Chapter: Innovation

Ceramic Lamp

"Shed some light in the darkness"
1200-1500 Rocky Cree Ceramic Lamp used for oil-fuelled cooking, lighting (Inuit-style) Ceramic Lamp


Winter nights can last a very long time in Northern Manitoba, but a lamp can brighten your mood.
The Asiniskaw Inthinew (Rocky Cree) living in the Southern Indian Lake area of northern Manitoba used oil lamps for cooking, drying, heating and lighting their lodges. They learned about the technology from their Kivallirmiut (Caribou Inuit) neighbours, who resided to the east along the Hudson Bay coast.

While Inuit lamps (Kudlik, or Qulliq) were carved out of soapstone, similar-shaped Cree lamps appear to have been molded from clay. This is the only occurrence in Canada where lamp technology was adopted by Cree people.