Bowl & Cooking Stones

Bowl & Cooking Stones

Large handmade wooden bowl with cooking stones

The wooden bowl was used by the Yukon First Nations to cook food. This Tlingit bowl was carved out of wood as a means to boil meat or fish. The wooden cooking vessel would burn if placed directly over the fire so an ingenious heating method was devised. Cooking rocks were placed in the fire to heat. When the rocks were red hot, they were lifted out with long wooden tongs, rinsed of any ash or debris, and placed in the bowl with the food. Commonly, after a successful hunt, a meal would be made of meat and water or snow. These ingredients would be placed in the bowl to make a type of stew. When the hot rocks were added to the bowl, the stew would boil and the meat would cook. This type of meal was a favourite because the broth would make a nice hot beverage for the family to drink.

“Frank Smith, a Northern Tutchone born in Selkirk, once had a race with a white man to see who could boil oatmeal the fastest, Frank cooked with hot stones dropped into a birch bark kettle, and his opponent cooked in a metal on the stove. Frank's oatmeal was the first to boil.”

- Part of the Land, Part of the Water by Catherine McClellan

Institution

George Johnston Museum, Teslin

Accession Number

1973.1.2

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