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Dorothy Decorah Transcripts


When we were growing up we all played together, everybody was a big family, the village. In the evenings we would all go out in the field and play together. The girls would be playing against the old men and boys would be playing against the old ladies. And like that we all had fun evenings. We were always together, the whole village.

Some weekend one of the neighbors would say, "Come down, come over. Weíll have a get together." Hiwaöik jawina [let us dance], that means dancing. So we would all go and this family would get their drum out and dance. And the ladies would have lunch there for us. Then they would have races and, you know, stuff like that for us to do. And it would be over before itís dark so weíll have time to get home.

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Making Baskets

Oh yeah. Iíve been going there ever since I was a little girl. My parents used to go up there during the summer and this one guy, he had a store there right on the reservation. He used to have my parents go up there every summer to make basket for him. We camped right behind his store. Theyíll make basket for him all summer long. Thatís the way they earned their winter needs. What they make there they use that for their winter needs.

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Drying Squash

Yep. We dried corn. Even today I dry corn, dry squash. I was telling my cousin, "I need to give you some of my dry squash because it needs to be used." "How did you do that?" she says. "Well I donít do it like my mother did," I said. She used to string them, my mother. But what I do is I get them ready, cut them up, and I would put a sheet or a tablecloth over my clothesline outside. I would put that sheet over it and I would hang them there, the squash. That way I donít have to take them down at night, I would just cover them. Let them sit over night and in the morning I would uncover it. That way I dried my squash that way.

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Herbs - Medicine

Like medicine, they would go out and pick medicine and store that. We had our own medicines back in them days. But today, I donít think thereís hardly anybody that does that now. We go to the drug store and buy stuff or go to the clinic, go to the doctor. Our health and stuff like that is kind of forgotten now. But thereís some people around that still has that.

I was taught to pick different things for diarrhea and stuff like that. I still have that in me, but I donít go and pick it. Just when I need it, thatís when I go and get it.

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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
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*MVAC Educational Programs are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
*This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.