It was back in 2008 that archaeologists were digging around in Wisconsin at the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation. They found, among other things, a small clay pot that they didn’t think anything of at first.
After discovering what was in the pot, however, they quickly realized that they’d stumbled across something quite important.
First, they dated the pot to be about 800 years old. Inside the pot, they found seeds!
I know, you’re probably thinking that finding seeds isn’t very exciting, but it’s actually quite remarkable. The seeds belong to the squash family, and this specific type of squash was believed to be extinct, lost to the ravages of time indefinitely.
But, because of this little pot and the seeds within it, our concepts of extinction, storage and food preservation have all changed.
Seven years after the discovery that these archaeologists made, Winnipeg students are now growing the recently-resurrected squash plant with great results.
In the Menominee language, the squash was given the name “Gete-okosomin,” which translates to “Cool Old Squash.”
The squash is now being cultivated and preserved by the White Earth Land Recovery Project.
What a powerful reminder of the early history of America and its people. The squash serves as a symbol of the First Nations, their communities and their rich history.
h/t Seed Keeping