Archeologists found a small clay pot in 2008 in the First Nation’s Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin.
Although the discovery wasn’t very impressive at first glance, it was a stunning 800-year old little piece of pottery. The thing inside the pot changes our way of thinking about extinction, preservation, and food storage.
This little clay pot brought an extinct species of squash that was assumed to be lost forever. It shows that even our Indigenous Ancestors knew what preservation meant. They knew how much the future is important.
The archaeologists found a stash of seeds inside the pot. Probably, the seeds were left in the pot and buried as a method of storing food supplies. They were believed to be an old and now-extinct species of squash.
Years after the amazing discovery, students in Winnipeg planted the 800-year old seeds. And, surprisingly something grew.
Gete-okosomin was the given tame to the squash, which in the Menominee language means “cool old squash”. Now the squash is cultivated again so it doesn’t extinct again.
This squash is also a symbol of first nation’s community and history. Plants can be incredible and also history has a funny way of coming back around.