Date of Award
Master of Arts in Applied Archaeology
First Reader/Committee Chair
It’s the early 1900s, and a breeze off Big Rice Lake in northern Minnesota steals away a girl’s tiny glass beads, later to be excavated by archaeologists. The story of “The Breeze That Took Her Beads” is archaeological fiction meant to humanize scientific descriptions that can be impersonal or unapproachable to audiences outside of the profession. The imagined story – rooted in tribal elder wisdom, archaeology and history – becomes a vehicle for acknowledging the perseverance of tribal life at Big Rice Lake. Big Rice Lake in the Superior National Forest is known for its 2,000 years of wild rice production by a series of indigenous cultures. The Ojibwe people are the modern-day inheritors of this legacy. Does their seasonal use of Big Rice Lake correspond to those far into the prehistoric past? Why do archaeological findings presented here suggest more extensive Ojibwe use after federal treaties in the mid-1800s took away their land and restricted tribal mobility? The Ojibwe people until the early 1900s were traveling in birch-bark canoes in large groups to Big Rice Lake and giving birth to their children in wigwams there. Elder knowledge, archaeological analysis and historical documentation suggest possible reasons why Big Rice Lake persists to be a place of meaning on the Ojibwe landscape in memory, for subsistence hunting and gathering, and for continuing stewardship.
AGAASIBII’IGAN (ABSTRACT IN OJIBWE)
Mewinzha go 1900 ingoji go, gii-maadaanimad Gaa-manoominiganzhikaag biinish ikwezens wani’aad omanidoominensan, baanimaa gaa-ondaanikaadawaawaad wendaanikejig. Mii ow dibaajimon “Wani’aad Omanidoominensan Nooding,” anishaa dibaadodeg ji-bagakendamang keyaa ozhibii’igewaad wendaanikejig nawaj weweni ji-zhawenimindaa gaa-bimaadizijig. Dibaajimowin – gaa-ondinigaadeg gichi-aya’aawi-nibwaakaawin, ondaanikewin, miinawaa gaa-izhiwebak mewinzha – aabadad ji-ni-michi-mikwendamang Anishinaabe-inaadiziwin Gaa-manoominiganzhikaag. Gaa-manoominiganzhikaag eteg “Superior National Forest” ezhinikaadeg onjida gikendaagwad niizhing midaaswaak daso-biboon gaa-izhi-manoominikewaad Anishinaabeg. Ojibwewi-anishinaabeg ogii-miinigoowaan o’ow. Mii na naasaab keyaa keyaa aabajitoowaad Gaa-manoominiganzhikaag dibishkoo gaa gaa-aabadak ishkweyaang? Aaniin wenji-inendaagwak nawaj noomaya gii-aabajitoowaad Ojibweg gaa-ishkwaa-inaakinigaadeg zoongi-mazina’igan miinawaa gii-mamigaadeg odakiimiwaan gaa-onji-zanagak eshkam ji-babaa-ayaawaad? Gii-pabaamaadiziwag anishinaabeg 1900 ingoji go wiigwaasi-jiimaaning ji-bi-ondaadiziikewaad Gaa-manoominiganzhikaag wiigiwaaming. Mii keyaa maamikwendaagwak Gaa-manoominiganzhikaag Ojibwewakiing nandawenjigeng, mawinzong, miinawaa ganawenjigeng ezhi-gikendamowaad gichi-aya’aag, gekendaagwak ondaanikeng, miinawaa mazina’iganan mewinzha gaa-ozhibii’igaadeg.
Armstrong, Travis, "The Breeze that Took Her Beads: Examining and Imagining Ojibwe Life at Big Rice Lake After the Treaty of 1854" (2021). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 1173.