Image from page 19 of "The story of agriculture in the United States" (1916)
Publisher: Boston, New York [etc.] D. C. Heath and co
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: Sloan Foundation
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e waterand made it more difficult for the birds to get at them. To harvest the grain two women went out in a canoe,one sitting in each end. One had a forked stick whichshe thrust down into the mud, and this guided and steadiedthe canoe. The other carried two sticks; one had acrook at the end, with which she bent the bundles of riceover the canoe; with the other she beat out the kernelsuntil her end of the canoe was comfortably filled. Thewomen then exchanged sticks and tasks, and so theother end of the canoe would be filled. To hull the rice,a few quarts were poured into a skin bag; this was placed lO AGRICULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES in a shallow hole in the ground and trodden upon. Itwas winnowed by being tossed up in the air when abreeze was blowing; or, a birchbark fan was used toblow the husks away. The rice was dried or parched bysun or fire, and was thus kept for winter use. The Indians agriculture was closely connected withhis religion. A religious festival was held at planting
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time, with prayers to Mother Earth for a good crop.Here is the address given before the council of eldersof an Iroquois clan: Great Spirit, who dwellest alone, listen now to thewords of thy people here assembled. The smoke of ouroffering arises. Give kind attention to our words, asthey arise to thee in smoke. We thank thee for thisreturn of the planting season. Give us a good season, THE INDIANS AS FARMERS ii that our crops may be plentiful. . . . Preserve us fromall diseases. Give strength to us that we may not fall,preserve our old men among us and protect the young.Help us to celebrate^ with feehng the ceremony of thisseason. Guide the minds of thy people, that they mayremember thee in all their actions. Some tribes also had their thanksgiving harvestfestival, which was a most joyful time, as it is with us. Such, in brief, was the agriculture of the Indians wholived north of Mexico. Through long ages, no one knowshow long, these people had been slowly learning, withoutbooks, school
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