00:00
/
00:00
Mi'kmaq Artist
Birch-Bark Box Birch-Bark Box
no date no date

Vibrantly dyed porcupine quills embroidered into Mi’kmaq garments were greatly admired by the early-seventeenth-century settlers, who could not find such intense colours in their own European wardrobes. Finding a ready market for their work, enterprising Mi’kmaq women began to apply the labour-intensive art of quillwork to on handmade products such as birch-bark sewing boxes, chair seats, trays, and a host of other domestic accouterments for a well-appointed Victorian home. Now faded, we can still get a sense of the once-radiant colours of the quills, arranged in repeating patterns of four to signify the cardinal directions, harmony and balance.

Images are not available to the general public. For Indigenous community members, please go to https://agnes.queensu.ca/explore/collections/image-reproduction/ for access.

 
Mi'kmaq Artist
Nova Scotia Nova Scotia
Birch-Bark Box Birch-Bark Box
no date no date
Birch bark, porcupine quill, plant fibre, dye, paper Birch bark, porcupine quill, plant fibre, dye, paper
13.0 x 16.5 cm (height x diameter)
Queen's University transfer; Acquired 1977 Queen's University transfer; Acquired 1977
M77-070a-b

Subscribe to our “This Week at Agnes” e-newsletter to stay abreast of events, news and opportunities at the art museum.