Monday, March 23, 2015

#204 March

March - the month I start looking around for something to pound because it's time for spring, it's nowhere in site and I'm at my wits end. Isn't it wonderful then, that we have an alternative in the maple tree.

No one really knows who discovered maple syrup, but several legends have been handed down over the centuries. This legend comes from the Algonquian Indians.

Woksis, the Indian Chief, was going hunting one day early in March, the "Season of the Melting Snow." He yanked his tomahawk from a maple tree, in to which he had hurled it the night before, and went off for the day. The weather turned warm, and the gash in the tree dripped sap into a trough that was close to the trunk.

Toward evening Woksis's wife (who has no name here but I will refer to as "She who should have been chief because she was so clever") needed water in which to boil dinner. She saw the trough full of sap and thought that might save her a trip to get water. She tasted the sap and found it good.

She used the sap to cook venison for suppah later that night. The water eventually boiled down to syrup, which sweetened the meat. Woksis found the gravy delicious and spread the news how the Great Spirit had guided his wife in making a delicious new food he called Sinzibuckwud (meaning, "drawn from the wood" in the Algonquian tongue).

Soon all the women were  "sugar-making" ("seensibaukwut"). From that point in time on, braves performed the "Sugar Dance,"  and maple sugar was produced and celebrated each spring in March  after the long, cold winter.

My guess is The Great Spirit had redirected those people from pounding on one another after that long, cold winter, to pounding maple trees. It saved a few lives.

March • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $200

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