Native American

Woman’s Hood

Artist: Unknown
Culture/People: Mi’kmaq
Place: Nova Scotia or Quebec
Media: Wool cloth, glass beads and silk
Date: c. 1875
RTC No: NA1077
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


Inhabiting North America’s northeastern reaches, the Mi’kmaq were among the first tribes to come into contact with Europeans in the early seventeenth century. French nuns brought Venetian glass beads, which could be easily applied to trade-cloth garments. These garments began to replace replace skin clothing and birch-bark accessories decorated with quillwork. By the eighteenth century, a second flowering of Mi’kmaq decorative arts produced collars, moccasins, men’s coats and conical women’s hoods decorated with fine beadwork. Unfortunately, due to their fragility, few such hoods have survived.

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