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PATHS
OF THE PEOPLE

the Ojibwe in the Chippewa Valley

Further Information

Bimaadiziwin
"A Good Way of Life"

 

In the Way of the White Man

 

Anishinabe Ahki
"Indian Country"

 

Choosing a Path
at Lac Court Oreilles

Related Reading

Paths of the People by Tim Pfaff Chippewa Valley Museum Press

Contact Us

PHONE:
(715) 834-7871

MAILING ADDRESS:
Chippewa Valley Museum
PO Box 1204
Eau Claire, WI 54702-1204

PHYSICAL ADDRESS:
1204 E. Half Moon Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54703
(This is NOT a mailing address!)

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BIMAADIZIWIN: "A GOOD WAY OF LIFE"

 

The Ojibwe pursued a hunting and gathering economy which required them to travel seasonally over a large territory as various resources became available. They adapted their way of life to suit the demands and limitations of their environment. Oral tradition and spiritual practices reinforced and promoted those behaviors which maintained good relations with the manitos (spirits) of the plants and animals upon which the Ojibwe depended for their survival. Material wealth did not enhance the status of an individual in society. Instead, courage, skill, and reverence for the manitos enabled a person to win respect, and enjoy bimaadiziwin (a good way of life).

Within this world view, individuals in Ojibwe society exercised diversity of opinion, honing those skills which allowed them to complete daily tasks efficiently, or overcome common problems.

Their lives were not idyllic, nor their culture static. Indeed, by the time the Ojibwe arrived in the Chippewa Valley, they were already actively trading with the French and English, acquiring European implements which would dramatically alter their way of life.

ojibwe bandolier bag
Beaded bandolier bag, worn during ceremonial gatherings, c. 1850.

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