Decorated Bear Skull

Drag to rotate

Share your knowledge and stories


 On Exhibit

There was a ritual involved when killing a bear. The bear would be killed in the summer when it’s fat, and at the entrance to our home, we would have a bear feast. We would carve a pole called the Mishtikuhkân . The uppermost part would face the direction of the wind and it would turn with the wind. The bear skull would also be attached to this pole and it, too, would face the wind. So would the other animal skulls, such as the beaver. They would all be tied to this pole. This was done in order to receive blessings for the hunt. — Wally Saganash, Waswanipi When someone first killed a bear, they took great care of the skull. They would make three markings on the temple, then a different marking in the centre, followed by further markings near the neck. This was done to signify the kill. The markings were made with red ochre, as well as blue pigment. — Andrew Natachequan, Whapmagoostui



Hunting and Fishing, Spiritual Material


The Land Has Memory — The Recent Past

Lending Institution / Lender

Richard Preston