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Collection and processing

In the past, berries were generally collected and processed by women and children. Rounds would be made through familiar berry patches and people respected others' areas of collection so that everyone was able to collect enough food for their families. Berries were carried in large cedar baskets that were carried with tumpline straps. Some berries were eaten fresh, and the remainder was dried into berry cakes to use in later months with other foods. Berry cakes were made by pressing berries into a large rectangular cake in leaves (such as those from the skunk cabbage). The cakes were then tied up and set out to dry in the sun-a process that could take up to a week, depending on the weather. The abundance of sugar is what made the berry cakes stick together.

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