1968.65 | Construction
1875-1900, 19th century
Purchase from Howard Erb
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
Keys to History
While a sailor might put a ship in a bottle, lumberjacks were not to be outdone in their scrimshaw work. This wood, ivory, bead and wool structure derives from a religious impulse, as the bells and cross indicate. Priests and ministers rarely visited lumber camps, given their relative isolation. The creator of this sculpture obviously kept his faith alive.
Source : All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)
Scrimshaw is the art or practice of drawing or carving on pieces of ivory, whalebone or wood.
When a priest or minister arrived in camp, the cookhouse served as a church since it was often the place with the most space.
An old logger once recalled that only once in his life had he seen a lumberjack reading a Bible in camp.
Apart from the French and some of the Irish, lumberjacks were not regarded as religious men.