The Cycle of Life
Throughout the life cycle of the Carrier people, they underwent many different rites of passage. From the day they are born to when they pass on, an intricate weaving of customs and ceremonies was a major part of their lives.
Weaving and Sewing
The Carrier people were very artistic in weaving and sewing. They were very adept at creating baskets. Baskets were either made out of birch or spruce bark sewn together with the roots of a tree. Cherry bark was sewn into these baskets for decoration. Two of the most common baskets were the large birch baskets (Tilh), which were able to hold between fifteen and forty litres. The second was a small shallow basket; this basket was used for collecting berries as well as a drinking cup.
The Carrier people often travelled through their territory. They travelled around frequently for economic reasons as well as to hunt or fish. Another reason they travelled was for social reasons, to visit friends and relatives in remote places.
During the winter seasons travel took place on snowshoes. Trails connected camps, hunting areas, gathering grounds and seasonal settlements. Some trails extended out of the area to neighbouring territories such as the Chilcotin, Shuswap, Nuxalk and the central Carrier.
Canoes were the primary mode of transportation for the Carrier. They had two different types of canoes. One type was made out of either spruce or birch barks and was made for trips that had a lot of portages in them. Heavier canoes of cottonwood were constructed to traverse the major waterways were there were no need to portage.
Read a story by Doreen Patrick