wooden spoon or ladle - mishtiku-emikuan

In traditional Innu culture, one of the most important events was the communal feast known as makushan , in which caribou meat and wax-like cakes of atiku-pimi (fat from the caribou long bones) would be served. Before settlement, makushan was held regularly throughout the winter to please the caribou master, ensure future success in hunting, and reinforce the value of sharing.

Mishtiku-emikuan is a wooden ladle that would be used to skim off the fat (grease) from a pot of crushed and boiled leg bones in preparation for the feast. Georg Henriksen, who lived with the Innu in northern Labrador between 1966 and 1968, explained that “extreme caution is taken so that no fat whatsoever is spilled. The spoon used for the skimming is licked clean and brushed through the man's hair before he puts it away.”

Audio Listen to Natuashish Elder, Matinen (Rich) Katshinak, describe how the spoon is used to remove the atiku-pimi (caribou fat)

Audio Listen to Shimun Michel and Manian (Ashini) Michel, recall similar uses for the spoon

Audio Listen to Natuashish Elder, Penashue Benuen describe the wooden spoons

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