M3 | Crucifix
Anonyme - Anonymous
1750-1760, 18th century
Bone, cotton cloth
5.4 x 12.2 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Crucifix (7)
Keys to History
Materials were not the only thing exchanged between the Mi'kmaq and Europeans: the latter also brought numerous diseases to which the Aboriginal peoples of North America had no natural immunity. As a result of what is now called the "globalization of pathogens", epidemics wiped out entire communities of Mi'kmaq; nonetheless, the people and their identity survived the devastation.
Meetings of the Mi'kmaq and Euro-Canadians also led to discussions about beliefs, customs, world views, superior beings, and society in general.
This crucifix is fashioned from several pieces of bone.
This crucifix was used in one of the French missions on Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia, but it is not known if it was made there.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, France sent missionaries among the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet. This crucifix was made in the mid-18th century, a period when the French sought favour with the Mi'kmaq and support in their conflicts against the English.
This crucifix might be the work of a Mi'kmaq or Maliseet artist, although it might also have been made by a European. Bone was to the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet a traditional material, widely used before the arrival of Europeans.