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Object ID # 1971.116.022ab
Object Name Box, Food Storage
Other Name Mocock?
Title Small Mocock
Lexicon category 7: Distribution & Transportation Artifact
Made Unknown
Place of Origin Ontario?
Description A basket (a) and lid (b) made from birch bark and sewn with spruce roots. Top and lid are rounded. Bottom is square and tapers toward the top. It would be called a mocock.
Provenance Maker unknown. Last belonged to John J. Landen, the first Curator of the Grey County-Owen Sound Museum who grew up in the Mattawa area of Ontario, and moved to Owen Sound, Grey County, in the early 1940s. It may have been given to him, or he made have made it.
Collection First Nations, 20th-c Collection
Material Birch bark/Spruce root
Dimensions H-9.3 W-9.1 L-10 cm
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Landen, John J.
Function The following information is from Carrie A Lyford's book, OJIBWA CRAFTS (CHIPPEWA), 1943: "All sorts of containers are made of birch bark by the Ojibwa, both watertight and non-watertight. ...For the non-watertight containers, the bark was cut out according to special patterns and sewed up with split roots or basswood fibre. They were used as mococks or makuks for storing maple sugar and wild rice...The mocock is shaped like a truncated pyramid with rounded corners. It varies in size from small trinket boxes to large storage bins which may hold twelve quarts or more. The mococks in which maple sugar is stored hold from 20 to 30 pounds. A high cover of birch bark with slanting sides is sewed over the top of the maple sugar mococks. They are usually made up with the dark surface of the inner bar on the outside, thus providing an effective surface for decoration. A mocock in which berries are to be gathered is provided on one side with a loop of fiber so that it can be hung from a woman's belt as she works. Mococks filled with wild rice were hidden in holes in the earth for future use. Birch bark boxes made with well fitted covers were usually finished neatly around the top with a rim that was fastened to the container with spruce roots or basswood fiber. Dishes (wigwass onagan, s. wigwass onagann, pl.), trays, and storage mococks that were made for temporary use were not always stiffened and bound at the top. "