Wild rice, or manoomin, is a staple food among Ojibwe tribes that lies at the center of their time on the shores of Lake Superior. For generations, tribal members have harvested this food that grows on water. Recently, members of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa made the trek to Pacwawong Lake in northern Wisconsin to pass on the tradition to tribal youth.
At the boat landing, Bad River tribal elder Star Ames shaved a piece of cedar wood to make knocking sticks that are used to harvest wild rice. As a kid, Ames would go out with her brother in black-bottom ricing boats to gather rice for processing. They would lay it out to dry and parch it in a cast-iron cauldron over a wood fire. Then, they would dance the rice, using their feet to loosen the hulls.