Les Indiens Atikamekw (French version)
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Native American Facts For Kids was written for young people learning about the Atikameks for school or home-schooling reports. We encourage students and teachers to visit our main Atikamekw pages for in-depth information about the tribe, but here are our answers to the questions we are most often asked by children, with Atikamekw pictures and links we believe are suitable for all ages. Photographs are the property of the sources we have credited.
|They do the same things any children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house. Many Atikamekw children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian kids had more chores and less time to play, just like colonial children. But they did have toys and games to play with, such as dolls or cone-spearing games. Atikamekw mothers, like many Native Americans, traditionally carried their babies in cradle boards on their backs--a custom which many American parents have adopted now.|
|Atikamekw people lived in villages of small cone-shaped buildings called wigwams (the wigwam house on the left belonged to an Innu family.) Atikamekw wigwams were made of a wooden frame covered with caribou skins, birchbark, or sometimes packed earth. One Atikamek family lived in each wigwam. They were crowded homes, but warm. Here are some pictures of Indian houses like the ones the Attikameks used. Today, Native Americans only build a wigwam for fun or to connect with their heritage. Most Atikameks live in modern houses just like you.|
Cree style outfit
Atikamekw women wore long dresses with removable sleeves and the men wore
breechcloth and leggings. Both genders wore
leather moccasins on their feet and
cloaks or ponchos in bad weather. Later, Atikamekw people adapted European costume such as jackets and French-influenced
dresses, making them from fringed buckskin and decorating them with moose-hair embroidery and beadwork. Here is a picture of a
and some photographs and links about Native American dress in general.
The Atikamekw didn't wear long headdresses like the Sioux. They usually wore fur or leather caps decorated with feathers. Atikamekw men and women generally wore their hair in two long braids, and both genders painted their faces with bright colors for special occasions. They used different patterns for war paint, religious ceremonies, and festive decoration. In the past, Atikamekw men wore elaborate tribal tattoos, but this custom has not been practiced in many years.
Today, many Atikamekw people still wear moccasins or a buckskin shirt, but they usually wear modern clothes like jeans instead of breechcloths... and they only wear feathers or roaches in their hair on special occasions like a dance.
|Yes--the Atikamekw Indian tribe was well-known for their birchbark canoes. Here's an article with Indian canoe pictures. Canoeing is still popular within the Atikamekw nation. Over land, the Attikameks used dogs as pack animals. (There were no horses in North America until colonists brought them over from Europe.) Attikameks also used sleds and snowshoes to help them travel in the winter. Today, of course, Atikamekw people also use cars and snowmobiles... and non-native people also use canoes and snowshoes.|
What was Atikamekw food like in the days before supermarkets?|
The Atikamekw were primarily hunting people. The men tracked caribou on their snowshoes, fished, and hunted marine mammals from their canoes. Women caught small game such as rabbits and gathered nuts and fruits. Many Atikamekw people continue to live off the land as their ancestors did, though today they use modern tools such as guns. Here is a website with more information about Native American food.
What were Atikamekw weapons and tools like in the past?
Atikamekw hunters and warriors used bows and arrows, spears, and clubs. Fishermen usually used bone fishhooks and nets. Here is a website with pictures and more information about Native American weapon styles.
|Atikamekw artists are known for their quilling art, birchbark baskets, and elaborate masks like the one in this picture.|
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