Netting Needles of British Columbia

Originally Published in The Midden, 24(3). 2010. By Grant Keddie There are two basic types of needles used in making and repairing nets found in ethnographic collections in British Columbia. The Eye and Tongue needle and the Prong End needle. The first type (figure 1) has often been presented in publications as a traditional First Nation’s artifact. In fact, it was introduced by Europeans to this region. This example is from the fishing village of Arbroath in my ancestral Scotland. The way the Eye and Tongue needle is strung can be seen in figure 2. This style of needle, by having a thin point and the twine sunk in the broad grooves on the sides, passes more easily through the … Continue reading “Netting Needles of British Columbia”

Victoria. A Place of Strong Fibre

Originally published in Discovery, 1993:3. Summer 1993. By Grant Keddie In April 1843, native people were hired to cut posts for the walls of the first non­native buildings on the southern tip of Vancouver Island: Fort Camosun. They were given a 2’/2-point Hudson’s Bay blanket for every 40 posts, each measuring 3 feet in diameter by 22 feet long (1×7 m). On I June, about 40 men and 3 officers from the Hudson’s Bay Company began building the fort. The fort was initially referred to as Fort Camosun, and then between 6 August and 4 December as Fort Albert, in spite of an official letter dated 14 April from the Hudson’s Bay Company, which refers to the general location as: … Continue reading “Victoria. A Place of Strong Fibre”