Anishinaabe Word of The Day

Maple Sugar (anishinaabe – ziinzibaakwad)

Three species of maple trees in the genus Acer are predominantly used to produce maple sugar: the sugar maple (A. saccharum), the black maple (A. nigrum), and the red maple (A. rubrum),[1][full citation needed] because of the high sugar content (roughly two to five percent) in the sap of these species.[2][full citation needed] The black maple is included as a subspecies or variety in a more broadly viewed concept of A. saccharum, the sugar maple, by some botanists.[3] Of these, the red maple has a shorter season because it buds earlier than sugar and black maples, which alters the flavor of the sap.[4]

A few other species of maple are also sometimes used as sources of sap for producing maple sugar, including the box elder (or Manitoba maple, A. negundo),[5] the silver maple (A. saccharinum),[6] and the bigleaf maple (A. macrophyllum).[7] Similar sugars may also be produced from birch or palm trees, among other sources.[8][9]


Audio Piece

Anishinaabe Stories or Other Interesting Facts!


A very long time ago, when the world was new, Gitchee Manitou made things so that life was very easy for the people. There was plenty of game and the weather was always good and the maple trees were filled with thick sweet syrup. Whenever anyone wanted to get maple syrup from the trees, all they had to do was break off a twig and collect it as it dripped out.

One day, Manabozho went walking around. “I think I’ll go see how my friends the Anishinabe are doing,” he said. So, he went to a village of Indian people. But, there was no one around. So, Manbozho looked for the people. They were not fishing in the streams or the lake. They were not working in the fields hoeing their crops. They were not gathering berries. Finally, he found them. They were in the grove of maple trees near the village. They were just lying on their backs with their mouths open, letting maple syrup drip into their mouths.

“This will NOT do!” Manabozho said. “My people are all going to be fat and lazy if they keep on living this way.”


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