Glenbow Museum - Where the World Meets the West

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Title: Birch Bark Dish

Date: mid 20th century

Creator: Unknown

Additional Creator Information: Nehiwyan (Cree)

Medium: birch bark, spruce root, porcupine quills, cotton string

When I look closely at the rim, I see that there are four sections with porcupine quills.

- Gerry Conaty

There's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 [counting quill stripes on each quarter of the dish] quills in each of these sections. This is very nice work.

- Joe Deschamps

Is there significance to the number six?

- Gerry Conaty

ell it could mean that it's one season or winter or year. It's interesting that there are six of these totaling 24. So I'm thinking that this was used, not just for display, but maybe for a ceremony.

- Joe Deschamps

What do you think this was used for?

- Gerry Conaty

I think some of these were used for drying herbs and some of them were for decoration. But this was decorated. They would use them for drying medicine.

- Joe Deschamps

Collection Area: Native North America

Rights Holder: Collection of Glenbow Museum

Catalogue No: AP 3130

Image No: P0017335

Learn More:
This artifact can be used in conjunction with Nehiwayak: Traditions of the Cree People education guide from the online teacher's resource series 21st Century Learning: Links to Our Collection.


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