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Handmade crafts in the traditional way

Thursday December 20, 2012
Webequie’s Andrew Sug-anaqueb makes all of his traditional crafts entirely by hand.

Webequie’s Andrew Sug-anaqueb makes all of his traditional crafts entirely by hand.

“Everything is by hand that we make — no machines,” Suganaqueb said during the 11th Annual Aboriginal Fine Arts and Crafts Christmas Gift Show and Sale, held Dec. 4-8 at Victoriaville Centre in Thunder Bay. “We didn’t use machines, even when we make slippers. Everything is really hard to make when you’re trying to make high quality (products by hand).”

Suganaqueb began making traditional crafts about 50 years ago while he was living in Webequie.
“My wife, when she was still alive, used to do a lot of beadwork a long time ago,” Suganaqueb said.

Since he moved to Thunder Bay with his wife about 28 years ago, Suganaqueb has kept himself busy by producing a variety of moccasins, slippers, mitts, mukluks, necklaces and earrings for sale in the city.

“There’s a difference right now — 50 years ago it was really cheap selling the stuff,” Suganaqueb said.

Suganaqueb said the prices for all of his supplies, his expenses and his living accommodations have gone up significantly since he moved to Thunder Bay.

“That is why it is (costing more) for native work,” Suganaqueb said. “I have to pay my bills.”
Suganaqueb said he has to consider all the costs he had to produce the crafts into his prices, such as the beadwork designs he buys for use on his moccasins.


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