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Home >> From 1867 to Present Day >> Identity, Culture & Communities >> Artifacts

Daily life and challenges for the various groups involved in the fur trade.

Image 1
Creator: Cree; Eastern Subarctic; England (bag contents)
Year made: Early 20th Century
Dimensions: Bag is 19.7 cm long; 13.5 cm wide. Powder Horn is 23.cm long
Location: The Manitoba Museum; Artifact HBC 73-81, HBC 73-82
Copyright Holder: The Manitoba Museum
  (M22) Cree Bag-and-Horn

Shot pouch made from Native smoke-tanned moose hide decorated with fringes and glass trade beads. Inside the pouch is a small metal container of percussion caps for a firearm. The lid of the container has the manufacturer’s mark of “Eley/London.”

The animal source for the powder horn has not been identified, but both bison and cow horns were used. The larger end of the powder horn is fitted with a wooden top and the narrow end with a stopper. The hide shoulder strap is missing.

Other Related Material
Learn more about the Cree - enter 'Cree' in the search box to your left.

Can you spot the horn in the HBC calendar painting Fort Prince of Wales?

Check the Beaver Index - e.g., type in Cree, clothing, crafts, hunting, etc.

Did You Know?
These were typical firearm accessories used by both Aboriginal and European traders and by settlers. A hide bag contained shot, gun flints, gun worms (a cork screw-shaped device used to remove unused wadding and ammunition from the barrels of muskets), files, and other equipment required for gun repair.

A small metal container for measuring the correct amount of gunpowder to be poured down the barrel of a musket might also be carried in the bag.

The strong and waterproof powder horns were used to hold gunpowder. Some owners decorated their powder horns with engravings.