Collection of North American artefacts Canada United States

North America Hunterian Collection
North America Hunterian Collection

Custodian: University of Glasgow Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

Reference: Collection of North American artefacts

The objects in The Hunterian collection from North America were made by the native peoples who inhabited the area which now comprise Canada, Alaska and Greenland. Historically, there were over five hundred different tribal groups who spoke hundreds of very different languages.

These people adapted to the very different climates across this vast area. Boots, snowshoes, mittens and snow goggles were needed in colder areas, while moccasins were suitable for warmer regions. In all regions, tribal peoples represented their views of the world, especially their sense of kinship to animal beings and spirits, in their art.

Most of the objects in The Hunterian's collection from this area date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Although the accession records are incomplete, it is possible, and indeed likely that several objects from North America were obtained from the third voyage of Captain James Cook. Today there are several million tribal people across Canada, Alaska and Greenland, and native cultures are flourishing. Artefacts such as these are being studied by tribal members in order to preserve and revive traditions.

More information about the collection here.