Fry Bread

Many Native American tribes have adopted fry bread as their national bread. In this video Naomi Good Shield from the Lakota demonstrates her version of the bread in a thorough well-paced documentary. Note the detail that she does not want it to puff up in a ball, like a pita bread, and so she puts a hole in the dough when she is flattening it into a disk before frying. I found the discussion at the end where a couple men commented on her baking explaining that in their families (and tribes) the bread was made differently. The men clearly didn’t make it themselves but were at least able to recognize that there are variants.

This is a very important bread to many Native American nations where it is, at the least, associated with celebrations. As Naomi mentions in her narrative, the bread can be as large as a dinner plate — the version she demonstrates is quite small.

I thought her mention of listening to music while making the bread, her teasing mention of  taking out aggression in the working of the dough, and her discussion of the strength it takes to do the kneading suggests roles that chores traditionally carried out played in the mental and physical health of people living more rural lives.


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