Thursday, March 31, 2022

Heritage NL celebrates barking and bark tanning as Distinctive Cultural Traditions and Practices.

Barking pots in Twillingate, early to mid 1900s. From the Twillingate Museum.

For Immediate Release

St. John’s, NL
March 31, 2022

Join us virtually on Tuesday, April 5, 7:00 pm as Heritage NL, with the support of The Rooms, celebrates barking and bark tanning as the newest addition to the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program’s list of Distinctive Cultural Traditions and Practices. The celebration will happen via Zoom. To register in advance for this webinar visit here.

Administered by Heritage NL, the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program (PHCP) commemorates provincially significant aspects of our history and culture. It is unique in that it also recognizes intangible aspects of our culture and heritage – the customs, cultural practices, traditional skills and knowledge that define our province and our people. Since the Program's inception in 2010, 39 designations have been made, including the designation being recognized on April 5th. 

Joan Ritcey, chair of the Commemorations selection committee, says, "the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program is an important element for the recognition and appreciation of our past. By recognizing our cultural traditions and history we honour our heritage and pass it on to future generations."

The tradition of bark tanning and the use of bark mixtures has a long history in Newfoundland and Labrador. The old iron bark pot on the landwash was (and is) a reminder of our ancestors’ skills. Bark was used by Indigenous peoples and settlers alike for tanning hides, making fishing nets more durable, and colouring everything from sails to clothing. 

Today, the old tradition of barking is finding new life as craftspeople embrace this ancient technique. A representative from the Labrador Artisans Co-op and participants in Heritage NL’s Crafts at Risk Mentor/Apprentice Program will be joining us to discuss current barking projects. Follow this link to the official Commemoration listing .


For Further Information Contact:

Andrea O’Brien  
1-888-739-1892 ext 4

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