Mi'kmaq and Maliseet: Cultural Ancestral Material


258 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 0-660-19115-6
DDC 971.5'004973




Reviewed by Joan A. Lovisek

Joan A. Lovisek, Ph.D., is a consulting anthropologist and
ethnohistorian in British Columbia.


The Mi’kmaq and Maliseet are First Peoples who occupied the areas of
Gaspé, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and
Newfoundland. This book is an attractive and informative catalogue of
objects of their lives now retained by the Canadian Museum of
Civilization. The collection focuses on the post–European contact
period, with the earliest object dating to approximately 150 years ago.
Most of the items were collected by such early ethnographers as Frank
Speck, Gabe A. Paul, and William H. Mechling starting in the early
decades of the 20th century. The book originates from a website project
created for SchoolNet by the museum.

The book is packed with 900 colour images, four on each page. The
images are accompanied by detailed museum cataloguing data, including
catalogue numbers, object name and type, description, cultural
affiliation collection date, and collector. The images are organized by
each group, with a separate index for each. A brief introduction
describes the people and their evolving material culture. The images
cover a wide range of objects, although exquisitely crafted basket work
and quill work predominate.

This attractive volume is obviously a labour a love for the author,
hereditary chief of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council, for he donated some of
the objects. To those with a more academic interest, the cataloguing
data will be valuable. Mi’kmaq and Maliseet is a worthy addition to
the Mercury Series.


Augustine, Stephen J., “Mi'kmaq and Maliseet: Cultural Ancestral Material,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/15022.