UNH NACA Mi'kmaq Basket Making withTravis Tremblay

UNH NACA Basket Making

Traditionally, baskets made by Mi'kmaq people were used for a variety of purposes. Prior to the introduction of early European explorers, traders, and settlers, early baskets were used for carrying and storing food and materials; they were important to survival within the Mi'kmaq society. When families travelled from place to place on the Island and across the Maritimes, sometimes over long distances, baskets would be used to carry all their belongings.

Baskets were not only used to contain food, though. They contributed to Mi'kmaq survival also by being used for fishing purposes: "The larger fish were caught most commonly by two methods: one was to build a weir across the stream and to place a basket net in the mouth of a small opening. When the basket filled, it would be emptied and returned to the water." Both women and men participated in fishing.

Mi'kmaq people made baskets and taught the tradition within the laws of nature, like all traditions are taught in the Mi'kmaq society. Mi'kmaq women would use grasses from the Maritime environment to weave items that were necessary to live in that same Maritime environment. All of nature was respected within the world view of the Mi'kmaq people, and all resources from nature were obtained and utilized to their fullest extent.

Travis Tremblay of the Mi'kmaq Nation demonstrated adorning birch bark baskets using porcupine quills dyied in the colors of the Medicine Wheel.

Additional activities are forthcoming during the regular Academic Year (Sept - May) weekly meetings on Tuesdays 5:00-6:00 pm at the Waysmeet Center (15 Mill Rd, Durham). We would love to hear your suggestions or for you to drop in (na.ca@unh.edu).



All are Welcome!

History courtesy of http://www.gov.pe.ca/firsthand/index.php3?number=43816

Photo courtesy of Travis Tremblay

*Memorial Union Building, 83 Main Street, Durham, NH | (603) 862-0324


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