Woven Grass Hat

Tales and Treasures from the rich legacy of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Written by Amelia Fay

Posted July 14, 2023

During the summer of 1920, in preparation for its 250th anniversary, the Hudson’s Bay Company embarked on a grand undertaking to create the HBC Museum Collection. It contracted former HBC district manager F.D. Wilson to travel to post locations in the eastern Arctic and James Bay areas to acquire items for the newly formed museum.

When Wilson visited Inukjuak (formerly called Port Harrison) in the northern Nunavik region of Quebec, he was presented with a number of woven items, including this hat. Unfortunately, the name of the hat’s maker was not recorded. But it is nonetheless a stunning example of the Inuit grass-weaving tradition in the region.

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Amelia Fay, curator of the HBC Collection at the Manitoba Museum

This article originally appeared in the August-September 2023 issue of Canada’s History.

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