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Cree Artists Directory

List of registered artists and artisans from Eeyou Istchee and surrounding areas.

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Samuel Mianscum

Performing Arts:
Traditional & Contemporary:
Crooked knives/mookadagan
Location: Mistissini


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Short description of your art.

I'm from Mistissini and I've been part of a gospel music group called Flaming Fire Ministries for many years now traveling throughout Canada. I also make crooked knive (a.k.a. Mookadagan) and have done so for a number of years now. I hope to continue traveling and making mookadagans for many more years to come.

Where did you learn your art?

When I was about 7 years old my father taught me 3 chords on the acoustic guitar and I loved it. Since then I have learned a little more but I am still so grateful for those 3 chords. As for the mookadagans, I initially want to make a pair of snowshoes but, first, I needed a mookadagan. I thought of buying one but then I thought I should learn to make one...if I can make one, then I can make five. So that's how I started making them and to learn how to make them, I went to the elders for that knowledge. Some have passed on now and I am grateful I had the time to sit down with them.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Inspiration comes when you least expect it and you have to be ready to capture it...it could be anywhere. It has come while traveling on the road or just listening to people speak or sing. It has even come while being on stage singing and words come and I'll sing them out...I love those moments.

Have you received any formal training?

For the music we are self-taught. And for the mookadagans I went to the elders for that knowledge.

What other art forms do you practice?

I've had a desire to paint for many years now but that remains to be seen...we'll see...soon.

Have you ever received any awards or special recognition?

The best compliments and recognition I've received have been from the elders. If they like the knives then I like the knives.

Do you sell your work? If so, how?

I sell the the mookadagans by displaying them to people and organizations.

Has your art work ever been mentioned in any media?

Our music is on the radios across Canada in Nativeland and, for the mookadagans, they've been mentioned a couple of times in print media.

Please provide any information on your buyers.

Elders, organizations, and community members have purchased the crooked knives/mookadagans.