The replication project is in its final stages and Paula Menarick has come back
for a visit to complete the beaded hood. Having her come to
replicate a hood in our building in front of our eyes allowed us the perfect
opportunity to record and document the type of work our ancestors would have
done to create such beautiful articles of clothing.
The opportunity for ACCI to learn is an opportunity for all Eeyouch to
learn. We will be using the research we have done on the use and meaning
of beaded hoods and the documentation of Paula’s process in replicating the
hood to guide the development of workshops where others can learn about this
important part of our history and how to make a hood themselves.
When we asked Paula how she felt about making this hood, she couldn’t help but
feel humbled by our request. “Making this hood, it is not just a hood it
is bigger than a just a hood, it is a part of our history, it is more than an
honour to be part of this project”. Making this hood has the
potential to have an impact on many people. We hope that we can contribute to
what is taught in History and Cree Culture classes at the schools in the Cree
School Board, to homes where mothers are passing on skills and knowledge to
their daughters, or to community centres and Cultural centres working to
maintain and enhance cultural knowledge in the communities of Eeyou
This isn’t the first time that Paula has been asked to make something she has
never made before. She was asked to make a sealskin parka for the
cultural institute in Chisasibi. Like making a hood for the first time,
she was also making a parka for the first time. It was an intimidating
experience, but, as with the beaded hood, Paula’s talent took over and a
beautiful parka was completed.
When speaking specifically about the hood as she was working, Paula
explained that the colours and designs are not just a beautiful design, rather
there is much more meaning behind it. The design represents their family,
possibly their name and that the same design would be on other articles of
clothing, such as moccasins or mittens.
Making the hood was not easy and there was no one to teach her how to go about
it, so we applaud the work that Paula has done. In creating our replication
Paula has helped us to create written instructions with photographic and video
documentation so that this knowledge will be maintained and passed down for
generations to come. The final product is absolutely outstanding, and we invite
everyone out there to come and have a look.
Look for our upcoming workshops focused on passing on historical knowledge
about beaded hoods and giving people the ability to create beaded hoods for