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Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Native community

Well, from Millbank to Midland where we came to have a look at a reconstruction of a 16th century Huron Indian village, as it would have been before the arrival of the European.  midland huron village2It was quite interesting but what we weren’t told as we bought our tickets was that half the “village” had been wiped out in a fire some time before, so there was very little really to see.

   However, there were a few photo opportunities.  Above is a wood wigwam midland shaman maskwith a shaman’s bark hut behind it and a couple of skins stretched out on frames as part of the tanning process.


Just inside the door of the shaman’s hut is this carved face.



midland main hall

This longhouse, also made of bark, was a storehouse for pelts, tobacco, baskets, food, wood for fuel, etc.



midland interior main hall



Interior of the longhouse



midland huron village4

Here, beside the longhouse is an Indian game, I suppose much like our bowling alley of today.  This would probably involve throwing stones from the open end to hit a target at the far end and would help to develop hand/eye co-ordination and hunting skills in the youngsters of the village.  Beyond the “alley” is the village lookout tower, and other constructions for sheltering workers as they created pots or carvings etc. midland mask

Another carved face outside the longhouse.



midland huron pots



Some broken pots made by Huron Indians in the past.


Canoes would have been stored in shelved huts such as this one.midland canoes

What a pity the rest of the village was destroyed.  At the moment the Huronia Museum is still battling with insurance companies, so no further rebuilding can go on for now.

midland huron artifacts The museum itself not only houses artifacts of first nations people, but also of the town of Midland built by the European settlers.  Here were all sorts of objects, to do with the lumber trade and  the railway, as well as the social history of the town.  midland crazy patchwork

Of course there were more quilts, like this crazy patchwork one,




midland lace

fabrics and dresses, decorated with hand-made lace, in some cases.

There was lots of machinery too but I didn’t photograph that – it was mostly rusty old stuff in heaps on the floor!!!

midland story of noah for hurons

There was a section on native art, and this colourful painting depicts the story of Noah from the Christian Bible, as missionaries would have told it to the Indians in the 16th/17th centuries.

midland art


This is another piece of native art that I rather liked.


We left the  museum and village behind to return to the town of Midland, passing the lake with its multitude of Canada geese grazing the shore for goosie goodies.

 midland geese2Many will be migrating now to the southern US and Mexico  for the winter but there are likely still to be some that will overwinter here in the south of Canada.




midland harbourBack in Midland we took a walk down to the bay where several rather nice-looking boats were moored. 



midland the little toot  Not so seaworthy or as streamlined was The Little Toot, shorebound, but looking so cute, as a play boat.

We took a look at some of the shops on the main street, and found that like Chemainus in BC, the town sports a collection of murals showing the town’s history.Award winning quilt $1310

Of course Jean and I were in and out of the shops.  This award-winning quilt for sale in a Midland boutique was going for CAN$1310, the most expensive one I had seen.  It was beautiful.

award winning quilt edge


Too big to bring home, I told myself!!!!!  (too expensive, more like!)



halloween lantern teeth


There were plenty of halloween decorations around too,for halloween 




for halloween3




and still 10 days to go!  I’d be home by then.  Shame actually!  It might have been fun seeing how the north Americans do it!


midland stylised reindeer

And things were beginning to hot up for Christmas too.  I liked this stylised reindeer!

So all too soon my visit with Jean and Jimmy was coming to an end.  The next day I would be taking the train to Ottawa to meet the cousins I’d never met before, Gail and her brother Ken and his family.   I was looking forward to that!

Talk again soon.

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