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The growth and success of the fur trade depended on the men and women of the First Nations and Métis Nation, while the competition between the HBC and the Northwest Company would forge a new era.

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.