The Cree hunters of James Bay originally used the life-sized tamarack birds as decoys during their annual spring and fall hunts. Made from the tamarack (larch) tree, the tamarack bird represents the Canada Goose. The hole in it's head symbolizes the white patch on the head of the Canadian Goose.
The core of the body is composed of a ball of twigs and the outer part is shaped into a goose. You will notice the fragrance of the tamarack tree, if the birds is stored in a hot dry place, but the aroma will eventually leave the bird as it dries out. To revive the fragrance, submerge the bird in hot water for approximately ten minutes. You may repeat this procedure as often as you wish.
This dying part of the James Bay Cree tradition was revived in 1968 by Mr. John Blueboy of Moose Factory, Ontario. Mr. Blueboy came up with the idea of making miniature birds to sell as souvenirs or gifts. Since then, the Cree living in the James Bay region have taken up the art.
Most of our supply comes from a master tamarack maker who has been making tamarack geese for 40 years. He makes the beautiful three-legged style standing geese that are proportional in shape.
|Size||Height, from the top of the head measured straight down||Body Circumference||Body Length, from base of head to tip of tail|
|Extra Small||~4.5" to 6"||~8.5" to 10"||~4.25" to 4.75"|
|Small||~5" to 5.75"||~9" to 9.5"||~5" to 5.5"|
|Medium||~5.5" to 6.5"||~9" to 11"||~5.25" to 5.5"|
|Large||~6.5" to 7.5"||~11" to 12"||~6" to 7"|
|Extra Large||~7" to 8.5"||~11.5" to 13"||~6.5" to .5"|