Innu Tea Dolls
These gorgeous creations are an excellent example of the remarkable resourcefulness that is inherent in the Innu of Labrador. Travelling was a way of life for these people, as they followed the migration of the fish and animals they depended upon for survival. To reduce the amount of items they had to travel with, they created the tea doll, which started out as a "functional toy." The dolls, made of broadcloth and sometimes caribou skin, were toys for Innu children while serving another important purpose: transporting tea. Before sewing up the dolls, the women would stuff them with enough tea to last them on their journey. Once the tea was removed, the dolls could be stuffed with rags or leaves and remain a plaything for the young ones before being re-stuffed with tea prior to the next journey. The baby tea dolls shown here were hand crafted by Labrador artist Theresa Andrews.
Young entrepreneur Emily Best creates natural beauty with her unique line of jewellery, Ems Gems. Each piece is made with designs carefully sculpted to look remarkably like the berries that can be found growing wild on the barrens of Labrador. Each blueberry, partridgeberry and bakeapple is formed by hand from clay. The high school student from Happy Valley-Goose Bay is already enjoying the success of her business, wholesaling to stores in both Labrador and Newfoundland, with plans to expand sales across the country. In addition to jewellery, Emily also creates trinket boxes, photo frames and switchplates - all designed with berries that look real enough to eat!
These slippers, handmade from sealskin, are modelled after traditional aboriginal footwear designed for ultimate warmth. This cozy pair were crafted by Labrador artist Mike Voisey, owner of Slippers 'n' Things - a family-owned business located in Happy Valley-Goose Bay that features a wide array of aboriginal-inspired arts and crafts. The store features slippers in a wide range of colours and styles; and you can choose from pairs made from moose hide, beaver fur, leather and with or without beadwork.
Time Well Wasted
Professional archeologist Tim Rast founded Elfshot in 1997 to provide museums and the public with realistic flint-knapped reproductions of aboriginal artifacts as well as modern jewellery based on those ancient items. The replicas he creates are from Maritime Archaic Indian, Groswater and Dorset Palaeoeskimo, and Newfoundland Recent Indian cultures, which inhabited what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador thousands of years ago. On his Web site, www.elfshotgallery.com, Tim conveys the stories of each of these early cultures, which peopled our land so very long ago. View the photo gallery of replicas that Tim has expertly created, many of which are for sale.