Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Heritage Quilt

While attending a heritage fair with my nephew, Matthew, I started thinking about ways to preserve our culture.  Newfoundlanders are known to have a strong sense of identity with the way of life that we have. However as with all cultures, it evolves and changes with each new generation and the technology that comes with it.

My father's family resettled from Silver Fox Island in the early 1960's, so this next blog will be my efforts to capture my heritage and the way of life on a small island in Bonavista Bay, NL in the form of a heritage quilt.

It will take some time to finish the project, but I plan to blog my progress.  This quilt will consist of a series of images sketched on Muslin fabric.  The sketches are then shaded with Crayola Crayons.  When completed I cover the picture with brown paper and iron it it melt the crayon and to ensure that it does not come off.  Anyway, here I go.

The first picture identifies the location and basic shape of the island.  The island is about 3 km in length.  In1901 there were 82 people living there, but as a result of Resettlement by 1969, the island was completely abandoned.  The town of Hare Bay, identified on the map, is where my family resettled.

The second picture is a Cod Fish jigger.  These were quite common in the early fishery in Newfoundland.  I can recall using these to catch fish.  Today we use hook and line with bait.
The next picture is a sketch of an old stage.  The stage was the area where the fishing gear was stored and where the catch was cleaned.  This represents the one used today by my father during the summer when he fishes from the island.  My artistic skills are not good enough for an exact replica, but it does capture what it was like.
 This picture depicts a lobster fisherman as he heads out to set his traps just as the sun begins to rise.  My father still catches lobsters during the summer.  I can recall seeing the traps piled by the shed during the spring and Dad making the heads to go in the traps.  The head were made from twine and attached to the opening.  I also remember his boat and the wharf loaded with traps during the spring of the year.  I couldn't wait for the first meal of lobsters, still can't
 When the daily catch of Cod fish were brought back to the island, they were unloaded from the boat and cleaned.  The splitting table was used to put the fish on to remove the innards (or as we say to gut the fish).  Traditionally, the fish were also split (backbone removed), salted, and dried to preserve them for the winter.
 This picture is one of my father in his boat looking down at his catch of lobster.

That's all I have done at this time.  Stay tuned for more....

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