Beaver Tail Innu Snowshoes

“While Indian snowshoe making was highly developed throughout all of northern Canada and the US , it reached it’s peak of refinement in eastern Canada and Maine, where the snowshoe transcended the merely utilitarian to become fine art .In these regions, the men displayed their skill and aesthetic sensibilties in the fashioning of the snowshoe frames , where the wood staves were often bent into fanciful shapes , making them pleasing to the eye without diminishing their functionality. To the south , the front of the snowshoe was often bent in the ”square toe ” pattern and , in some areas , further hollowed along the sides to enhance the overall effect ; farther north ,snowshoe tails were given the rounded or squarish forms known as the ” beavertail” style. The making of these more elaborate frames required additional labor , and consequently greater care was expended in their weaving , as the most complex woven designs can be seen in these snowshoes ; here the women expressed their talent by incorporating beautiful geometric patterns in a mesh that was sometimes so closely woven that a matchstick would not pass through.”


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