Northern Quebec Aboriginal snowshoes designed to please the spirits

Unknown / Inconnu1865/1900

McCord Museum

McCord Museum
Montreal, Canada

Aboriginal hunters in Northern Quebec believed that snowshoes had spiritual powers. The patterns in the webbing, the knotting on the frame and the red ochre protected the hunter. When his appearance pleased the animal spirits, his hunt was successful. This pair was clearly made by an exceptional artist and must certainly have charmed the spirits.


  • Title: Northern Quebec Aboriginal snowshoes designed to please the spirits
  • Creator: Unknown / Inconnu
  • Date: 1865/1900
  • Type: Raquettes, Snowshoes
  • Titre: Raquettes autochtones du Nord du Québec visant à plaire aux esprits
  • Description: Les chasseurs autochtones du Nord du Québec croyaient à la puissance spirituelle des raquettes. Les motifs ajourés du treillis, les noeuds du cadre et l'ocre rouge protégeaient le chasseur. Lorsque son apparence plaisait aux esprits des animaux, la chasse était bonne. Ces raquettes sont manifestement le travail d'un artisan exceptionnel et ont certainement charmé les esprits!
  • Culture (former name in parenthesis): Aboriginal: Atikamekw or Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) or Eeyou (Eastern Cree)
  • Culture (ancien nom entre parenthèses): Autochtone: Atikamekw ou Anishinaabe (Ojibwé) ou Eeyou (Cri de l’est)
  • Credit line: Gift of Dr. John L. Todd, Don du Dr. John L. Todd
  • Rights: http://www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/orders/conditions/
  • External Link: http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/ACC1148.1-2
  • Medium: Wood (birch), caribou babiche, hematite (red ochre), hide, Bois de bouleau, babiche de caribou, hématite (ocre rouge), peau

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