Leggings

The painted bands on the leggings record accredited war honours.

Royal Ontario Museum

Deer hide; Dyed porcupine quills; Sinew; Red ochre
Length: 147.0 cm Width: 50.0 cm
986.218.2.1-2
©1996 - the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). All Rights Reserved.


CULTURAL CONTEXT : Clothing; the "coup" marks or bands of red ochre painted on both lower leg portions indicate that these were the leggings of a warrior. The painted bands record accredited war honours.

DESCRIPTION : Made of unsmoked deer (?) skin, these leggings were constructed from a single piece of hide sewn along the outside edge to form the shape of the legging. The edge is decorated by a long fringe and quillwork strips composed of four equally sized sections separated by three rosettes. The ankle portion barely allows for the passage of the foot and has three tabs, which would have dragged on the ground. One of the tabs has been added while the other two were cut from the main body of the hide. The wearer would have been a man over 6 feet in height.

GEO-CULTURAL AREA : Plains

ETHNOLINGUISTIC GROUP : Algonquian

CULTURE : Blackfoot ?

NATURAL REGION : Northern Plains

PROVINCE : Alberta ?

PERIOD : early 19th Century

MATERIAL : Deer hide; Dyed porcupine quills; Sinew; Red ochre

METHOD OF MANUFACTURE : Sewn

DECORATIVE TECHNIQUE : Quillwork
CULTURAL CONTEXT : Clothing; the "coup" marks or bands of red ochre painted on both lower leg portions indicate that these were the leggings of a warrior. The painted bands record accredited war honours.

DESCRIPTION : Made of unsmoked deer (?) skin, these leggings were constructed from a single piece of hide sewn along the outside edge to form the shape of the legging. The edge is decorated by a long fringe and quillwork strips composed of four equally sized sections separated by three rosettes. The ankle portion barely allows for the passage of the foot and has three tabs, which would have dragged on the ground. One of the tabs has been added while the other two were cut from the main body of the hide. The wearer would have been a man over 6 feet in height.

GEO-CULTURAL AREA : Plains

ETHNOLINGUISTIC GROUP : Algonquian

CULTURE : Blackfoot ?

NATURAL REGION : Northern Plains

PROVINCE : Alberta ?

PERIOD : early 19th Century

MATERIAL : Deer hide; Dyed porcupine quills; Sinew; Red ochre

METHOD OF MANUFACTURE : Sewn

DECORATIVE TECHNIQUE : Quillwork

©1996 - the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). All Rights Reserved.

Case

The parfleche is made of rawhide folded into an envelope.

Royal Ontario Museum

Skin; Rawhide; String
LENGTH : 56.0 cm HEIGHT : 38.0 cm
HD5492
©1996 - the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). All Rights Reserved.


CULTURAL CONTEXT : Container; usually termed parfleches, cases such as these were used to contain various objects, often prized articles such as ceremonial regalia.

DESCRIPTION : The parfleche is made of rawhide folded into an envelope. A leather thong is threaded through three sets of holes to secure the flaps. The flaps are decorated with a geometric design painted in red, blue and yellow. Some of the pigments appear to have been commercially made. Red ochre adheres to the inside of the parfleche.

GEO-CULTURAL AREA : Plains

ETHNOLINGUISTIC GROUP : Algonquian

CULTURE : Blackfoot ?

NATURAL REGION : Northern Plains

PROVINCE : Alberta

PERIOD : late 19th Century

MATERIAL : Skin; Rawhide; String

METHOD OF MANUFACTURE : Cut; Folded

DECORATIVE TECHNIQUE : Painted
CULTURAL CONTEXT : Container; usually termed parfleches, cases such as these were used to contain various objects, often prized articles such as ceremonial regalia.

DESCRIPTION : The parfleche is made of rawhide folded into an envelope. A leather thong is threaded through three sets of holes to secure the flaps. The flaps are decorated with a geometric design painted in red, blue and yellow. Some of the pigments appear to have been commercially made. Red ochre adheres to the inside of the parfleche.

GEO-CULTURAL AREA : Plains

ETHNOLINGUISTIC GROUP : Algonquian

CULTURE : Blackfoot ?

NATURAL REGION : Northern Plains

PROVINCE : Alberta

PERIOD : late 19th Century

MATERIAL : Skin; Rawhide; String

METHOD OF MANUFACTURE : Cut; Folded

DECORATIVE TECHNIQUE : Painted

©1996 - the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). All Rights Reserved.

Maul

Mauls were often used to crush bones to remove marrow, and to crush berries.

Royal Ontario Museum

Stone; Skin; Wood
LENGTH : 40.5 cm
NS28147
©1996 - the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). All Rights Reserved.


CULTURAL CONTEXT : Food preparation; mauls were often used to crush bones to remove marrow, and to crush berries. Both could be used in making pemmican.

DESCRIPTION : This maul or hammer consists of a large, heavy oblong stone wrapped with hide. The stone is smooth except for the striking surface at the larger end, and has been notched to accept the wood hafting and strap of hide around its middle. The hide was a long strip that has been folded in and sewn with sinew down the length of the wooden handle, and sewn at the top of the stone to encircle and hold it securely.

GEO-CULTURAL AREA : Plains

ETHNOLINGUISTIC GROUP : Algonquian

CULTURE : Blackfoot; Blood

NATURAL REGION : Northern Plains

PROVINCE : Alberta

PERIOD : 19th Century

MATERIAL : Stone; Skin; Wood

METHOD OF MANUFACTURE : Sewn
CULTURAL CONTEXT : Food preparation; mauls were often used to crush bones to remove marrow, and to crush berries. Both could be used in making pemmican.

DESCRIPTION : This maul or hammer consists of a large, heavy oblong stone wrapped with hide. The stone is smooth except for the striking surface at the larger end, and has been notched to accept the wood hafting and strap of hide around its middle. The hide was a long strip that has been folded in and sewn with sinew down the length of the wooden handle, and sewn at the top of the stone to encircle and hold it securely.

GEO-CULTURAL AREA : Plains

ETHNOLINGUISTIC GROUP : Algonquian

CULTURE : Blackfoot; Blood

NATURAL REGION : Northern Plains

PROVINCE : Alberta

PERIOD : 19th Century

MATERIAL : Stone; Skin; Wood

METHOD OF MANUFACTURE : Sewn

©1996 - the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). All Rights Reserved.

Dress

Dress presented to the wife of Lt. Gov. Alexander Morris by the Eastern Dakota living in Manitoba.

Royal Ontario Museum

Hide; Elk ?; Porcupine quill; Thread; Sinew; Dye
Length : 124.0 cm Width : 58.0 cm
977X1.2
©1996 - the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). All Rights Reserved.


CULTURAL CONTEXT : Clothing; presented to the wife of Lt. Gov. Alexander Morris by the Eastern Dakota living in Manitoba. Morris was largely instrumental in allowing the Dakota refuge in Canada after the Minnesota rebellion of 1863.

DESCRIPTION : The dress consists of straight panels of soft hide front and back and folded at the neckline to form a yoke-like collar. The yoke is decorated with separate strips of hide wrapped with quills in geometric designs in red, blue, pink, turquoise and white ending in fringes. Straight sleeves have openings under the arms and have long hide fringes on the top of each sleeve, each one wrapped with short lengths of turquoise quill. Very short fringe completes the sleeves at each wrist. The bottom of the dress has separate piece of hide with wide quill-wrapped decoration of the same colour but with a different design from the yoke. The lower part of the dress has hide thongs in groups of two or three attached at regular intervals and wrapped with pink and white quills gathered in braids. The dress closes with hide thongs ending in pink quilled loops along the neck and is finished with 2 triangle-shaped pendant flaps at each bottom corn Read More
CULTURAL CONTEXT : Clothing; presented to the wife of Lt. Gov. Alexander Morris by the Eastern Dakota living in Manitoba. Morris was largely instrumental in allowing the Dakota refuge in Canada after the Minnesota rebellion of 1863.

DESCRIPTION : The dress consists of straight panels of soft hide front and back and folded at the neckline to form a yoke-like collar. The yoke is decorated with separate strips of hide wrapped with quills in geometric designs in red, blue, pink, turquoise and white ending in fringes. Straight sleeves have openings under the arms and have long hide fringes on the top of each sleeve, each one wrapped with short lengths of turquoise quill. Very short fringe completes the sleeves at each wrist. The bottom of the dress has separate piece of hide with wide quill-wrapped decoration of the same colour but with a different design from the yoke. The lower part of the dress has hide thongs in groups of two or three attached at regular intervals and wrapped with pink and white quills gathered in braids. The dress closes with hide thongs ending in pink quilled loops along the neck and is finished with 2 triangle-shaped pendant flaps at each bottom corner, with short fringe that is turquoise quill wrapped. The style and quillwork decoration of the dress indicate Cree origins.

GEO-CULTURAL AREA : Plains

ETHNOLINGUISTIC GROUP : Algonquian ?; Dakota ?

CULTURE : Plains Cree ?; Eastern Dakota ?

NATURAL REGION : Northern Plains

PROVINCE : Manitoba

MATERIAL : Hide; Elk ?; Porcupine quill; Thread; Sinew; Dye

METHOD OF MANUFACTURE : Sewn

DECORATIVE TECHNIQUE : Dyed; Quillwork

©1996 - the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto). All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Identify some traditional materials and manufacture methods utilized by Canadian Plains peoples
  • Identify some objects made by Canadian Plains peoples and their uses

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