My father’s tools

4 minutes

Making a basket from a single tree, a Mi’gmaq craftsman finds communion in his work

In My Father’s Tools, the basket-weaving practised by the Mi’gmaq First Nation community, native to eastern Canada and northeastern Maine, becomes an entrancing, rhythmic celebration of tradition and craft. In her directorial debut, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, the Canadian aboriginal filmmaker Heather Condo employs an unobtrusive cinema vérité style to trace each step in the process without using a single spoken word. From felling to twining, she documents the work of her husband, the craftsman Stephen Jerome, who learned the technique of black-ash rib-basket-weaving from his father. Jerome’s basket, created from a single tree, is an object imbued with deep personal significance and longstanding communal knowledge.

Director: Heather Condo

Producer: Manon Barbeau

Website: Wapikoni Mobile

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter Sign up
Follow us on

‘Aeon, for me, continues to be one of the best places to spend a quiet afternoon, in the company of some of the most brilliant minds around.’

Shivam C, India, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is my favourite online magazine.

I have found no other place that so regularly provides interesting, clear and informative articles across academic disciplines on topics that matter.’

Dr Robert J. Hartman, University of Gothenburg

‘Aeon is one of the most consistently great publications on the internet.

My life would be poorer without it.’

Assistant Professor Lee Vinsel, Virginia Tech

‘Aeon is always providing great, thought-provoking content, and it would be a crime for me to not donate to a service that I use daily.’

Jarry A, Canada, Friend of Aeon

‘Aeon is consistently the place to find excellent, provocative and thoughtful writing.

One of my favourite places to find new writers and new ideas.’

Professor Sophie Kerttu Scott, University College London

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

The spirit molecule

The theory that the brain produces its own psychedelic compound provokes pop-culture enthusiasm and scientific controversy

Graham St John

Stories & Literature
Thus spake Albert

You probably know a quote from him. He probably never said it. How did Einstein become a touchstone of all that is wise?

Andrew Robinson