The Mi’kmaq of Atlantic Canada were here for thousands of years before the arrival of European peoples. Niniskamijinaqik / Ancestral Images: The Mi’kmaq in Art and Photography presents their unique culture and way of life through the remarkable and sometime complex lives of individuals, as depicted in artwork or photography.
The opening images in this collection were created by the Mi’kmaq themselves: portrayals of human beings carved into the rock formations of Nova Scotia. Then there are the earliest surviving European depictions of Mi’kmaq, decorations on the maps of Samuel de Champlain. Finally we see portraits of Mi’kmaw individuals, ancestors in whom we see their “humanity frozen in the stillness of a photograph,” as the writers of the book’s foreword describe.
Niniskamijinaqik / Ancestral Images includes 94 compelling pieces of art and photography, chosen from more than a thousand extant portraits in different media, that show the Mi’kmaw people. Each image is an entry point to deeply personal history, a small moment or single person transformed into vivid immediacy for the reader.
About the author
Ruth Holmes Whitehead has worked since 1972 for the Nova Scotia Museum, since 2003 as a Curator Emerita and Research Associate. She has authored or co-authored twenty books, including Stories from the Six Worlds, The Old Man Told Us, Black Loyalists, and Ancestral Images. In 1995, she was awarded a Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa, by St. Francis Xavier University. In 2014, Dr. Whitehead was inducted into the Order of Nova Scotia. She lives in Halifax.
Other titles by Ruth Holmes Whitehead
Nova Scotia and the Great Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1920
A Remembrance of the Dead and an Archive for the Living
Old Man Told Us (new edition)
Southern Settlers of Nova Scotia's First Free Black Communities
Stories From the Six Worlds (2nd edition)
Six Mi'kmaq Stories
Stories From the Six Worlds
The Life of Boston King
Old Man Told Us
Six Micmac Stories
How Their Ancestors Lived 500 Years Ago