Spirit figure - ROM2017_15672_3


Spirit figure

Maker: Belonged to Chief Pitwegijig, Anishinaabeg
Medium:Wood, deer (?) fur, snakeskin
Geography: Walpole Island, Ontario, Canada
Date: 17th or 18th century
36 × 6.5 × 5 cm
Object number: 2016.61.1
Credit Line: Gift of the Wotherspoon family
Not on view

This wooden figure belonged to Anishinaabe Chief Pitwegijig (Between layers of the sky), Crane Clan, of Walpole Island. In 1844 the Jesuits arrived at Walpole and, with permission of the Indian Agent, started to construct a “prayer wigwam” – but they had not consulted the chiefs, who summoned the Jesuits to council and told them to stop. They did not, and within the week the prayer wigwam was burned to the ground. Chief Pitwegijig was the main suspect, although he eventually gave this deity figure (along with many other ceremonial objects) to the Anglican missionary as a sign of his conversion to Christianity.  In 1860 it was said to have been over two hundred years old.

If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.