A.D. 1200 to 1500; Rocky Cree (Late Woodlands, Kame Hills Complex); fired clay; HfLp-11/M161-M173 plate; Southern Indian Lake, MB; 1976
The Asiniskaw Inthinew (Rocky Cree) living in the Southern Indian Lake area of northern Manitoba are thought to have used a versatile style of oil-fuelled lamp for cooking, drying, heating and lighting their lodges during the long winter nights. This technology appears to have been adopted from their Caribou Inuit neighbors, who resided to the east along the Hudson Bay coast. While Inuit Lamps (Kudlik, or Qulliq) were carved out of soapstone, similar-shaped Cree lamps appear to have been moulded from clay. This is the only occurrence in Canada where lamp technology was adopted by Cree people.
In August, 1974, archaeologist Mike Kelly excavated this lamp in fragments from the Fire Island Site of the Churchill River Diversion Archaeological Project. It was assembled and added to the Museum’s archaeology collection in 1976. There is some debate as to whether this style of object served as a lamp or plate.
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