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Home >> From 1867 to Present Day >> Historical Connections >> Artifacts

The fur trade influenced the historical development of Canada in a number of ways including: the development and expansion into western and northern Canada; the significance of Canadian place names; the origin and rise of the Métis Nation; the impact of interaction between the First Peoples and the Europeans-and these connections can be found in personal and commercial stories about the people and events of the fur trade.

Image 1 | Image 2
Creator: British with possible Cree use; Eastern Subarctic; Moose Factory, Ontario
Year made: Late 19th Century
Dimensions: 20.9 cm long; 0.5 cm wide
Location: The Manitoba Museum; Artifacts HBC 73-153 & 2027
Copyright Holder: The Manitoba Museum

(M24) Awl

Metal awl with pointed ends. The center is offset to prevent breakage, a trait that was typical of awls of English manufacture. Awls were fitted into a wooden, bone or antler handle by the user.

Other Related Material
Read more about sewing or preparing hides - enter 'sewing' or 'hides' in the search box to your left.

Check the Beaver Index - e.g., Lucy of Povungnetuk, by Malvina Bolus, Summer 1959.

Did You Know?
Prior to European contact, indigenous peoples made their awls from bone, antler, and in some areas, local copper.

They were used to puncture holes in hide, wood and birchbark. Generally made by blacksmiths working at the trading posts, metal awls were a popular trade good and the posts were always well-supplied with this article. In 1748, twelve awls were traded for one Made Beaver or a prime male adult beaver pelt, at Moose Factory.

Along with other items, awls were sometimes presented as gifts to the wives of Aboriginal traders who used them for sewing clothing, coverings for their lodges and the seams of birch bark containers and canoes.