will also be an opportunity for open thoughts and questions on language learning.

 Enter into a new season and join us in celebration. The Autumn Equinox is free and open to the public. We ask that women wear long skirts as it is a feast tradition. All ages are welcome and the feast will be provided.

 Hope to see you there!

Help name the ZC Kids Club mascot!

9 Sep

Hey Kids!

Want to help the Ziibiwing Center’s Kids Club name their mascot? Go to the “Let’s Play” page to cast your vote or make up your own name. Vote soon- we will announce his new name in a few weeks. Thanks for your help!

Bring your Friends and Family to the Monarch Butterfly Celebration!

8 Sep

On Saturday, Sept. 12 from 1 – 5pm the Ziibiwing Center will celebrate a day in tribute to the Monarch Butterfly.

The butterfly itself has been recognized by many cultures and religions as a significant symbol that represents life, death, and rebirth. The butterfly also symbolizes hope, happiness, freedom, joy, and natural purity. The Monarch Butterfly (monarch meaning “king”, “ruler” or “royal”) is one that reflects beauty, colors, and grace.

 The Monarch Butterfly Celebration will honor this beloved symbol and creature through a fun-filled day of face-painting, prizes, and activities for the entire family.  Attendees will be able to adopt and release a monarch butterfly, partake in storytelling, and watch the Fancy Shawl Dance presentations, also known as the “Butterfly Dance.” Like the magical beauty of the butterfly; intricate beadwork and dresses match the shawls creating beauty in motion as these dancers perform dazzling footwork and spins.

 Come spread your wings and flutter on over to the Ziibiwing Center to celebrate this wonderful and exciting event.

 This event is free and open to the public.

 We hope to see you there!