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Fur Trade goods

Before the HBC established a foothold on James Bay, people traded furs with their native allies and the French in return for European goods. They sought things that made their lives easier: brass cooking pots, iron axes and twine for fish nets. They also obtained materials, like beads and embroidery thread, to decorate their
clothing. Initially, because guns were heavy, unreliable and difficult to fix, people continued to use arrows and spears.

Recycling was common during the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s: The people reshaped metal into arrowheads, spear points and scrapers, and fashioned tinkling cones from brass pots to decorate clothing.

Cree beaded leggings, mid-1800s.

Cree birch bark and porcupine quill belt collected in the Waskaganish or Moose Factory area, late  1600s. Note the brass tinkling cones, with tufts of animal hair

Cree birch bark and porcupine quill belt collected in the Waskaganish or Moose Factory area, late 1600s. Note the brass tinkling cones, with tufts of animal hair

Early gun showing the flintlock mechanism. Archaeological  sites from this period may  contain parts from broken  guns and gunflints, some made by Crees from local stones.

Early gun showing the flintlock mechanism. Archaeological sites from this period may contain parts from broken guns and gunflints, some made by Crees from local stones.

Exhausted gun flints.

Brass pot found at Wiishaakuushiiuu Saakihiikan (Lake Pivert).

Glass beads.

Folding knife.