Maple Syrup- Gift of the Indians
The art of making maple syrup was discovered by the Algonquian Indians. Legend relates how a squaw was
preparing venison during the " Season of the Melting Snow," and on her way to the spring for water, noticed a
large cavity in a huge sugar maple tree, which was full of water dripping from a broken branch. She used this
water to boil the venison, and when her "Chief" ate the meat, he found the gravy sweet and delicious. He spread
the good news how the "Great Spirit" had guided his squaw in making a delicious new food, which would make
great warriors of all the braves of the Algonquian Nation. Soon all the squaws were sugar-making
(seensibaukwut) and all the braves doing the "Sugar-Dance" during the "Season of the Melting Snow"
Maple Sugar was the first king of sugar ever produced in North America and remained the standard sweetening
until approximately 1875.
The white men improved the method of collecting and concentrating maple sap to syrup and sugar, but they have
not improvedthe taste of this delicious flavored natural sweet, our gift from the Algonquian Indians of North
This story is copyrighted 1962 by Water WonderlandFoods and Gifts, Inc. Lansing, Michigan. I found it on the
back of the maple syrup tin shown below.