Montreal museum to display native artifacts collected by French colonizers

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MONTREAL -- They were created by North American aboriginals, ended up in the collections of kings and aristocrats in France, and are now returning to this side of the Atlantic to be put on display at Montreal's Pointe-a-Calliere museum.

Horned headdresses, painted bags with porcupine quill fringes, shell necklaces and fish-skin quivers are among the items in "First Nations, French Royal Collections."

The exhibition, which runs June 5 to Oct. 14, features 85 artifacts from the collections of the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris...

The objects were typically acquired by the French during diplomatic ceremonies (such as the Great Peace of Montreal in 1701), in commercial trading, or as gifts during aboriginal chiefs' formal visits to Versailles, the museum says.

They were made by, among others, the Naskapis from Labrador; the Mi'kmaq from Acadia; the Mohawk, Huron and Abenaki of the St. Lawrence Valley; the Ojibwa from the region west of the Great Lakes; and the Illinois of the Mississippi Valley...

The Musee du Quai Branly holds one of the richest collections of 18th-and 19th-century aboriginal artifacts from the eastern part of North America, says the Pointe-a-Calliere museum.

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