Sunday, 12 February 2012

moss bags/baby carriers

La Loche in 1914. Mothers with babies in front of a tent with the old La Loche Church in the background. The ladies are all dressed modestly in dresses down to the ankles and buttoned to the neck. Several are wearing kerchiefs, aprons and shawls.
La Loche in 1914. Mothers in front of a tent with the old La Loche Church in the background. The babies are all in moss bags and carried with a sling over the shoulders.

This photo "Chipewyan babies" comes the Oblate Archives in Yellowknife and attributed to Fr. P. Duchaussois. It shows the same mothers as the 1914 photos above and the photo has been flipped. ...view this link

Video:  Baby being wrapped in a moss bag.

Moss was used in moss bags because it was absorbent and sterile.
Today diapers are used for the same purpose.

moss bag Northern Plains 1865-1925

moss bag Dene 1865-1900
moss bag Northern Plains 1940-60

moss (sphagnum)
moss bags

moss bag Algonquin 1865-1930
Northern Cree 1930's moss bag from Canoe Lake, Saskatchewan
A hammock was another way of keeping the baby out of harms way in a tent or a house. It's simply a blanket folded around a rope attached to the walls. An additional rope was added to sway the hammock back and forth. 
This sleeping baby is tied to the hammock with a piece of cloth. The photo was taken in La Loche around 1940. more.....Barsou or baby swing

Cree woman with moss for moss bag 1927. (location unknown)     ... link