If someone gave you dried corn husks, would it occur to you to use them to make a doll? How about a beaver tooth? Would you use it to make a knife?

The Iroquoian people found a thousand and one uses for everything in nature. They had to be very resourceful because in 1500 there were no shops or grocery stores where they could buy what they needed.

Instead, they made things from raw materials. Wood and bark were particularly useful. They were used to build homes, canoes, toboggans, baskets, bowls, ladles, and countless other items. Leather from animals was turned into clothing, bags and blankets. Stones became arrowheads, axes and pipes. The women knew how to extract glue from certain fish. They used clay to make vases and pots so that they could prepare, cook and store food. These pots were finely decorated.

They made objects that met their needs, whether it was for food, clothing, farming, recreation, shelter or transportation. These items were not only practical, however. They also loved beautiful things, and they decorated their pottery and clothing. They also made many objects that were used during religious rites.

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social

Important concepts and big ideas:

Sustainability – Une approche durable
Resources – Ressources
Spirituality – Spiritualité
Artistic expression – Expression artistique

Quickly check your knowledge: