Sash

This sash looks woven, but is actually plaited using a finger-weaving technique that is widespread in the Americas, yet mostly unknown elsewhere. French settlers likely borrowed this technique from the Iroquois. Fur traders wore these sashes, together with felt hats trimmed with ostrich feathers, as they journeyed by canoe to trade with First Nations peoples.


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  • Sash
  • Sash

    Sash

    North America: Canada, Central Canada, Ontario, Ottawa Valley

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  • Braided Rug

    Braided Rug

    North America: Canada, Central Canada, Quebec

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What role did the ceinture flechée play in the political relationship between the French, the Iroquois, the British and the Metis?

responded: Jul 13, 2012

Posted by Charlotte H

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These specific colourful sashes played a great role in the professional and personal relationships between the Metis, Iroquois and French people. These sashes became popular when they were worn by fur traders travelling from Montreal to the Iroquois and other first nations communities. Very quickly, nearly all nations that traded together were wearing them. They are considered a traditional French clothing item as well as a recognizable part of the Metis attire that stood as a symbol of their culture and identity. One could also percieve this sash as symbol of equality since Quebec men from all classes wore them. Due to their high demand a fur trading company called the North West Company had lots of sashes made in Montreal woven from fine worseted (type of yarn) wool that had been imported from England. *Fun Fact*: These sashes were worn around the waist to keep the cold air out.

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