leister - uashuakanashku

In the days before settlement, the Innu had three ways of fishing: with nets (anapi); with hook and line (kushkan and kushkaniapi); and with uashuakanashku. Uashuakanashku is a special kind of fish spear or leister that grips the fish over a sharp dart when it is struck. They once used this spear at several locations in the Innu territory, including along Mishikamau-shipu (Naskaupi River) and the headwaters of Iatuekupau-shipu (Eagle River). Innu fishers would paddle out in their canoes after dark and set birch bark torches ablaze. Salmon would be attracted to the light and would swim towards the surface enabling the fishers to strike them with the spears.

Audio Listen to Sheshatshiu Elders, Shimun Michel and Manian (Ashini) Michel, explain the uses of the spear

Audio Listen to Sheshatshiu Elder, Ponas Nuke, talk about one location in the country where the spear was used

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