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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

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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