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Land O' Lakes 'maiden' disappears


April 24, 2020

It’s an image everyone knows. A young Native woman kneels on a patch of grass, blue waters and green trees behind her. She’s wearing a buckskin dress and has two feathers in her hair. She holds out both hands, smiling, as she offers the viewer a pound of Land O’Lakes butter.

“Mia the butter maiden,” as she’s called, first appeared on packaging in 1928. Her presence at the American kitchen table has spanned generations — until the last several months, when Land O’Lakes phased her out.

In the 1950s, Red Lake Chippewa artist Patrick DesJarlait was hired to give Mia an update. H...

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