I was teaching hide tanning to a group of Metis people up in N. Alberta. One of the people was an older guy who grew up near Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, which is a pretty remote place in the N. part of the province with a large Cree population as well as a Metis settlement.
He told me that he was really enjoying the tanning because it reminded him of his childhood. The smells of the skins and the smoke brought back all kinds of memories for him.
He told me about how as a kid one of his daily chores all through the summer was to collect sphagnum moss. He remembered it seemed like he always had to do that and he didn’t even really know why. His Mom and his Grandma were always after him to collect more moss all through the summer.
It wasn’t until he was older that he found out that it was for diapers for the babies and menstrual pads for the women. They had to have enough moss to diaper the babies and supply pads for the women through the winters which are very long in N. Saskatchewan.
Any other thoughts about things that have to be done or collected when the time is right so that later on there will be plenty when it’s needed?