Naskapi Man’s Coat

The man who wore this painted caribou-skin coat may have done s o to propitiate and honour the spirit of the caribou he sought to kill. He was a Naskapi Indian,
whose people lived in northeastern Quebec and Labrador. They we re semi-nomadic hunters, dependent particularly on caribou for foo d and for the raw
materials needed to make clothing, tools and weapons. This summer coat is an unusually fine example of the Naskapi dec orative tradition. Its elaborate designs were probably painted with imported pigments and with fish roe, which yellows with age. Before the arrival of Europeans, paints were made from plants and from natural deposits of red and yellow ochre. Such coats became popular trade items.