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DesBrisay Museum & Exhibition Centre

Abacus


Accession number: 203; X.203
Date: circa 1904
Materials: CARVED WOOD; LEATHER
Measurements: 20.9 cm L x 2.9 cm Diameter
Vessel Name: ARCTIC
Culture: INUIT
Subject: ABORIGINAL, INUIT, ESKIMO, PEOPLE, MACKEAN, FRANK
Narrative: IN 1904-05, FRANK DOUGLAS MACKEAN TRAVELLED AS A PHOTOGRAPHER ABOARD THE RESEARCH VESSEL "ARCTIC" WITH BERNIER, RETURNING WITH SOUVENIRS WHICH HE SOLD TO THE DESBRISAY MUSEUM, OPERATED BY THE STILL YOUNG TOWN OF BRIDGEWATER. THIS ARTIFACT, BELIEVED TO BE A TYPE OF ABACUS, IS A PART OF THE IMPORTANT COLLECTION FOR WHICH THE TOWN PAID $42.00 IN 1906. IN 1972, MACKEAN LIVED IN BRIDGEWATER ON PINE STREET IN ONE OF THE OLDEST HOMES STILL STANDING IN BRIDGEWATER. 

THIS BRIDGEWATER BASED COLLECTION WAS LOANED TO THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MAN, OTTAWA FOR THE FIRST MAJOR TRAVELLING EXHIBITION ON THE INUIT CULTURE. 
Description: INUIT ABACUS. SINGLE PIECE OF WOOD SPLIT AT EITHER END WHICH IS PASSED THROUGH NINE LEATHER RINGS. STRING PASSED THROUGH HOLE BORED IN MIDDLE. BOTH ENDS OF STRING ARE KNOTTED.
History of Use: COLLECTED BY FRANK MACKEAN OF BRIDGEWATER ON HIS TRIP TO THE ARCTIC. USED BY INUIT PEOPLE TO COUNT.