The World of Work: History of Work in Minnesota



Like many other groups that preceded and followed them in North America and around the world, ancient peoples and their descendants moved with the seasons in a yearly cycle. Small groups traveled from fish-spawning areas in the spring to a region with good berry patches and few annoying insects in midsummer. They would settle near a large stand of nut trees in the fall, and go to an area with a high concentration of small and large game during the winter, and in early spring they would go to a maple-sugaring site. Small extended families probably traveled to the same locations at the same time, year after year. Regularity made it possible to store tools needed for a particular activity until the next year. These seasonal cycles resulted in a varied and healthy diet with a surprisingly small expenditure of time and effort. Life was neither easy nor hand-to-mouth. [GM]

Hunters and Gatherers


A maple sugar camp

A Maple Sugar Camp

The metal kettles brought by traders made
boiling the sugar much easier.



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