I recently visited the Logger's Life Provincial Museum in Grand Falls-Windsor to work with their staff to develop public programming around pillow tops. While there I spotted this piece of folk art on display in the bunkhouse. This little, wooden, hand carved figure depicts a logger using a square shaped hoop to carry two pails of water. The hoop was used to balance the pails of water and keep them from hitting your legs and spilling. The hoops were made of wood, sometimes alder branches, and were either square or round. They were an invaluable tool for those who had to walk great distances for water.
This water carrier ties in well with another project being worked on here at the ICH Office, which is a study of traditional water supplies in St. John's and surrounding areas. For the next few months, archaeologist Sarah Ingram will be talking to people about wells and springs to learn where the traditional water supplies where in the area and how they were used and maintained. Sarah will also be collecting stories about why particular water sources were valued over others. Finally, all these materials will be made available on Memorial University of Newfoundland's Digital Archive Initiative. Stay tuned for updates on that project and many others!