Ethnology Collection - Mi’kmaq Doll

Child’s Toy or Souvenir?

Was this doll made for a Mi’kmaw child to play with? Or was it meant to be sold as a souvenir? We don’t know. But we do know that hand-carved dolls like this one, along with miniature birch bark canoes, became very popular as souvenirs. Look at the tiny wooden snowshoes with their intricate webbing (the doll is only 26cm. tall). Would you have the skill and patience to make them? The doll was made in Bear River in the late 1800s and was donated to the museum by the late Claire Dennis.

Object type: 
Mi’kmaq Doll
Object #: 
Collection name: 
Date (age/made): 
Late 19th century
Bear River, Nova Scotia
Wood, cotton thread and fabric, leather; paint; wooden doll with carved and painted face; brown patterned dress and scarf, leather boots, wooden snowshoes