“Bo’jou. Neejee!”, Profiles of Canadian Native Art, 1976, softcover, published by the National Museum of Man, 204 pages.
Bo’jou --- Bonjour (French)
Neejee --- Friend (Ojibwa)
This book was prepared in 1976 in association with a traveling exhibit of the National Museum of Man.
The following was taken from a section in the book -----
Profiles of Canadian Indian Art, by Ted J. Brasser.
With great pride the National Museum of Man recently announced its success in returning to Canada one of the most outstanding collections of Canadian Indian objects known to have been in private hands. Named after its former owner, Mr. Arthur Speyer, the collection consists of 259 objects made during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Pre-1850 Indian artifacts are extremely rare in ethnographic museums, where they are considered the irreplaceable treasures of the collections. Starting in the 1890s, the first Canadian Indian material arrived at the Geological Survey of Canada, for even then there was no national museum! The greater part of all North American Indian collections originated from twentieth-century native communities. As such, they document recent cultural change, but are certainly not representative of truly traditional cultures.
In contrast, many of the artifacts in the Speyer Collection were acquired during the eighteenth century, and very few were made after 1850. Their importance is obvious; traditional arts and crafts, enriched by the merchandise of the fur trade, were still vigorously alive at that time. Thus, the Speyer Collection has substantially extended the documented history of native Canadians. In combination with acquisitions of more recent origin, it enables us to study and illustrate creative developments and processes of cultural change over long periods of time. In order to show the importance of the Speyer Collection in this regard, several more-recently-made artifacts have been included in the exhibition.
It was the predominantly Canadian emphasis in the Speyer Collection that stimulated the National Museum of Man to acquire it. Most of the Canadian Indian tribes east of the Rocky Mountains are represented, plus a number of culturally related groups living across the political boundary drawn by the white man. The regions best represented are the Northern Plains, the eastern half of the Northern Forest, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence drainage system, occupied by the Iroquois and Huron tribes. Selection being a practical requirement, the exhibition will be restricted to these four regions.
Identification of the culture areas represented was made possible to a large extent by the surprising amount of documentation that Mr. Speyer managed to retrieve. This aspect in itself is one of the great merits of the collection. It is well known that most of the early artifacts that survived the ravages of war, fire, insects, exchange and time lost all written clues to their origin and history in the process. This may not reduce their attraction for the curio dealer, but it certainly does detract from their value as documents of a particular culture at a specific time. Discriminating in attitude, the former owner of the collection by preference selected those pieces which still possessed at least fragments of documentation; thus, it was possible to provide documentation for most of the artifacts in this exhibition.
The contents include -----
Profiles of Canadian Indian Art, by Ted J. Brasser
Sacred Was This Land
- The Outside of Things
- The Dream Pictured
- Improvisations on Some Ancient Melodies
The Lost Tribes Found Again
- When Whites Were Welcome
- Innovative Indians
- Indian Summer
Catalogue of Artifacts --- The photograph of each artifact in the catalogue is numbered, and the section immediately before this catalogue has information about the many artifacts, and is cross-referenced using the same number as that associated with the photo of the artifact. Photographs are for the most part black and white… with only 10 photographs in color.
Paintings, Drawings and Prints Depicting the Period
This book is in a very good condition with edge wear primarily at the corners, with scuffing on the front cover, and with no writing or other marks in the book.
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