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Aboriginal Youth Identity Series: Origin and Settlementphotostimelinebiographiesglossarytidbitspuzzles and game
grade 3grade 4grade 5

Tidbits to Know

  • Blackfoot moccasins were made of tanned leather tops with a hard sole of untanned hide. Moccasins that were for everyday use were usually not decorated. For special occasions, however, the footwear was decorated with porcupine quills or beads. Before European traders introduced beads, coloured moose or horse hairs were sewn on the moccasins. Men's moccasins were cut low while women often wore a higher wrap around style that touched the bottom of their dresses. The higher top style provided warmth and protection.

  • The shinbone of the buffalo was used to create a flesher which was used to tan hides.

  • In order for a Blackfoot woman to catch a porcupine to harvest its quills, she had to corner it and cover it with a blanket. This would scare the porcupine, who would then drop his quills out of fear into the blanket.

  • The Blackfoot tell that they received the gift of the 'bow' (namahkhan) from the moon over 9,000 years ago. Traditionally, bows were made from a variety of woods such as saskatoon, white spruce, birch or even bullberry bush.

  • The Blackfoot people believe the arrow (appsii) was given to them by lightning. An arrow was usually the thickness of an adult baby finger. The arrow was a standard length and was made out of wood saplings. Each hunter or warrior had their own feathering design (attached on the end of the arrow) which determined how the arrow would fly.

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