Knife, Hudson's Bay Co. Voyageurs Item Number: E1100-0 from the National Museum of Natural History


FROM CARD: "ILLUS. IN USNM REPT, 1897; FIG. 8; P. 736."Source of the information below: Inuvialuit Pitqusiit Inuuniarutait: Inuvialuit Living History, The MacFarlane Collection website, by the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre (ICRC), Inuvik, N.W.T., Canada (website credits here ), entry on this artifact , retrieved 12-10-2019: Crooked knife. This item was identified by Roderick MacFarlane as a Hudson's Bay Company voyaguer's knife. The long, curved iron blade and the shape of the wooden handle is typical of crooked knives made and used by French Canadian and M├ętis voyaguers hired by the HBC to transport supplies to trading posts and to bring fur from the trading posts to warehouses in the south. It is not known if MacFarlane acquired this item from a voyageur, or from an Inuvialuk who obtained it from one of the voyageurs who worked for the HBC. More information here: Crooked knives were used for shaping wood, bone and antler. The Inuvialuit style of crooked knife has a small blade attached near the end of a curved handle. The knife is held with the fingers of one hand on the underside of the handle, and the thumb positioned on top of the blade in an indentation in the handle. The craftsman rests the underside of the blade against the object being worked, and draws the knife towards the body while using the thumb on the hand holding the tool to check the depth of the cut.