Maple water production goes so far back in American history. Most historians accept the idea that the Indians taught it to the early settlers.

American Indians, however, were accomplished woodsmen that used what they could from their surroundings. They were also very observant; they had to be to survive. They discovered herbs for flavoring food and for medicinal purposes. They used tobacco in their peace pipes. At the end of winter, when all the stored grain and vegetables were gone, the Indians had plenty of motivation to find some variety in their diet and to use what they could to keep warm and survive. Once the Indians boiled the excess water out, the maple sugar that was left could be a source of energy and flavoring that they could store in cakes to use during the rest of the year.

Indian Names

Different Indians had different names for the maple tree and its products. The Algonquin called maple sugar sinsibuckwud. The Ojibway said sheesheegummavvis, meaning “sap flows fast.” The Cree called the maple tree sisibaskwattick. The Anishinabe of Minnesota called it aninaatig ahfiwaagamizigan (maple syrup).

The Legends

The history of maple is steeped in legend…

Indian tribes share various legends about how maple sap was first made. One runs thus:

A native Chief returning to his village after a hunting trip threw his tomahawk into a sugar maple tree trunk. The spring sun warmed the tree and sap ran down the bark from the cut the tomahawk had made and into a birch bark container left under the tree. Thinking the crystal clear sap was water, the Chief’s wife poured it in with some meat she was cooking. As the water boiled away, a sticky sweet glaze formed on the meat, adding a wonderfully sweet maple flavor to the meal.

Native Peoples continued to boil down the sap every spring using hollowed out logs into which the sap was poured and rocks heated in a fire were placed in to make the sap boil, thicken and harden into chunks of maple sugar. Early explorers recorded maple sugar serving as the only source of energy sustaining Native Peoples over the long hard winter months.

At the Wahta Maple Company we utilize the most modern and sanitary equipment available to make sure you we give the public the best of Maple water.