Pre-Tour Activity: Join our treasure hunt for these artifacts

You will see these artifacts or similar artifacts when you visit the museum. See how many of the questions you can answer now and find out if they are correct when you visit.

kachina dollThis is a special doll given to children, but they do not play with it. What is the purpose of this doll? What tribes use it? To learn more about these special dolls, and to see some that are now on display, click here.
polychrome potter jar, southwestWhat is this? What is it made of and how was it used?
Apache cradleboard Native Americans used these. A form of this is used today. What is it?
plains moccasinsWhat do we call this type of shoe worn by Native Americans? What are they made of? Do they all look the same? Can you tell which tribe might have worn these?
N.E.Woodlands dollThere are some clues on this doll to tell us what culture area it is from. What area is this from and how do we know?

What You Will See...

Here is an example of one of our exhibits.

Native Peoples of Illinois

wigwam Wigwam- A wigwam is a dome-shaped dwelling used by the Native Americans of the Northeast Woodlands. Women made the wigwam by gathering all of the plant materials needed throughout the warmer seasons. One wigwam typically held one family unit.
birch bark

Birch Bark- The birch bark tree is native to the Northeast Woodlands. This trees is unique because the outer bark can be easily removed from the trunk by making a verticle slit down the length of the tree causing the bark to "pop off." If the stripping is done correctly, the tree will re-seal itself. These birch bark sheets were placed like shingles to create the outer wall of the wigwam. Birch bark was an ideal material for the outer wall, because it is both insect and water resistant.

weegoob Weegoob- Weegoob is the Ojibwa name for the inner bark of the basswood tree. This inner bark is the tree's transportation system that carries water and other plant products from the leaves to the rest of the tree. Because of this, the weegoob is flexible, strong, and water resistant. Therefore, it was great material for ropes and twine. Small strips of weegoob were tied to the sapling frame of a wigwam to hold the structure in place.
braided weegoob Braided Weegoob- Weegoob strips were also braided together to form a solid rope or handle.This handle could then be attached to a birch bark basket and used to hold a cooking basket over a fire.
basket Birch bark basket- A birch bark basket was handmade using the bark from a birch bark tree. The bark was first stripped from the tree and then a pattern was placed upon it. The pattern was then traced and cut. The ends were then folded over, and stitched together with weegoob to make its basket shape. These baskets were used to gather food and cook over fires. As long as there was water in the bottom of the basket, the basket would not burn. A well-made basket could last a family a lifetime.
stitching Wigwam stitching- When creating the walls of the wigwam, pieces of birch bark were stitched together with weegoob to hold them in place. Before the weegoob was stitched through the pieces of bark, holes were punched through using a bone awl.
deer hide Deer hide- Deer hides were used in many ways in the Northeast Woodlands. Many tanned hides were used as blankets and clothing for the Native Americans. They were also hung over the entranceway of a wigwam to protect the inhabitants from cold and rain.
beaver Beaver fur- Beaver furs were a very popular source of outerwear among the Native Americans due to their water resistant nature. They also became a very valuable commodity to both Native Americans and Europeans during the Fur Trade. Most of the upper Midwest tribes entered into the trade agreements, first with the French, and then with the British, to supply beaver pelts to the insatiable European market.