M977.90.1 | Huron-Wendat Hunter Calling a Moose

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Huron-Wendat Hunter Calling a Moose
Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872)
About 1868, 19th century
28.6 x 23.8 cm
Purchased by McCord Museum
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Ethnology (606) , Native people (373) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

Forced to adapt to a new environment, the Laurentian forest, the Huron-Wendat decreased their farming activities and took up hunting and trapping. Moose became an important source of food and raw materials.

According to Huron-Wendat oral tradition, as related by the hunter and Elder Rolland P. Sioui in 2007, moose are hunted at any time of year, as needed. However, the best time for the hunt is winter, since fall is their breeding season. The hunter first surveys the moose yard (wooded area where the animals shelter) and takes inventory. Adult pairs and pregnant females are not hunted, in order to maintain the species. Hunters target in particular young animals one year and a half and older.

Hunting on snowshoes, the hunter tries to flush the moose out of its yard, where it is safe from wolves and food is plentiful. The skilful hunter draws the animal from its yard and into open snow where it is more vulnerable. Once killed, the animal is cut into five pieces (counting the head) and the catch is transported by dogsled.

  • What

    This print illustrates a Huron-Wendat hunter calling a moose.

  • Where

    There is no record of where this painting was done, though it probably represents the traditional hunting grounds of the Huron-Wendat in the vicinity of Wendake, in Quebec.

  • When

    This work dates from about 1868.

  • Who

    Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872), a painter of Dutch origin, signed this work. Krieghoff was probably the most popular painter in Canada in the 19th century. He painted mainly landscapes, views of nature and, especially, Canadian winter scenes.