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HomeNative People

Annual Cycle of the Anishinabe (Ojibway)
(Page 2 of 4)

by Peter Linke

 

The Annual Cycle (Details)

Below is a sequential timeline of the Anishinabe Annual Cycle based on the reading I did.

Winter Hunt Camp

Break Up Winter Camp
Ref: Sugartime, Susan Carol Hauser, ISBN 1-55013-950-9
In Preparation for their spring departure, the people stored away provisions to be left at the winter camp.
At "onaabanigiis" The moon of the crust on the snow, the Ojibwa would travel to the sugar bush.

Move to the Sugar Bush
Ref: The Ojibwa, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0, Page 14
In late March or Early April they left their hunting grounds to go to the maple groves.

Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
Moved from the winter hunt camps, March or early April to head for the sugar bush.

Ref: Sugartime, Susan Carol Hauser, ISBN 1-55013-950-9
Page 139 Sugar times Start approx March 18 earliest March 9. Duration Min 13 days, av 20 days max 40 days.
They would travel to the sugar bush in "The moon of the crust on the snow. "Onaabanigiis"

Prepare Materials For the Sugar Harvest
Ref: Sugartime, Susan Carol Hauser, ISBN 1-55013-950-9
Under the "iskigamizige-giizis" or sugarbush moon, the women made birch bark baskets, and the men made shingles from cedar. The men used blades to open holes in the tree, and placed a cedar shingle under each tap hole.

Maple Sap Ready For Harvest
Ref: Sugartime, Susan Carol Hauser, ISBN 1-55013-950-9
Page 139 Sugar times Start approx March 18 earliest March 9. Duration Min 13 days, avg 20 days max 40 days.

Harvest Maple Sugar

Ice Fishing
Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
At maple sugar time the women were busy with the trees, and the men fished in nearby lakes and streams. Frequently Ice still remained on the water, and men had to cut through it to fish.

Break Up Sugar Camp

Ice Clears From Lakes
Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
When the ice cleared, the sturgeon were spawning.

Ref: Sugar Time, Susan Carol Hauser, ISBN 1-55013-950-9
Late March or Early April when ice is still on the lakes and snow still on the ground.

Ref: The Trappers of Patuanak Sask, Robert Jarvenpa, ISSN 0316-1854
In 1972 the largest lakes were free of ice by May 20.

Ref: The round Lake Ojibwa, Edward S, Rogers

Move to Spring Fishing Sites
Ref: Native Peoples and Cultures of Canada, Alan D. Macmillan, ISBN 0-88894-609-0
Spring families returned from their hunting camps to rejoin others at major fishing sites.

Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
The Spring fishing run followed the sugaring season. When the ice cleared Sturgeon left the great lakes and headed up the rivers to spawn.

Spring Fishing
Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
When the ice cleared, the sturgeon left the great lakes, and headed up the rivers to spawn. The spring fishing run followed the sugaring season. The end of the spring fishing run (Last days of May) Those groups that planted crops moved on to the summer villages.

Ref: MNR Sault Ste Marie Info on Spawn Times. A. Dupont & S. Greenwood (Oct.25/96) 
Spring Spawners are Walleye, Northern Pike, Sturgeon, Mukellunge, L & SM Bass, Rainbow trout Begin April 1 to July

Drying and Smoking Fish
Ref: The Ojibwa, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0, Page 14
Fish was the most indispensable source of food for the Ojibwa people. During the spring and fall fishing seasons drying and smoking fish was the Ojibwa's primary occupation.

Cedar Bark Ready For Harvest
Ref: Ojibwa Crafts, Carrie A. Lyford, ISBN 0-936984-01-5, Page 93
The bark was gathered in the spring from the middle of May to the middle of June.

Basswood Bark Ready For Harvest
Ref: Ojibwa Crafts, Carrie A. Lyford, ISBN 0-936984-01-5, Page 45
In the spring and early summer when the sap is flowing, the bark can easily be peeled off the young trees in long sheets.

Move to Summer Villages
Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
End of spring fishing run, (Last days of May) Those groups who planted crops moved to their summer villages.

Ref: Indians of the Fur Trade, Arthur J Ray, ISBN 0-8020-2118-2, Page 35
In the summer they assemble near the lakes where they remain 2 or 3 months.

Ref: Native Peoples and Cultures of Canada, Allan D. Macmillan, ISBN 0-88894-609-0
We know from the writings of the Jesuits that during the mid 17th century, up to 2000 individuals might congregate at the rapids at Sault Ste Marie.

Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
With the end of the spring fishing run, came another move. Those who planted crops moved to the summer camps (Last days of May)

Ref: Reconstruction of Traditional Cycles of Ojibwe in Wild Rice Habitat, Robert E. Ritzenthaler.
Caches: Potatoes and corn hidden the previous summer in holes lined with blue sweetgrass or bark.

Planting Begins
The Ojibwe, Susan Stan, ISBN 0-86625-381-5
Summer: planted corn beans and squash & potatoes.

Tend Village Gardens
Ref: The Ojibwa, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0, Page 14
They also had village gardens. They dried and stored stuff for winter.

Harvest Village Gardens

Bulrushes Ready For Harvest
Ref: Ojibwa Crafts, Carrie A. Lyford, ISBN 0-936984-01-5, Page 88
The rushes and bulrushes were gathered from canoes in late June and July, after they were full grown.
Among the Ojibwa, the women spent the summer in making lodge coverings, and mats and picking and drying berries. Much of the mat making fell to the older women who could no longer do heavy work around the lodge.

Wild Foods Harvest

Make Lodge Coverings

Birch Bark Ready For Harvest
Ref: Ojibwa Crafts, Carrie A. Lyford, ISBN 0-936984-01-5, Page 47
The Ojibwa were able to remove large quantities of bark without destroying their birch trees. They gathered bark from the time the leaves of the birch trees were completely unfolded, until the end of July.

Canoe Making
Ref: The Ojibwa, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0
They now planned to move to their garden camp, where they would plant crops and make canoes.

Ref: Reconstruction of Traditional Cycles of Ojibwe in Wild Rice Habitat, Robert E. Ritzenthaler.
Beginning of July stripped bark for canoes, wigwams and containers.

Harvesting Sweet Grass
Ref: Ojibwa Crafts, Carrie A. Lyford, ISBN 0-936984-01-5, Page 63
It is harvested before it ripens from the middle of June until the time it begins to dry in September. It is usually gathered casually.

Gill Net Fishing
Ref: The Superior North Shore, Thomas F. Waters, ISBN 0-8166-1613-2, Page 37
They fished mainly for whitefish and lake trout in autumn, using Gill Nets.

Elm Bark Ready For Harvest
Ref: Ojibwa Crafts, Carrie A. Lyford, ISBN 0-936984-01-5, Page 47
The Ojibwa were able to remove large quantities of bark without destroying their birch trees. They gathered bark from the time the leaves of the birch trees were completely unfolded, until the end of July. Elm bark could be secured most satisfactorily at the same time.

Night Spear Fishing
Ref: People of The Lakes, Time Life Books, Page 39
Menominees fished at night with canoe, torches and spears.

Break Up Summer Camp
Ref: The Ojibwa, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0, Page 14
After Summer the village broke up to move to the wild rice fields.

Move to Rice Fields
Ref: The Ojibwa, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0, Page 14
After Summer the village broke up to travel to the rice fields.

Ref: Wild Rice in Canada, ISBN 1-55021-027-0, Page 85
The actual harvest time varies with local conditions, but harvesting usually starts from mid-August and continues into October.

Rice Ready For Harvest
Ref: Wild Rice in Canada, ISBN 1-55021-027-0, Page 85
The actual harvest time varies with local conditions, but harvesting usually starts from mid-August and continues into October.

Harvest Rice
Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
Packed their rice stores in skin pouches or bark containers, and returned to the summer villages. Some of the rice was cached at the summer camps and other portions were taken to the winter camps.

Duck Hunting
Ref: Indians of North America, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0
After wild rice they moved on. They hunted ducks for a few months.

Harvest Nettle Fibers
Ref: Ojibwa Crafts, Carrie A. Lyford, ISBN 0-936984-01-5, Page 44
The stalks were cut in October, tied in bundles, and hung to dry. When they were to be used the woody stalks were rotted, and the heckled or beaten with sticks to loosen the fibers.

Move to Fall Fishing Location

Fall Fish Spawn

Fall Fishing

Drying and Smoking Fish

Ice Freezes Up
Ref: People of The Lakes, Time Life Books
Once the ice froze up they moved their way to the winter camps by toboggan.

Ref: The Round Lake Ojibwa, Edward S. Rogers
Ice Freezeup Oct - Nov.

Move to Winter Hunt Camp
Ref: The Ojibwa, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0, Page 14
In late Autumn the seasonal cycle began again with families heading for the winter hunting grounds.

Ref: People of the Lakes, Time Life Books
By the time the ice formed on the lakes, the Ojibwa were ready to travel.

Winter Hunt

Winter Ice Fishing
Ref: The Ojibwa, Helen Hornbeck Tanner, ISBN 1-55546-721-0
When families moved to the winter hunting grounds, they fished through the ice.

Trapping

  

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Copyright Peter Linke