Artifact of the Week: Snowshoes

What are these used for?

Who would have used them?

When do you think they were made?



Answers:

What are these used for?

These are snowshoes, used for trekking across snowy terrain without falling into the snow. The idea behind them is that a larger area pushing down on the snow spreads out the downward force of the wearer's weight, just enough to keep them from sinking.

Who would have used them?

Snowshoes have been used in snowy climates around the world. There is even a hypothesis that the ancient people who crossed the Bering Land Bridge used snowshoes on their journey from Asia to North America.

When do you think they were made?

People have been using snowshoes for longer than historians have records, and their design is so simple that it hasn't changed much in all that time. The only big changes have been in the materials used to make them. These ones were made of wood sometime before 1960, which was when they were donated to the Karshner collections.



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