Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum
Accession #: EE-120
Métis; Otterburne, Manitoba
Velvet, cotton, glass seed beads, cotton thread, feathers,
This unusual and contemporary pillow was made by Joséphine Carrière née Vermette (1873-?). A talented artist, she used multiple tones and took advantage of the way light plays off beads to create depth. Round vines wrap around straight sticks. Her carefully shaded grapes might be a reference to the blood of Christ in Catholic iconography.
Accession #: EE330-A-B
nehiyawak/Dakota; Western Canada
Materials: Canvas, cotton tape, cotton thread, glass seed beads
There are examples of mid-late 1800s nehiyawak shirts with identical panels on the shoulders. These were made using a spot stitch technique and not a lane stitch, as is common with plains beadwork . Notice how asymmetrical the two panels are. Was this intentional, or could they have been made by two different people?
Tobacco Bag or Pipe Bag
Accession #: SH-180
Anishinaabe/Dakota; likely from Southern Manitoba
Smoked deer hide, glass seed beads, cut steel beads, porcupine quills
These bags usually held tobacco or a pipe. They were important personal belongings, and we have to question how they wound up in museum collections. The small beads are strung on sinew, with dyed bird quills wrapped around the fringe. Geometric designs like this were shared by people across the prairies.
Accession #: EE-338
Anishinaabe; Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario or North-midwestern US
c. 1890 – 1910
Velvet, glass seed beads, cut glass beads, cotton, wool yarn, silk ribbon
This artist’s impressive work focused on cedar and maple leaves, with a geometric design known as “otter tail” running around the edges. The series of diamonds connected with lines represents their tracks: Otters like to travel by running for a few steps and sliding on their bellies across snow and mud.