About us...

ACCI flows from the knowledge that Cree culture must be captured, maintained, shared, celebrated, and practiced. Cree Elders have spoken of the need for a central place for the protection of the way, and have developed a vision for Aanischaaukamikw over several decades.

Aug 22, 2013

Replicating a Hood - Paula Menarick

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 Istchee. 

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 themselves.