Published on May 6, 2014 by Amy
The durability and preservative properties of birchbark endowed this material with legendary properties of protection, and earned the bark a place in oral tradition at the center of many Native American myths from the Great Lakes and northern New England regions. These weatherproof properties made birchbark, as well as bark of elm and spruce, the perfect material for Native Americans to use not only for panels to cover houses and to build canoes to travel water, but also to contain and store food and drink.
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Makak’s were specialized containers made by several northern tribes to store maple sugar. Traditionally, containers and spoons were stitched or laced together with split spruce roots or with strips of inner bark of the basswood tree. Rims were often reinforced with wood splints or sweet grass, and handles were constructed with willow or other branches.