Crossroads of Culture 200 Years of Canadian Immigration (1800-2000)
Introduction Objects Photos & Papers Themes Kids & Teachers

Traditional Medicine

This bracelet was the property of immigrants who settled in the Vancouver region during the early 1900s. It is believed that these wooden and copper bracelets might have been used for the prevention or amelioration of rheumatic pains, similarly to how we see magnetic copper bracelets today. (Chinese)

The herbal medicine inside this clear glass jar is called "rou dou kou", or myristica fragrans houtt (nutmeg and mace) and tastes slightly bitter. It is believed that this medicine cured indigestion, swelling in the stomach, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as strengthened the intestines. (Chinese)

This bag, made of goat skin, had two compartments to store straight razors, two nails, an arrow, a tonsil remover with a decorated handle, two cow's horn cups, and a needle. All of the items were brought to Canada in 1951.

The razors, typically used to shave heads, could also be used to make incisions. The sharpened nails were for both medical purposes and marking tribal marks on the body. The horn cups were used for many purposes, including curing backaches; the doctor would make incisions on the back of the patient, then apply the cow's horn on the incisions and suck the bad blood out and throw it away. (Nigerian)

This snuffbox, used to hold tobacco, was found at farm of Bakki near Riverton, Manitoba, Canada. The maker was born around 1850 in Eastern Iceland. It is considered a unique and interesting sample of Icelandic craft that passed down several generations in both Iceland and Canada. (Icelandic)

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