1951.2.19

Heavy coat of moose-skin, with sleeves, decorated with woven and appliqué work and painted designs in several colours, some showing influence of Plains. [Laura Peers 28/3/2001]

Place details: N AMERICA. Canada / Manitoba Red River Colony. Cultural Group: Subarctic; Woodlands, Métis?: Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Moose Hide Skin Animal / Pigment / Quill / Animal Claw / ?. Processes: Quillwork / Woven / Painted / Appliqué / ?. Dimensions: Max L [back from top of collar to bottom edge] = 1165 mm Field Collector: Unknown When Collected: By 1925 Other Owners: Wellcome purchased from Knight Frank Rutley, 2/11/1925 PRM Source: Wellcome Historical Medical Museum Acquired: Donated 1951 Other Numbers: WHMM no 41756

KEYWORD: Coat / CLASS: Clothing / ?.

Object description: Moose or bison hide coat, painted and quilled. Paint in sunburst, double curves or rams horns emerging from top points of tall triangles. Spectacular woven quillwork epaulets lie over the shoulder and back seam. Five rosettes are arranged on the back. Each rosette has a quill-wrapped dangle with very small hooves/ dew claws instead of the usual metal cones, and dyed bundles of what looks like moose hair as tassels inserted into the 'hooves'. Bands of quillwork running down inside of sleeves. There is some flaking or loss of paintwork, but the quillwork is pristine. Construction appears to be with heavy commercial linen thread. Remnants of thread and holes around hem and front indicate this coat may have had a fur trim at one time. There is a tiny fragment of hide and fur partway down one front edge of the coat. There are also indentations at the end of each sleeve showing thread marks, suggesting that the sleeves had cuffs. [Laura Peers 28/3/2001, 20/8/2003].

Research notes: Observations made by delegates during the ‘Object Lives’ research visit to the PRM on the 13-15th April 2015. The delegation consisted of Beverly Lemire, Anne Whitelaw, Sara Komarnisky, Judy Half, Cynthia Cooper, Sarah Nesbitt, Sarah Carter, Jonathan Lainey, Laurie Bertram, Susan Berry, Katie Pollock and Julie-Ann Mercer. This is a University of Alberta-based group; see: http://objectlives.com/

Coat. Presentation piece. LP – one also in the collections of the BM. Loom woven quills. Turtle-like design in circle. Examined closely, there are tiny remnants of fur along one edge. *Coat seems to be made of one piece of hide. Hide insert in back. 18th/19th century cut. Man’s coat. [FB 31/10/2016]

Identified as ?Cree by G.E.S. Turner. Identified as Metis by Sherry & Calvin Racette, 1989, by comparison with Museum of Mankind specimen illustrated in King, J.C.H. 1982 Thunderbird and Lightning, Fig. 42.