Traditions and legends
Traditions and legends

All About maple > Maple Syrup > Traditions and legends

When the bases of the trees were still surrounded by snow and the sound of the returning migratory crows could be heard, the aboriginal peoples would leave their villages and head out to set up camp in the maple forest. Each family owned between 1200 and 1500 maple trees. And so while the men set out to hunt game and wild birds, the women would create pots out of birch bark and begin tapping the trees to gather the sweet nectar in accordance with the knowledge passed on to them by the earth goddess Nokomis.

Legend says that Nokomis was the first to tap the maple trees to obtain maple syrup. Her grandson Manabush, however, feared that humans, presented with such an easy source of sugar, would become lazy. So he filled the maple trees with water, diluting the sugar. And from that time on, men have had to cut wood, build fires and boil down the maple water in order to obtain their syrup.

Watching a red squirrel quench its thirst with a swig of sap…
One fine spring day, a native Indian watched a little squirrel scamper up a tree trunk. He was intrigued to see it bite into a branch as if to drink, even though a fresh water spring ran nearby. Following the squirrel's example, he broke a branch and lifted it to his lips. What a revelation! Until that moment, his tribe had found sugar only in wild fruits… and yet here was a tree that was weeping sugar!


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