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© McCord Museum
Western Subarctic or Eastern Subarctic
Aboriginal: Anishinaabe or Eastern Cree or Atikamekw
Anonyme - Anonymous
1865-1900, 19th century
Wood, babiche, hide, cotton, iron, paint
53 x 103 cm
Gift of Dr. John L. Todd
© McCord Museum


Aboriginal hunters in Northern Quebec believed that snowshoes had spiritual powers. The word 'snowshoe' is an animate term in the Algonquian family of languages, unlike the names of most other things, which are inanimate. The patterns in the webbing, the knotting on the frame and the painted designs of snowshoes were intended to protect their user. A hunter whose snowshoes pleased the animal spirits would, it was thought, have a successful hunt. This pair was clearly made by an exceptionally skilled artist.

© Musée McCord Museum