Folk Artifacts

The Musée culturel du Mont-Carmel has an extensive collection of one-of-a-kind, everyday folk objects and handcrafted folk art. Unless otherwise noted, the provenance of folk artifacts is the St. John Valley. A precise or approximate date will be included only if known.

We are pleased to feature a selection from our collection.

Miniature Hay Mower: Wood, c.1980s, 3 3/4 inches high; made by Alfred Parent (of Lille). Photo: DP Concealment Shoe: Leather moccasin, c.1840, 7 inches long; to guarantee good fortune, shoes were hidden in walls or ceilings. Photo: DP Shoepacs (miniature boots): Leather hide, beads, 2 3/4 inches high; Native American (Maliseet). Photo: DP Native American Quill Basket: Porcupine quills, birch bark, 2.5 inches high, Montana; this basket is similar to baskets made in the region taught by the nuns of Mont-Carmel. Photo: DP
Maliseet and Mi'kmaq baskets: Split ash and sweet grass, 10 inches high. Photo: DP Sabots (wooden shoes): Wood, 11.5 inches long, St. André, NB; the only pair known to survive in the Valley. Photo: DP Maple Sugar Scraper: Metal, wood, 10.5 inches high. Photo: DP Carved Design Maple Sugar Mold: Wood, 6.5 inches high. Photo: DP
Chalice Design Maple Sugar Mold: Wood, 8.5 inches high. Photo: DP Sacred Heart Maple Sugar Mold: Wood, 2 1/4 inches high; Québecois tradition to use the Sacred Heart. Photo: DP Broom: Spruce branch, wood, c.1780s, 53 inches long; made with fresh twigs - needles were left on to sweep dirt floors. Photo: DP Picaroon: Wood and metal, 15 1/8 inches long; used for moving and picking up logs. Photo: DP
Crown of Thorns: Wood, 9-inch diameter; carved from one piece of wood, part of a long tradition of wood carvers in local lumbercamps. Photo: DP Fire Burl, striker and stone: Wood soaked in whale oil, metal, limestone, Colonial period, metal striker: 3 1/4 inches by 1 3/4 inches, stone from Québec; burl is soaked in whale oil and used to catch sparks that are ignited by striking the metal striker onto the striking stone made of limestone. Photo: DP Powder Horn: Horn, metal, 1812, 9 inches long; belonged to Francis Flanagan from Maryland, NB who was in the British militia. As a reward for his service he was given land in St. Francis, ME. Photo: DP Bowl and Grain Pounder: Wood (cut from a beam), 1820, Gervais Family, Madawaska, ME. Photo: DP
Pipe: Clay, 6 1/4 inches long. Photo: DP Knitting needles: Wood, 14 inches long. Photo: DP Miniature desk: Wood, 4 1/4 inches high; a child's toy from Edmundston, NB. Photo: DP Rameau Tressé: Braided palm leaf, 13 inches long; a Québecois tradition. Photo: DP
Crooked Knife: Metal, wood, 8.5 inches long. Photo: DP Spruce Gum Box: Pine, 6.5 inches high; filled with spruce chewing gum made by lumberjacks as a gift for loved ones. Photo: DP Whimsy: Wood, 15 inches long; created in lumbercamps, carved from one piece of wood. Photo: DP Miniature Sugar Camp: Wood, 1980s, 3 3/4 inches high; a replica made by Alfred Parent (of Lille) of his father's sugar camp. Photo: DP
Potato Barrel: Wood, 1970s, 8 1/4 inches high; replica made by Alfred Parent (of Lille) of originals used in the St. John Valley. Photo: DP Horse Toy: Pine, leather, horsehair, brass, paint. Photo: DP Buck Saw: Painted wood, metal, string; replica used to teach children with inscription: 'Joe Lambert 77 years and bought at 3 years (1968) – 80 years.' Photo: DP