Waapushukamikw: Sacred Site and Lithic Quarry in Subarctic Quebec

Author(s): David Denton

Year: 2017


Traditionally, Waapushukaamikw (‘house of the hare’) was a sacred site for Cree and closely related Northern Algonquian people in subarctic Quebec. Its use as a place of prayer was noted in the early 18th century CE by Jesuit missionaries, and some elements of this tradition have continued to modern times. Waapushukamikw, known by archaeologists as the Colline Blanche, was also an important lithic source in subarctic Quebec, used for some 6,000 years. Artifacts of Mistassini quartzite from this source have been found in sites throughout a wide area of subarctic Quebec and well beyond, into the St. Lawrence River Valley and parts of New England. In areas furthest removed from the source, it is often found as offerings in burials. This paper brings together information concerning Waapushukamikw as part of the Cree / Northern Algonquian cultural landscape and suggests a close relationship between the spiritual power of the site and the typically white stone from the quarry, known to Crees as wiinwaapsk (‘fat stone’).

Cite this Record

Waapushukamikw: Sacred Site and Lithic Quarry in Subarctic Quebec. David Denton. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429711)


Cree Lithic Quarry

Geographic Keywords
North America - Northeast

Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17147