Monday, July 26, 2010


Very icky hot and humid today, so it was a perfect day to visit the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature.
I had my mind on lamp-working, and the wonderful displays held many, many examples of native people's seed bead -worked leather garments and tools. There was a small pile of very plain glass trade beads, but i also found a bit of inspiration in these fossilized fish vertebrae and this pattern in the carapace of a Glyptodon (a prehistoric big armadillo kind of thing). And there was a diorama of an early settler's kitchen where he is carving a wooden duck decoy by gas lantern... That would be "lampworking" by one definition... I learned that Manitoba had a glass manufacturer early last century. They made bottles. I need find out how they got the glass--i know there is lots of silica in sand, and there is lots of sand in areas of this province, but is that where the sand came from? Inquiring minds want to know.
There was a small display dedicated to the Criddles of Aweme, MB. There is a book about this fascinating family and how they came from England to settle in the wilds of Manitoba in the 1880's and how eccentric they were. The climate never seemed to put a damper on old man Criddle's outlook, and he had his children groom various tennis courts and golf courses out of the prairie. They would have the neighbours over for tournaments. The Criddles were very interested in sciences and son Norman became a very accomplished entomologist and also documented the plants around their homestead in lovely illustrations (choke cherry shown). It is difficult to find a copy of this book, but it paints a great picture of some fascinating people and their trials and successes: Criddle-Dee-Diddle-Ensis by Alma Criddle.

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