Marius Barbeau A glimpse of Canadian Culture (1883-1969)
Introduction Objects Photos & Papers Themes Barbeau's Story Kids & Teachers


Doll made of corn husks. The hair is simulated by head covering of black cotton which is cut and braided into single braid at back of neck. The braid is tied with pink and mauve silk ribbons. The doll is dressed in leggings and a skirt which is trimmed with white glass beads.

A dress of slightly shorter length than the skirt is worn on top. The moccasins are made of tanned skin with three lines of glass beads. All sewing was done by hand using cotton threads. (Cayuga, Iroquois)

Checker board made of wood, and painted black, green and cinnamon.

The modern game of checkers originated in Europe about the beginning of the twelfth-century, using the playing pieces of medieval backgammon, the board of chess, and the number and movement of pieces from the " jeu du moulin". The pieces took the name of the queen in French medieval chess, the "fers", and the game was known as "fierges". Later the chess queen was called "dame" and French checkers became the "jeu de dames" as it is known today.

Originally the capture of pieces in a checkers game was optional, as in chess, but in the sixteenth-century, compulsory capture of pieces was introduced. Any piece which neglected to make a possible capture was 'huffed' or removed from the board. The new game, which included the huffing maneuver, was called "jeu forcé", the old game being referred to as the "jeu plaisant". Modern English draughts is this same "jeu forcé'" and was taken by British settlers to North America, where it became known as checkers. (Author: Frederic V. Grunfeld. "Games of the World", New York: Ballantine Books, 1975, p.84-87) (French Canadian)

Model of a wagon with four horses pulling a blue cage which contains toy animals. There are two drivers sitting in front of the wagon. (French Canadian)

Red model truck, MAC 1952 transporting a sea elephant, with a keeper standing next to it, feeding it fish. There are two characters inside the truck cabin. (French Canadian)

Wooden cow made for a toy carrousel. (French Canadian)

Parcheesi board from the late 19th century. It has a black background, with five circles separated into four sections of yellow, orange, pink and green colours.

Parcheesi is believed to have originated in India in the 6th century and later spread around the world by traders and travelers.  It is now considered to be India's national game.  The name pachesi comes from the Indian word for 25, the highest throw that can be obtained from markers or dice used in the game.  Parcheesi is an Amercian version of the game invented in the 1860s and today manufactured by Hasbro Toys.
(French Canadian)

Doll made of wool, with crochet-made clothing, using multicolored wool. (French Canadian)

Hand-made wooden toy cart, painted red, with four wheels. (French Canadian)

Dancing doll made of wood with painted brown shoes. It was popular with boys and girls. It was sometimes called Dancing Dan or Limber Jack. Its wooden body was jointed at the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and elbows, and had a hole in the back into which a stick was inserted to make the doll dance. It took skill to make the doll move in time with music or a song. This was a form of entertainment before the days of television. (French Canadian)

Hand-sewn jacket for a doll, made of wool and linen. (French Canadian)

Double rocking horse made of unpainted, plain pine. (French Canadian)

Toy sewing stand. Needles and thread were stored in the two drawers. (French Canadian)

Wheel of fortune made of wood with handwritten numbers around the wheel. (French Canadian)

Carved wooden toy horse attached to a base with four wheels. Its ears and mane are made of leather and its tail is made of white hair. (French Canadian)

Model of a wagon with eight horses pulling and one driver. The white wagon resembles a freight box-car, and contains two toy gorillas. (French Canadian)

View all items in the collection