National Geographic : 1937 Nov
© National Geographic Society Painting by W. Langdon Kihn A WATER-BORNE "REAPING MACHINE" FLOATS THROUGH WILD-RICEFIELDS Chippewa women reach out with sticks, pull the stalks over into their laps, and flail the grain-bearing heads, beating off the kernels of rice into the bottom of the canoe. When the craft has a full cargo it will be paddled back to camp, where the grain willbedried and dehulled. Tribes intheLake Superior region were the most extensive users of wild rice (Zizania aquatica), which grows in water several feet deep. Just before thegrain ripened, women cruised through the fields in canoes to tie the stalks into small bundles with looped ends. This protected itfrom rain, wind, and birds.