Ceremonial Hide

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 On Exhibit

They knew when to make the caribou hide because they could read the sky and it would tell them everything—even what the weather would be like a week in advance. It was to be on a day with no wind and the preparation would begin in the dark. At dawn, everyone would be outside, dressed in their ceremonial outfits made of hide…. One woman would bring the hide, which was beautiful and white as snow, and she would unfold it at the entrance and drape it over the door. The ears on the hide still had fur, and they would paint it with red ochre. No decorations were made on the legs or shoulders, only on the ears. My mother called this uushtachaanu. They did this every winter in March as a display of reverence to the sun.

– Jane Tapiatik Matthew, Chisasibi



Hide and Fur Preparation, Spiritual Material


The Land Has Memory — The Recent Past

Lending Institution / Lender

Canadian Museum of Civilization