Guide to Indian Artifacts of the Northeast


Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-88839-127-7





Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



For a Canadian, it is very disconcerting to pick up a book from a Canadian publisher, which is labelled as dealing with “the Northeast” and discover that the area so described is New England. This confusion comes about because Hancock House, a British Columbia-based publisher, has an American branch.

While obviously disappointing to readers anticipating a work on objects used by Canadian Indians, the New England and Canadian woodland Indians had sufficient similarity to make Moeller’s small book of interest to amateur archaeologists, students, and local historians on either side of the border.

The book’s strength is more than 70 photos of weapons, tools, pottery, baskets, and decorative and ceremonial objects (beads, rattles, pipes, etc.). The collection goes beyond the usual arrowheads and coiled pots to include less familiar objects of Indian culture (mullers, plummets, a gorge, net-sinkers, a bola, a ulu, a sinewstone, awls, and other unusual artifacts). Examples of dishes that have been “killed” to release their spirit to accompany a deceased are especially interesting.

Many of the photos are reproduced in color and all are of professional quality; details show clearly, aiding study and comparison to pieces in local museum collections.

All this, plus an index and a reading list, in a 30-page book means the text must be very brief. Undoubtedly much more could have been said about the woodland Indian cultures that produced these artifacts, yet what text is included is surprisingly informative. Tight, concise writing packs a useful assortment of facts in a small space. All in all, an informative, attractive book.


Moeller, Roger W., “Guide to Indian Artifacts of the Northeast,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed August 19, 2022,