Fur Trade Enters the North
Northern British Columbia and the Yukon, Early 20th Century
Throughout most of the 19th century, Athapaskans living in northern British Columbia and the southern Yukon were relatively isolated from many of the influences of the fur trade. Trade goods entered the region through Native intermediaries, and exposure to European fashions, technology and decorative arts was slight. Early 20th century footwear, as seen here, incorporates imported materials such as cloth and glass beads, but the decorative motifs -- highly stylized plant and animal forms -- echo very old artistic traditions.