Friday, November 15, 2013

Resolute Bay Artifact Replication Workshop

Artifact casts on loan from the
 Canadian Museum of Civilization
Here are a few photos from the Parks Canada sponsored artifact replication workshop in Resolute Bay.  Weather pending, I'll be heading to Grise Fiord on Saturday to deliver the program there.  At them moment, the flight to Grise is not guaranteed because of winds.  Hopefully I can get there by Monday.  Resolute has been a lot of fun.  I have some crazy bear photos to share in a future blog post and I met all the kids in town.  It was an excellent week.  I'm very grateful to Parks Canada for this opportunity and especially to Patrick Carroll for all his help in logistics, community introductions, and helping wrangle a roomful of excited kids every day.

Some of my reproductions

The Independence I reproductions from the Kettle Lake sites in Quttinitpaaq National Park.  I haven't seen these pieces since I finished them in 2010.  This was a fun chance to bring the work and the archaeology from the park into the communities.

A pair of student projects drying in the windows.  All of the window sills have little tools squirreled away behind the curtains. 

More student projects

Working with sinew at the gluing station

All of the kids in the school came with their classes to see the reproductions and witness a flintknapping demonstration, but the grade 7 and 8 kids were especially eager to return after school.  Many of them were very focused on their work.

A student knife. Obsidian, driftwood, sinew, and hide glue

An end hafted flake knife.  Since this picture was taken a second blade was added to the opposite end of the handle and we are preparing to add baleen lashing to the handle.

We've had a dozen or so kids coming to work with us right after school and again for a couple hours after supper.

Lots of arrows, spears, and knives coming out of the workshop.  I apologized to the RCMP constable in the Hamlet office for the influx of weapons in his community, but I know that the kids are very responsible.

Responsible and hardworking.  I loved working with the kids in Resolute Bay.  They have such a strong background understanding of the history of the area as well as traditional tools and hunting.  If I mention sinew, they can tell me the best places to find it on the caribou.  I have a little wood saw that has been in my workshop kit for years with a bend in the blade - part way through the evening last night a student let me know that he'd straightened the blade out for me.  I've never done a workshop where my tools were in better working order at the end of the day than at the start!

The grade 3,4, and 6 class at their flintknapping demonstration.

The younger kids were a little small to try flintknapping safely, but the bow drill is always a sure hit.
Photo Credits:
1-11: Tim Rast
12-14: Patrick Carroll


  1. Hey Tim is that Hopeall driftwood? If it is what an amazing thing to think about today. Thanks for letting me play even the smallest part as that; in such an important cutural lesson. Cheer's

    1. Indeed, it is Lee. I meant to give you and your blog a shout out and I still intend to. Many thanks - the kids took to your sticks like ducks to water.

    2. No worries mate; just glad to see it full circle where it ended up.


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