By Jennifer Jensen Wallach, Lindsey R. Swindall
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Additional info for American Appetites: A Documentary Reader
The flesh is usually stewed in a pan; to make it savoury we sometimes use also pepper, and other spices, and we have salt made of wood ashes. Our vegetables are mostly plantains, eadas, yams, beans, and Indian corn. The head of the family usually eats alone; his wives and slaves have also their separate tables. Before we taste food we always wash our hands: indeed our cleanliness on all occasions is extreme; but on this it is an indispensable ceremony. After washing, libation is made, by pouring out a small portion of the food, in a certain place, for the spirits of departed relations, which the natives suppose to preside over their conduct, and guard them from evil.
The national holiday of Thanksgiving as observed in the United States was a nineteenth-century creation. After a lengthy campaign, Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, convinced President Abraham Lincoln to issue a proclamation in 1863 declaring the last Thursday of November a national holiday. The event has been celebrated continuously each year since. Hale later popularized the idea that the “First Thanksgiving” had occurred in 1621 in Plimoth Plantation when the European settlers and Wampanoag Indians came together for a harvest celebration.
The maiden Corn Plume weds must be ever at his side. ” Next morning at sunrise, the voice of Corn Plume was again heard, singing from the hilltop, “Che che hen! Che che hen! Some one I would marry! Some one I would marry! Che che hen! ” This time his song reached the ears of the Bean Maiden. Her heart sang, when she heard the voice of Corn Plume, for she knew that he was calling her. So light of heart was Bean Maiden, that she ran like a deer up the hillside. On and on, up and over the brow of the hill she climbed, till she reached the young chieftain’s side.
American Appetites: A Documentary Reader by Jennifer Jensen Wallach, Lindsey R. Swindall