Sunday, September 2, 2012

Metis Day at the Historic Park

It was Metis Day yesterday at the Fort St James National Historic Site, as well as the grand opening of their new exhibit. There was fiddle music, chicken races, and free burgers for everyone. The new exhibit was absolutely fantastic and easy to read. I learned so much more from it than from the old exhibit.

In the new exhibit, they have a giant aquarium with trout from our lake.
 These are travelling moose hide moccasins used by the people of our area. They were undecorated because a traveller could wear through two pairs a day! That is a lot of moccasins to make!
Here is a pair of decorated moccasins. These would be embroidered more often than beaded, as beads were very expensive.

 A beautiful ceremonial robe.
 This is moose hair tufting. Bunches of moose hair are dyed, then sewn in bundles and trimmed to create amazing works of art. I researched it online a bit and it looks like a very interesting art form....hmmm, something to try in the future?
 I know this picture is blurry, but it is bits and pieces of china dolls and little tea cups. The plaque says that generations of children grew up in the Fort and archaeologists discovered these bits and pieces in the 1970s. It is so cool to live in a place with all this history! Sometimes I wish I had been an archaeologist!
 This is Chief Kw'eh's knife. Chief Kw'eh is a very important figure here. Someday I'll have to do a post on him.
 These next two pictures are of a ceremonial headdress and a cotton bag full of swan down. Dancers would place a loose handful of swan down in their headdress and it would fly around as they danced. How beautiful would that be to see?

 Some old pictures of the Fort. The view hasn't really changed all that much. These pictures really bring the past to life.

 Berry picking. Some things don't change!
 This is Peter Ogden and his son, Peter Ogden. They are buried beside each other in the Hudson's Bay graveyard here. They have a sad story. Young Peter Ogden was competing in some sport and was killed. His father was very ill at the time and people didn't want to tell him that his son was dead. He soon found out however, and died a few days later. So interesting to finally see what their faces look like.
 It was such a clear day and the far islands and mountains were visible.
 The old fur warehouse. I got to go upstairs once and the graffiti up there goes back well over a hundred years. It is so neat to see!
They have chicken races every day in the Summer. We are well known for our world famous chicken races!
video

The new exhibit has costumes for dressing up in. I couldn't resist getting a family picture!

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