Métis Culture

Sash

The origins of the sash reflect the diversity of the Métis experience. The finger-weaving technique used to make the sash was firmly established in Eastern Woodland Indian Traditions. The technique created tumplines, garters and other useful household articles and items of clothing.

Fiddle

The origins of the sash reflect the diversity of the Métis experience. The finger-weaving technique used to make the sash was firmly established in Eastern Woodland Indian Traditions. The technique created tumplines, garters and other useful household articles and items of clothing.

Capote

Métis fur traders would turn thick wool blankets into coats to keep warm during Canadian winters. A sash was worn around the waist and a bag was tucked in the folds of the sash.

Beadwork

Métis developed beautiful beadwork that combined First Nations’ beadwork with the floral embroidered patterns introduced by French-Canadian nuns.

Carioles

The cariole was a sled mainly used during the winter seasons. Small sleds loaded with supplies were pulled by dogs and bigger sleds could carry a couple people, pulled by a horse.

Saganappi

A Shaganappi is a strip of raw-hide leather. Métis families would stretch the leather around the wheel of a Red River Cart to keep the wheel bound tight.

Elder Story Telling

Through story telling, Elders in the Métis community passed down the history of the Métis and of their own family. Life on the frontier could be very slow so good storytellers were highly celebrated!

York Boat

The York boat was the main carrier of tradeable goods across long distances. Measuring 13 metres long with 16 rowers, the York boat carried 6 tons of cargo. It was mainly used around York Factory bringing goods to larger ocean trade ships.

Jigging

 A good Métis jigger is light on their feet, keeps in time to the music, and uses many different steps to dance in circles, rather than in straight lines.

Red River Cart

The Red River cart was made entirely out of wood. It was used to transport furs and tradeable items. Métis families used this to move across the country in the great buffalo hunt.