Mi'kmaq Series 6R Part 5: The Eel Weir answers
1. During what season did the Mi'kmaq fish for eel?
-early autumn (fall)
2. Describe and draw a Mi'kmaq eel weir.
-a fan shaped dam made to have a tapered channel of stones and sand; lined with poles, brush and birch bark and ended in a basket of bark and brush catch-box at the end of the weir where the eels were trapped. This was placed at the rapids.
3. Who had to carry the heavy loads or baggage?
4. Who had to unpack the things at the new camp?
5. Where was the smoking pit built? Draw and label a smoking pit. Describe how it was constructed.
A pit was found or dug into the hillside or riverbank. At the top of the pit, a number of logs were placed across it with cross pieces made of logs layered on top. A fire was made at the bottom of the pit and green boughs were placed on top of the fire to produce smoke to preserve the eels.
6. What part of the day did the eels travel?
7. When was the best time to fish eel?
-at dawn or just before
8. Who had to kill, gut, and smoke the eels?
- the women
9. What did they use as string to keep them together for smoking?
- spruce roots
10. What did the Mi'kmaq use to seal the seams and sides of the canoe with so it would not leak?
-boiled black pitch
11. What did the Mi'kmaq use to support a sprained joint and reduce the pain?
-a wrapping of eel skins
12. What did the Mi'kmaq use to make their stone tools?
-hammer stones and antler billets and tools for pressure plating
13. Why was the place they made the stone tools away from the camp?
-the process produced sharp stone splinters which were too sharp for the feet or mocassins.
14. How did the Mi'kmaq fashion these stones?
-each stone had a pattern of its own, it was roughed out with the striker, the edges were shaped and sharpened with pressure flakers made of antlers.
15. What did the Mi'kmaq carry his stone-making tools in?
-a hand-painted leather tool bag.
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