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Bardon knocking rice

Author lived 1863-1940. Papers relating to fur traders and missionaries, dated 1845-1880, 1935.
I omitted saying that the gathering of the rice is generally done by two elderly [women]. They face each other with the blanket between them and an animated conversation is going on, as well as the work. While they are thrashing the rice, they are also thrashing out the social topics of the day. When they wish to change their occupation the one with the two sticks hands them over to the lady with the paddle, then the operation of gathering is simply reversed.
John Bardon, Wild Rice (Minnesota Historical Society Manuscripts Notebooks A/.B247, 1935).