This amazingly crafted, tiny pair of "snowshoes" is a perfect miniature of full-size foot gear invented hundreds of years ago by hunters and trappers to help them walk on deep snow. They are signed " Mme. Abel Pelletier " -- Madame (Mrs.) Pelletier being a member of a well known indigenous First Nations snowshoe-making family of St. Aubert, Quebec, Canada.
At only 7.5 inches long and less than 2.5 inches wide, they are truly a work of folk art. The wood grain appears to be a hardwood - ash, oak or hickory, laced with actual, genuine rawhide split in tiny strips. Intricately accurate details include crossbars, where a wearer would attach a leather harness to fasten his boots to the snowshoes below, and even toe holes, where his boot toes would poke into as he strode along.
Condition is fabulous, with no broken or missing pieces. The dramatically bent wood is perfect with no splits. The rawhide lacings are perfect with no breaks or loose or missing pieces. Even the tiny holes drilled into the sides of the wood to anchor the webbing are perfect with no splitting.
Both of these tiny gems are signed Mme. Abel Pelletier St Aubert Que down their tails. On the front crossbars, she penciled 1969 and around each toe is written Terre Des Hommes . We believe that she made this little pair either for sale at or as part of an exhibition of native culture and lifestyle at the 1969 Terre des Hommes ("Man and His World") Expo in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, held following the smashing success of the 1967 Montreal Expo which focused on developing technological progress and improved international dialogue.
BACKGROUND, Per Wikipedia: In Canada, the First Nations (French: Premières Nations) are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle. There are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada. North American indigenous peoples have cultures spanning thousands of years. Written records began with the arrival of European explorers and colonists during the Age of Discovery, beginning in the late 15th century. European accounts by trappers, traders, explorers, and missionaries give important evidence of early contact culture. In addition, archeological and anthropological research, as well as linguistics, have helped scholars piece together an understanding of ancient cultures and historic peoples. Combined with later economic development, the relatively non-combative history of First Nations peoples has allowed them to have an influence on Canadian national culture, while preserving their own identities.
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