During the 1600s, the blending of the Native people of Canada and Europeans gave rise to a new culture known as the Metis. Influenced by their mixed heritage, Metis people often fused European design with Native materials and decoration.
Inspired by the hybrid fashions of the Metis, this sashed coat by non-Native American artist Chris Ravenshead is a wonderful example of this cultural blend. The coat has European style lapels; the two front pockets, cuffs and collar are edged with cotton bias tape. The shoulder fringe is reminiscent of the epaulettes often found on military style clothing. Made of smoked braintanned elk hide, the coat is decorated with a mosaic of Metis style porcupine quillwork designs and quill wrapped fringe in shades of blue, red, and green. This exquisite piece also features a time period correct L'Assomption finger woven sash, a product of Eastern Canada. The coat and pockets are lined with calico material.
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