Metis Topics:

The Metis Sash          
The sash plays a significant role in Metis cultural celebrations. Voyageurs wore sashes as they paddled their canoes westward.                                                                                                                                              

** Unless otherwise noted, the folowing photos are from Mary Conway's collection.

Each bright colour woven into the pattern depicts part of the Metis experience: 

- red – life blood of the Metis nation, love, and south direction;
- blue – water and sky, continuity and west direction;
- yellow – sun, happy nature, new beginnings, taking pride in their heritage, east direction;
- green – grass, growing strong, fertility, living things, life, sustenance;
- white – purity, water, life, snow, north direction
- black – for the dark period when their hunting lands were settled by new people, west direction

The Turtle Mountain Metis Local adopted yellow for the color of their sash.  In the Turtle Mountain Sash, each color is represented, with a lifeline depicting the parents, and footprints on each side denoting their children.  The center strip represents the Turtle Mountain.  Each family in the Local chose their own color for the beads, which should be glass on the tassels.  The sash is eight feet long, with braided ends, for strength.  Braiding represents intertwining, the mixture of two cultures to form a third, and the intertwining of families and extended families.


This detail on a beaded Fire Bag demonstrates asymmetric balance and an X pattern. The four elements are leaves, seeds, flowers and stems. (A variation of an 1870s Metis pattern, made by Lawrence Barkwell.)

Characteristics of Metis Beadwork (pdf Download)

Hunting, foraging and gathering in the Turtle Mountain area.

Vantage Points Stories (Fron Volume II) : (pdf  download)

Francis and Frank Goodon, Tanning a beaver pelt.