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Home >> From 1600 to 1867 >> Identity, Culture & Communities >> Artifacts

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

Image 1
Creator: Kainai (Blood) First Nation; Plains Area; Alberta
Year made: Late 19th Century
Dimensions: 73 cm long
Location: The Manitoba Museum; Artifact HBC 156 G
Copyright Holder: The Manitoba Museum

(M23) Plains-type Blackfoot Arrow

Plains-type Blackfoot arrow with iron metal point. Feathers and point are fastened to the shaft with sinew thread. A section of the shaft has been painted with blue pigment to indicate ownership and perhaps a spiritual aspect of this hunting tool and weapon.

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

See a bow crafted by the Central Arctic Inuit.

Check the Beaver Index - e.g., Montagnais Cross-Bows, by J. Allan Burgesse, December 1953.

Did You Know?
With increased access to metal goods, the flint arrow point was replaced by metal versions such as that made from iron barrel hoops. Hunters traded bison robes for the metal hoops.

Arrow shafts were fashioned from sarvis or serviceberry, chokecherry or ash wood. The feathers from eagles, hawks, crows and geese were used for the fletching and chokecherry wood was preferred for making bows.

Archery contests were popular among young boys who acquired the necessary proficiency in the use of the bow and arrow by participating in games that developed their skills.

Although the Blackfoot had access to guns in the first half of the 19th century, they preferred to hunt game, especially bison, with bows and arrows until firearms obtained through fur traders were more dependable.

Firearms were expensive trade items, and bison hunters had difficulty reloading a muzzle-loading trade gun while mounted on a horse.

By 1870, they had access to more effective breech-loading, repeating firearms.