This story of rice harvesting was told to me in 1983 by Nancy
Thompson of Peguis, Manitoba. Click here
to hear Nancy's narration. You can use your player's pause button to temporarily
stop the audio.
||A'ii niwii-dazhindaan manoominikewin.
||'Well, I'm going to tell about
gaawin wiikaa ngii-ani-izhi-maajii-manoominikesiimin: akawe e-gii-nanaakodamowaad
||'Long ago when we riced, we
never just casually started ricing: always the elders gave thanks before
we started ricing.'
||Akawe niizh gichi-anishnaabeg
||'First, two elders did some
||Mii gaa-izhi-ozhitoowaad 'a
||'And from this they made rice.'
||Mii zhigo gaa-izhi-wiikwandiwaad.
||'And then the people feasted
||Gakina awiya ogii-miijin 'owe
gaa-gii-bawa'amowaad ogo gichi-anishnaabeg.
||'Everyone ate this which these
elders had harvested.'
||'But first they gave thanks.'
||Baanimaa mii 'imaa onji-maajii-manoominikeng
bawa'igewaad ogo bemaadiziwaad minik 'o manoominikeng 'imaa eyaawaad.
||'And after that they (the
community) started ricing there, they harvested, those who lived there,
as many as (did ricing), doing the ricing there where they were.'
||Gaawin wiikaa aapiji gii'-baapaataniinosiiwag,
gii-agaansiinowag mewizha gaa-gii-manoominikewaad.
||'They were never many in number,
they were few in number long ago who did ricing.'
||Zhigo gaye gaa-doodamowaad
ogii-bimi-naagajitoonaawaa 'iwe manoomin e-nitaawigininig.
||'And also they nurtured the
rice as it was growing.'
||Aaniish nising adite manoomin.
||'Because the rice ripens three
||Gaawiin zhemaag gijaaginanziin
||'You don't exhaust it right
away the first time when you harvest it.'
nitam gaa-nitaawiging, nitam gaa-aditeg.
||'They gave it a rest this
first time that it was growing, the first time that it ripened.'
||Mii we gaa-bawa'amowaad.
||'And then they harvested it.'
||'And they let it rest.'
miinawaa maagizhaa niso-giizhig, niiwi-giizhig gii'-bawa'igewag, miinawaa
||'And then they started harvesting,
again perhaps three days, or four days they harvested, and also they let
||Miinawaa owe gii-adite.
||'And it ripened again.'
||Zhigo 'iwe ishkwaajigaaditeg
baanimaa mii 'i e-gii-giizhitoowaad.
||'And they finished on that
which ripened last.'
||'They used canoes when they
||Mitig gigii-aabajitoon bawa'aman
||'You (sg.) used a stick to
harvest the rice.'
||'You thrash it into the boat.'
||Gaawiin wiikaa noojigo gegoo
mitigosh ogii-aabajitoosiinaawaa gaawin ogii-bookwaganaandanziinaawaa 'a
||'And they didn't use any old
kind of stick, because they didn't want to crack the rice.'
||'They worked very carefully
when they harvested.'
||Gaawiin niin ogii-babaa-boopookwaganaandaziinaawaa.
||'They didn't just go around
cracking the rice.'
||Noongom waabandaman manoomin,
miziwe bookwaganaanjigaade, gaye gizhiibidegin jiimaanan e-aabadakin.
||'Today when you see rice,
it's been cracked all over, and fast running boats are used to harvest it.'
||Nanaandog odoodaanaawaa banaajitoowaad
||'They do all kinds of things
that damage the rice.'
||Ambe iwe e-gaa-gii-bawa'igaadeg
manoomin gaye aapiji weweni ogii-dazhiikaanaawaa e-gii-gaapizamowaad.
|| 'But before when they harvested
the rice, they worked at it very carefully when they parched it.'
||'They made a fire, and used
sheet metal tins when they parched.'
||Ambe ininiwag ogii-bawishkaanaawaa
||'And then people trampled
on the rice.'
||Oshki-makazinan mewizha gaa-gii-izhinikaadegin
bimibatoowakizinan gii-izhinikaadewan gomaa na bashkweginwekizinan ogii-gigishkaanaawaan.
||'They wore new shoes, light
running shoes or leather moccasins.'
||Ji-bekakin makizinan ogii-ozhitoonaawaa
a'ii endazhi-bawishkamowaad ji-bekak 'i waanikaanensan ogii-ozhijiishkiiwaginaanaawaa
imaa endazhi-bawishkamowaad, ji-bekak i manoomin.
||'The shoes had to be clean,
and they made little holes, they molded a spot, there where they were trampling,
so that the rice would be clean.'
wiigwaasinaaganan ogii-aabajitoonaawaan e'-bawaasitoowaad 'i manoomin.
||'And then they fanned it,
they used birch bark bowls when they harvested the rice.'
'o manoomin, weweni ji-bekak.
||'Twice this rice was trampled,
to make it very clean.'
||Mii 'i niizhing gii-bawishkigaadeg
bawaasijigaadeg, mii i aazha gii-onozhishing ji-giizizigaadeg.
||'And when it had been trampled
on twice it was fanned, and then it was ready to be cooked.'
||Gaawin wiikaa onji-makadewaasinoon
||'The rice was never black.'
||'It always looked like a green
aazha zhemaag gii-ani-gaapizigaadeg.
||'Because when you first harvested,
right away it was parched.'
||Gaawin ingoji gii'-dazhi-banaadasinoon.
||'It wasn't stored anywhere
where it would spoil.'
manoomin makadewaa agwaagosin gaye ginwezh ingoji bimi-ayate jibwaa-giizhichigaadeg.
||'Nowadays the rice they sell
is black and moldy, and is stored for a long time before it's finished.'
||Ambe niibiwa iidog aapiji
||'And nowadays it seems that
it's really expensive.'
||Mewizha gii-wendaginde aapiji.
||'Long ago it was really inexpensive.'
||Weweni dash ogii-ozhitoonaawaan,
||'They made it correctly, those
Indians who used to make it.'
||Gii-bekan, aaniish zhemaag
gii-ani-gaapizigaade, zhemaag gii-ani-giizhichigaade.
||'It was clean, because right
away it was parched, the processed was completed right away.'
|| 'It wasn't moldy.'