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More than meat…

4 October 2009

by Jeff Savage

by W. Dupuis

By Dave Wilsey

UMN Extension

Mooz. An important source of meat for many families, but this animal is a resource that is much more. I had the good fortune to speak with several FDL elders about the moose over the past few weeks. Wayne Dupuis Sr. constructed the dewe’igan (drum) pictured above from a moose hide. Jeff Savage’s work on wiingashk (sweet grass) baskets led him to fabricate traditional moose bone needles used in their crafting, then to the creation of arrowheads, and ultimately to intricate carvings using the bone as a medium. Sonny Greensky shared his recollections of the moose hide used as a bootaagan (mortar for wild rice threshing). The hide was laid over a small hole dug in the ground and threshers danced on the rice supported by maple poles, which made their footsteps lighter as required by the task. Eshkanag (horns/antlers) drop every spring and in their collection and display many of us bring the mooz into our homes and our lives.

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