As people of mixed ancestry they developed a new culture, neither European nor Aboriginal, but a fusion of the two and a new identity as Métis. The Métis of Red River were a very distinct and unique group of people. They were known for their artwork and, in particular, their beadwork. The Red River Métis were known for the flower patterns incorporated into their designs and even referred to as the flower people. Beadwork was a contributing factor in developing the Métis culture and in expressing their cultural distinctiveness.
Many Métis women learned embroidery skills through the French Grey Nuns. These women incorporated the European floral designs into the traditional porcupine quill work. Through experimenting and incorporating different motifs, the Métis came up with a style of beadwork that was distinctly their own.
This high quality of work allowed for Métis women to supplement household incomes at a time when the fur trade was coming to an end. They created unique beadwork designs that they sewed into clothing, knife cases, watch pockets, pouches, and bags. Each would have a flower design and most of the time that design was unique to individual families. The art and skill of bead working was passed along from mother to daughter.
Their creativity and ability to easily adapt to whatever situation they were faced with, shows the strength in their community and culture. I was able to find a picture that shows many of the different types of work they produced. The time that goes into making each piece fascinates me. I found it very interesting to learn that when making a piece with patterns that appears to match, one will have a small but distinct difference and this is the signature of the Métis people.
The Seven Teachings are part of the First Nations Peoples lives, living on the Prairies here in Canada
Suicide on reserves
Alcoholism on reserves
Pike Lake Culture Daylocal artist: Solomon Colomb 2002
A look back to The Oka Crisis, 13 years ago.Part of my Winter Count
Pearl exclaims;"Can I help you with your homework"
The ulu knife, traditionally the handle is made from caribou antler or walrus ivory. The blade was made of slate, until metal was introduced during the Fur Trade.
Art from Baffin Island.