A familiar crunch?

July 5, 2018—This month, cicadas have returned to the Onondaga Nation, part of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, where they are greeted every 17 years with joy, and sometimes with a hungry stomach. Cicadas are not only delicacies, but they are also reminders of the gifts of the Creator and the history of Onondaga survival itself.

For the Onondaga people, who live outside Syracuse, N.Y., cicadas serve as links to the past, especially during harsh times of devastating loss, when the U.S. government ravaged Haudenosaunee fields, leaving people starving. Cicadas were some of the only food available to eat, and their nourishment allowed a Nation to survive. Today, cicadas still descend upon Onondaga land, and people welcome them back with open hearts—and, sometimes, open mouths as well.

Image credit: Kyle Adamas for The New York Times News source: Rick Rojas, “A Story of Survival Revived by the Cicadas’ Loud (and Crunchy) Return,” The New York Times, June 22, 2018