For almost as long as these tress have been around, people have been using the bark to make a wide variety of items. There are several kinds of birch, and harvesting of the bark requires knowledge to ensure the tree does not sustain damage or even death. The Science Museum of Minnesota has a number of these objects. Some are noted below.

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Birchbark
Catalogue #A79:4:163 - Cultural Association: Ojibwa Indians. This basket was made between 1860 and 1900. A birchbark basket with rectangular opening and bottom. Remnants of red and white beaded loops with blue yarn around the rim. Glass beadwork on one side with a red and white circle with blue lines and green triangles.

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Birchbark
Catalogue #A82:5:5 – Cultural Association: Objiwa Indians. Moose call, birchbark rolled into cone, dark tri-lobed leaf pattern etched and painted on light surface.

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Birchbark
Catalogue #55-15 – Cultural Association: Ojibwa Indians. This piece dates from 1900-1955. Ricing tray, oval birchbark tray with fiber sewn around edge.

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Birchbark
Catalogue #A83:7:12 – Cultural Association: Ojibwa Indians. Basket, cylindrical birchbark with flat bottom. Scalloped birchbark trim around top edge. Double thickness with incised dark floral design around exterior.

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Birchbark
Catalogue #A83:7:55 – Cultural Association: Ojibwa Indians. Model tipi, cone-shaped birchbark sewn with basswood fiber in single seam. Base reinforced with peeled wood. Triangular door with flap and three support poles. Yellow and blue zig zag around base, yellow and green sun with face above door, and yellow line around the top.

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Birchbark
Catalogue #A83:7:44 – Cultural Association: Ojibwa Indians. Dish, oval birchbark, sides of coiled sweetgrass with open zig zag pattern around top edge. Flat birchbark base has dyed quillwork of two white four-petal flowers, two white and green buds, and green leaves.

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Birchbark
Catalogue #61-1491 – Cultural Association: Ojibwa Indians. Pre 1960. Model wigwam with birchbark sides and top, tied with basswood bark. On a board with holes drilled in it for the frame uprights.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MA-30-13-0443

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