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Powder horn

This powder horn, made from a bovine horn, belongs to an Indigenous hunter. It is used to transport and keep dry the gunpowder, an essential substance to trigger a firearm. Once the gunpowder is placed in the barrel of the firearm, it is ignited by the spark produced by a flint striking a piece of metal. The resulting explosive combustion transmits energy to the bullet to propel it. Firearms and gunpowder are used for hunting and warfare.

Powder horns can also be made of leather or wood. Originally utility objects, powder horns became richly decorated or intricately engraved art pieces. This horn is engraved with a hunting expedition scene.


Date: 18th century

Origin: North America

Owner: Vieux Moulin—Hydromellerie et miellerie. “Musée de la Neufve-France” private collection. Sainte-Flavie.


Gouvernement du Québec. (n.d.). Fragment de corne à poudre [Powder horn fragment]. Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec. Retrieved October 10, 2022, from https://www.patrimoine-culturel.gouv.qc.ca/rpcq/detail.do?methode=consulter&id=208290&type=bien

Illustration: Powder horn