I-20033 | Aboriginal person with objects to sell, Montreal, QC, 1866

Aboriginal person with objects to sell, Montreal, QC, 1866
William Notman (1826-1891)
1866, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Wet collodion process
15 x 10 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Ethnology (606) , Native people (373) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

By the time this photograph was taken, in 1866, the First Nations of eastern Canada had been settled on reserves for many years, and the period of warfare was long in the past. The communities in Quebec -- the Mohawks of Kanawake and Kahnesatà:ke and the other Aboriginal people of the St. Lawrence Valley -- were living peacefully on reserves set aside for them. This man, a member of the Huron-Wendat nation from Lorette (present-day Wendake), is perceived not as a threat, but as something quaint. The cultural artifacts he is holding -- snowshoes, moccasins, pouches and moosehair embroidered panels -- are to the photographer simply "curiosities", something to purchase as souvenirs of an encounter with an Aboriginal person.

  • What

    This is a photograph of a man displaying snowshoes, moccasins and other Huron-Wendat artifacts .

  • Where

    The photograph was taken in Montreal. The image depicts a Huron-Wendat vendor, who likely peddled his wares door to door or in the markets of Montreal.

  • When

    The photograph was taken in 1866.

  • Who

    The photographer did not record the man's name, however from comparison with other images, we know that this is a Huron-Wendat man named François Gros Louis. Nevertheless, the picture was meant to represent the image of a cultural type, rather than an individual person.