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James Callow Folklore Archive

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A guide at the geology center in Chelsea told us
the legend of the discovery of maple syrup.
An Indian on the Eastern coast, I think it was Iroquois,
had stored his hatchet in the side of a maple tree.
Sometime in late winter or early spring, he removed his
hatchet to go hunting. At the base of the tree, there was
a birch bark basket, which happened to catch the maple
water that ran out of the tree when the hatchet was
removed. The Indian's wife needed the birch bark basket
to cook the moose meat in, and so she decided to also use
the water that was already in it. She proceeded to boil
the meat in the maple water all day, and in turn, discovered
that the water made maple syrup (and also tasty moose meat).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; CHELSEA

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant

Date learned: 03-00-1990

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