Friday, May 7, 2010

People of Nama'o

You already know that the Menominees are 'the people of the wild rice' (although there are some Wisconsin Indians who disagree). But according to a new book published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, the Menominees are also the "People of Nama'o." Nama'o means "sturgeon" in the Menominee language and "People of Nama'o" is chapter 6 of the new book, People of the Sturgeon:Wisconsin's Love Affair with an Ancient Fish. Mostly, it is a book about the modern-day white people who stand on the ice of Lake Winnebago with spears, waiting for a huge sturgeon to swim by.

For information about this photo, please see the Fish Geek blog.

But the prehistoric fish has been important to Menominee culture since prehistoric times.

According to page 176, the Menominees' "Fish Dance" mimics "the movements of the sturgeon as they travel up the river to spawn." (Pictured is David Grignon, the Menominee tribal historic preservation officer.)

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