The more pointed snowshoes were the women’s. The men made snowshoes out of tamarack and birch. With the birch, it takes a lot longer but they also last a bit longer. With tamarack, the wood will wear out faster. In the spring, the snowshoes wear out when used on the frozen snow, whereas with birch, it doesn’t do that because they’re stronger.
It was only later on that we saw the Chisasibi-style longer models. So, the Chisasibi people taught the Whapmagoostui people how to make them, and that’s how we learned. But people make them differently across the nine Cree communities, and they can be very beautiful. It is up to the person to make his own style based on his preference. So, when someone else sees a nice pair, they compliment the maker.
– Job Kawapit, Whapmagoostui