Vintage Tamarack Bird - Moose Factory Cree Twig Duck - Handmade Folk Art Bird Decoy - Traditional Canadian Native American Artwork Souvenir

$41.39 $48.64

Shipping to United States: Free

This is a beautifully handmade Tamarack decoy bird.

Moose Factory Cree in origin, this charming bird is a unique piece of Canadian history and will a nice touch of rustic charm to any living space.

Excellent condition. See photos.

Height: 7.75 inches.
Length: 7 inches.
Width: 4 inches.

Tamarack Decoy History:
The year was 1965, and John Blueboy, a 35-year-old Cree Indian, was recovering from tuberculosis in the Moose Factory General Hospital. To fill in time during his year-long convalescence, he came up with the idea of making souvenirs, which he sold to the nurses. In so doing, he turned an ancient Cree goose-hunting lure into an elegant and graceful art form that has become a major source of income for the James Bay region Indians and brought them international recognition as artisans and sculptors. More importantly, it served to preserve the Cree heritage and bears witness to the ingenuity of John Blueboy's ancestors.

Tamarack goose decoys are delicate wood sculptures of various sizes made, not by carving, but by binding the fragrant twigs of the tamarack tree into a likeness of the Canada goose.

Moose Factory and the neighboring community of Moosonee have become the principal production centres for these bird sculptures. The communities, located at the mouth of the Moose River, are the gateway to the Arctic via the enormous inland seas of Hudson Bay and James Bay. When the Polar Bear Express, a summer excursion train, rolls to a stop at the Moosonee railway station, it has literally reached the end of the line.

Visitors to the area will discover a region with few developments, fewer people and an unyielding landscape.

For centuries, the Cree had fished, trapped and hunted, making use of ingenious ruses such as the coarse willow-twig decoys. Hunters made these lures for the spring hunt by forming a ball of twigs into a body core then covering them with an outer layer of longer twigs in the shape of a goose, with a large open "eye" in the head. When seen against the snow, the eye mimicked the white cheek patch of the Canada goose. For the fall hunt, mud and wooden decoys were the custom. But when plastic decoys that could be purchased easily and inexpensively became available, the handmade varieties fell out of favor and yet another link with the Cree past was threatened with extinction.

Enter John Blueboy with his ingenious idea of making miniature decorative birds into souvenirs. He began using the rough drab willow twigs of the hunting decoys, but quickly realized the golden aromatic tamarack twigs produced an infinitely more appealing product.

Read more at Canadian Living:

Price includes tracking in Canada and USA. Items purchased from the USA are shipped from Niagara Falls, New York with USPS. Items bought in Canada are shipped from Toronto, Ontario with Canada Post. If you reside in Toronto, a pick up can be arranged. Overseas buyers (outside of USA and Canada) can expect the package to arrive in 2-4 weeks.

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Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-2 business days

Estimated shipping times

  • North America : 3 - 9 business days
  • Europe : 9 - 22 business days
  • Australia, New Zealand and Oceania : 2 - 8 weeks
  • Asia Pacific : 3 - 8 weeks
  • Latin America and the Caribbean : 4 - 22 business days
  • North Africa and the Middle East : 5 - 30 business days

I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

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Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

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