The Native Peoples and Champlain
Leisure Activities
Fur Trade
Clothing and Snowshoes
China and the Indies
Champlain's Itinerary
The Word Voyageur
Life and Death of Champlain

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The Native Peoples and Champlain: Clothing and Snowshoes

The beauty of the Amerindians impressed Champlain. He said they were "well-shaped and nicely proportioned."

Here is how Champlain described the way the Amerindians dressed:

"They dress in skins: one part of their bodies is covered and the other part is uncovered. But in winter, they take good care of everything as they dress in good furs such as moose, otter, beaver, bear, hair seal, doe and deer hides, which they had many of."

The Native Peoples used pearls and jewels to decorate their clothing.

Pearls Found in Ontario

Pearls Found in the Municipalities of Barton, Trafalgar and Nelson in Ontario, First Half of the 17th Century
Jean-Luc Pilon/Canadian Museum of Civilization

When Hélène Boullé, Champlain's wife, arrived in New France, she wore a mirror at her waist, a style quickly adopted by the Amerindians.


An Ancient Garment. Chasuble Said to Have Been Presented to the Hurons by the Ladies of King Louis XIV's Court.
National Archives of Canada/C-34576

Walking on snow was no easy task! That is why the Amerindians wore snowshoes. Here is what Champlain had to say about them:

"When there is a great deal of snow in the winter, they make a sort of snowshoe, which is two or three times larger than the ones in France, which they attach to their feet to go through the snow without sinking. Otherwise, they would not be able to hunt or go in many places."

Styles of Snowshoes

Styles of Snowshoes
National Archives of Canada/PA-66877

Message from the ancestors…

"To enjoy your own land, look back upon it from another." Tribal Law No. 68 of the Eastern Algonquin

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