ME986.104.3.1-2 | Burl cup

Burl cup
Anonyme - Anonymous
Eastern Woodlands
Aboriginal: Huron-Wendat or Iroquois
1910-1930, 20th century
Wood, hide, resin?
6 x 12 x 11.5 cm
Gift in memory of William Hill Petry (1868-1957) and Elizabeth Petry (1880-1973) parents of Mrs. L. S. Apedaile.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cup (36)
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Keys to History

In addition to objects embroidered with moosehair, tourists were also interested in the everyday items used by Aboriginal people, who made and sold as curios. One example is this "cup made from the burl of a birch or cherry tree, the favoured species for such objects. According to Rolland P. Sioui of Wendake, hunters would attach a small cup like this one to their belts, dipping it in a stream or lake for a quick drink while travelling in the woods.

After being hollowed out, the wood burl was dried and varnished, to make it stronger. A small handle with a small hole was also carved, so the hunter could insert a cord and attach the cup to his belt.

  • What

    This type of small goblet or cup, made from the burl of a tree, was very useful when out on the land. Hunter-trappers would tie them to their belt and use them when needed to quench their thirst.

  • Where

    Many Aboriginal groups made small cups like this one, which was carved in Wendake.

  • When

    This object is contemporary (made in the 20th century).

  • Who

    Some cups like this were made by the Huron-Wendat for sale to tourists.