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Fur Trade Assomption Sash


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The sash is a shared cultural emblem between the French-Canadians and Metis peoples. A completely finger woven sash. Worsted wool with red arrow core flanked by traditional lightning pattern in blue, red, yellow and green using indigo and cochineal dyes. Red is for the blood of the Metis that was shed through the years while fighting for their rights. Blue is for the depth of their spirits. Green is for the fertility of a great nation. White is for their connection to earth and their Creator. Yellow is for the prospect of prosperity. These were worn with pride around the waist by Canadian fur traders, trappers and voyagers in the later 18th, and early 19th century. The sash was important and used for many purposes, put around their forehead down their back and tied to carry their belongings, a washcloth, a towel, a rope, could be used to carry water, an emergency bridle, a saddle blanket, a tumpline for portaging canoes amongst others. Its fringe became part of a sewing kit when thread was needed for mending, and even used in deep snow to warp around their leggings and ankles to help protect from snow. Condition: a used piece, edge wear, small holes, end wear and fringe separated.

PERIOD: First Half 19th Century

ORIGIN: Quebec, Canada

SIZE: 76" x 8" plus 21" fringe

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